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Tadka Cubes (Make Ahead Masala Base)

  • Author: Raj Thandhi
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 cubes 1x


Tadka (known as tempering in English) is the base for all your favourite Indian dishes. It is used in all dal, sabzi, and gravy based dishes like curry chicken. This version freezes well. 



3 tbs ghee
2 tbs cumin seeds (jeera)
2 cups finely chopped onion
2 tbs finely chopped garlic
2 tbs finely chopped ginger
1 green chili chopped (optional)
1.5 cups tomatoes
2 tsp salt (or to taste)
1.5 tbs coriander powder (dhaniya)
1/2 tbs turmeric powder (haldi)
2 tsp red chili powder (or to taste)


  1. Heat ghee on medium high heat, add in cumin seeds and cook for 60 seconds. 
  2. Add onions and cook for 4-5 minutes until they are translucent and fragrant. 
  3. Add ginger, garlic, and fresh green chili (optional). Cook for 90 seconds. 
  4. Add tomatoes and all powdered spices. Cook on medium high heat for 5-7 minutes, until all the moisture has evaporated and the tomatoes are pulling away from the pan. 
  5. Allow the tadka to cool to room temperature and fill ice cube tray
  6. Freeze for 60-90 minutes and then pop out your cubes and store them in a freezer safe bag or container. 


Make sure you purchase an ice cube tray specifically for freezing tadka cubes, don’t mix it with your regular cubes!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Cuisine: Indian