Several Indian recipes start with this everyday curry paste (see index under “Everyday Masala Paste”). At its heart is a well-browned base of onion, ginger, and garlic. This process takes a good 10 minutes making it a little time consuming on a busy day. Making it in large quantities when time permits is like a gift to yourself for those busy days.
Set the Instant Pot® on Sauté mode and pour in the oil. After about 3 minutes add the cumin seeds and cook until the seeds begin to sizzle.
Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until they begin to wilt and soften. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the chilies, tomatoes, coriander, cumin, and salt and cook for 5 minutes.
Press Cancel to turn off the Sauté mode, close the lid, and put on Manual Low Pressure setting for 4 minutes. When cooking time is complete, allow for Natural Pressure Release. This takes about 15 minutes.
Once the pressure is released, remove the lid and mix well to form an even base. Put the Instant Pot® on Sauté setting again and let the mixture thicken for about 5 minutes.
Cool and store in jars in the refrigerator for up to a week or freeze in 1/2 cup portions for longer storage (silicone egg molds work well for this).