Instant Pot Basic Makhani Masala

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recipe by Rinku Bhattacharya

  • Time icon
    Total Time
  • Serves icon
  • Calories icon
based on 1 ratings

At the heart of many Indian dishes is this mild, rich-tasting sauce (see index under “Basic Makhani Masala” ). My version uses coconut milk which keeps it vegan, allowing the recipe to be more versatile. I recommend using this make-ahead sauce to save time without compromising flavor for any Makhani-based recipes.

Inspired by:

recipe updated Apr 3, 2020


  • Red onion icon
    Red onion
    1.5 cups (245g)
  • Garlic icon
    2 tbsp (17g)
  • Ginger icon
    2 tbsp (11g)
  • Tomato icon
  • Canola oil icon
    Canola oil
    ¼ cup (79ml)
  • Cumin seeds icon
    Cumin seeds
    1 tbsp (6g)
  • Garam masala icon
    Garam masala
    1 tbsp (6g)
  • Cayenne pepper icon
    Cayenne pepper
    1 tsp (2g)
  • Salt icon
    1.5 tsp (9g)
  • Sugar icon
    1 tsp (4g)
  • Coconut milk icon
    Coconut milk
    1.5 cups (360ml)
  • Fenugreek leaves icon
    Fenugreek leaves
    about ½ cup (120g)


  • kCook icon Stick blender
  • kCook icon Instant Pot
  • kCook icon Inner pot

Step preview

  1. Add canola oil to the inner pot
  2. Pre-heat until hot - Sauté, Normal
  3. Add cumin seeds to the inner pot
  4. Sauté until sizzling
  5. Add red onion to the inner pot
  6. Cook until softened while stirring occasionally - approx 3 min 30 sec
  7. Add garlic and ginger to the inner pot
  8. Cook while stirring occasionally - 2 min
  9. Stir tomato, garam masala, cayenne pepper, salt and sugar into the inner pot
  10. Cook while stirring occasionally - 5 min
  11. Cancel - Sauté
  12. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing
  13. Pressure cook - Manual, High, 7 min
  14. Natural release - 5 min
  15. Quick release
  16. Stir coconut milk into the inner pot
  17. Purée with stick blender until smooth
  18. Stir fenugreek leaves into the inner pot
  19. Cancel - Keep warm
  20. Heat - Sauté, Normal, approx 2 min
  21. Let cool
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