Documenting how to make a masala base. This should be enough for 10+ small tubs, at the end I'll show an example usage.
The order doesn't matter since it's all being put into the same pot.
Grind up 2 tablespoons of cumin, and 2 tablespoons of coriander seeds, then put them into a big pot.
Mush up about this much ginger and add it, garlic cloves can just be added whole. At home when we get ginger we peel it and cut it up into disks for freezing. Mashing up the frozen disks makes the resulting paste less fibrous.
Dice 12ish onions and add them.
Chop 2 green chillies and add them, as well as 2 teaspoons of turmeric, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, and 4 tins full of water.
Optionally blitz the mixture. I tried this and it didn't really make any difference so I'll probably skip it next time.
Add 4 big spoons of rapeseed oil.
Add 4 bay leaves (these ones were taken and dried from our garden).
Put it on high heat until it boils, approx. 20 mins.
Move to a lower heat and let things break down for about 40 mins, stir every 20 mins.
Then back to high heat until only half of the original amount of water remains, keep stirring every 20 mins.
We can put it into lots of little tubs for freezing. The reason we leave some water in it is because the excess water will evaporate when we come to use it.
Note that when it is actually used for something, the final consistency will end up something like the below.
This uses half a small tub of masala to make a one person serving of prawn salan.
NOTE: Images were lossily compressed with jpegoptim *.jpeg --strip-all --size=750, then resized with mogrify -resize x500 *.jpeg, don't know if using jpegoptim before imagemagick was worth it.