This Indian paste is a blend of spices, oil and tomato puree that has been slowly cooked down into a glorious, vibrant paste used in Indian tandoor recipes and curries. With the addition of yoghurt and extra spices, the paste turns chicken, lamb or paneer into a fragrant and tasty explosion, especially when homemade.

Store-bought tikka masala paste is a convenient cupboard item, but double-check the ingredients label for gluten as some are thickened with wheat. Good brands that I know of are Pataks and Sharwoods. If you like to make homemade condiments and marinades, then this paste is a great one to have readily available from the fridge to add to a butter chicken curry or my easy recipe for chicken tikka kebabs. Not only does it taste authentic, fresh and delicious, but it is healthier with no additives or colourants.

a table setting of butter chicken, yellow rice and a naan

All the ingredients are readily available and as most of us have a food processor, this paste is doable. So, if you miss enjoying a decent curry or fancy a bit of a zing to your BBQ meats, then give this a go, ideally with the windows open!

a bowl of homemade tikka masala paste

Homemade Tikka Masala Paste

by Sandra, Fun Without Gluten
This Indian paste is a blend of spices, oil and tomato puree that has been slowly cooked down into a glorious, vibrant paste to be used in many Indian recipes.
It keeps for 2 weeks chilled and is super handy to resort to when in need of a quick curry or marinade.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine Indian
Servings 250 ml


  • Food processor, or
  • Thermomix


  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 3 whole dried red chillis
  • 3 tbsp  fresh coriander leaves
  • 7 garlic cloves
  • 7 cm ginger piece, peeled
  • 110 ml olive oil or coconut oil
  • 25 ml water
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 35 ml tomato puree


Food processor method

  • Dry roast the seeds and whole chilli in a medium-hot pan for a few minutes, or until they release their aroma.
  • Grind the mixture into a fine powder using either a food processor or a coffee grinder.
  • Add the coriander leaves, garlic and ginger. Pulse the mixture into a fine paste.
  • Switch to a low speed and add the olive oil gradually.
  • Add the water, lemon juice, turmeric powder, salt, onion powder and tomato puree. Pulse several times.

Stove-top method

  • Transfer the mixture to a heavy-bottom pan, partially cover and cook for 40 minutes on the second lowest setting, stirring occasionally to prevent the paste from sticking to the bottom. Add more oil if it appears too dry.
  • Remove the cover towards the final 10 minutes of cooking and stir occasionally.
  • Once the paste appears thick and has a vibrant sheen to it, remove it from the heat, allow it to cool down and store it in a sterilised jar or use it immediately for your chosen dish.

Thermomix method

  • Heat the Thermomix empty for 3 minutes/Varoma/Speed 1. Lid On.
  • Add the seeds and whole chilli. Select 1 ½ minutes/Varoma/ Speed 1. Lid Off.
  • Grind the seeds. Select 1 minute/Speed 8. Lid On.
  • Add the coriander leaves, garlic, ginger and oil. Select 1 minute/Speed 10. Lid On.
  • Add the remaining ingredients. Select 10 seconds/Speed 7. Lid On.
  • Scrap down the paste from the sides of the Thermomix.
  • Cook for *40 minutes/80°C/Speed 2. Lid On. Stop and scrape the bottom of the Thermomix occasionally, to prevent burning or sticking. *If the paste has a deep colour and a vibrant sheen where the oil has lifted out from the paste, it is ready.


  • Keeps for 2 weeks chilled
  • Not suitable to freeze
Keyword gluten-free indian, gluten-free tikka masala, homemade curry paste, homemade gluten-free condiments
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