Mo’s Masala Recipe (vegan, gluten free)



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Mo’s Masala Recipe (AKA My Favourite Masala) 

Today I’m excited to bring you another recipe courtesy of my partner–Mo’s Masala! As you may know, my partner Mo is half Indian and half Dutch, and his mum makes the most delicious Indian food. Lucky for me, she taught Mo well. I’ve never really bothered to perfect my own recipe because he really just makes the best Masala and I’ve finally written down a recipe so you can give it a shot at home! We also filmed a YouTube video tutorial, if you prefer to cook along, but you’ll see that the process is really quite simple. It’s a no fuss, one pan recipe and though it does call for a list of ingredients, the majority of those ingredients are spices.

The beautiful thing about this recipe is that you can customize it with your favourite plant protein and vegetables of choice. We’ve made it with dry mung beans, cooked mung beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu and even faux meat alternatives. It’s really all about the sauce, so you choose what you’d like to put in it. We recommend serving over basmati rice and fresh herbs of choice to finish.

Mo's Masala Veggiekins

What’s in Mo’s Masala?

  • Flavour builders like onion, garlic, ginger and chili
  • Mo’s Masala Spice Mix, or any storebought spice mix
  • Tomato paste
  • Coconut milk
  • Vegetable broth
  • Veggies and protein of choice like chickpeas and zucchini

Secrets to success

For the spice mix, you can either use a storebought masala spice mix (I’d recommend purchasing from an Indian grocery store if you have access to one), or create your own at home. It’s quite simple to make at home, and does result in a fresher, more vibrant flavour. I would highly recommend making a batch of Mo’s Masala Spice Mix and storing in a jar for future use if you can!

Mo's Masala Veggiekins

If you like this recipe, try…

  • Thai Green Curry Noodle Soup
  • Red Curry Cauliflower Soup
  • Popped Makhana/Lily Seed Snack
  • Golden Garlic Quinoa

If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and feature them! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too.

Mo's Masala Recipe (vegan, gluten free)

5 from 2 votes
Servings: 3 -4 servings
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Mo's Masala is a one-pan, no fuss and veggie packed dish you can easily make at home. It's vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free with an oil free option*


  • 1 small red onion finely diced
  • 1 small red chili finely diced, incl. seeds (roughly 5" size chili)
  • knob of ginger minced (roughly 1.5" in size, or to taste)
  • 3 large cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp masala spice mix can use storebought or DIY Mo's Masala Spice Mix (see below)
  • 1.5 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup chickpeas rinsed and drained
  • 1 large zucchini sliced and quartered
  • 1/2-1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional*
  • star anise bay leaves
  • masala spice mix makes a large quantity of spice mix, see below for ground option
  • 1/4 cup coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 8-9 cardamom pods
  • 1-1.5 " piece of cinnamon stick
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 3 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp mustard seed


  • To make spice mix, dry toast coriander, cumin, peppercorn, cardamom and mustard seed on a frying pan over medium heat until slightly fragrant. Remove from heat and let cool. Add ingredients to a high power blender, spice grinder or use a mortar and pestle until a fine powder forms.
  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté red onion with neutral oil of choice until fragrant and slightly softened (you can use water/veggie broth for an oil free option). Add chili, garlic and ginger cloves and cook for 1-2 minutes, tossing with a spatula.
  • Next add spice mix along with tomato paste and let spices toast and "fry", tossing with a spatula for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now we're ready to add our produce. Start with only ingredients that require more cooking time (i.e. dry beans or pulses, root vegetables) and sauté for 3-4 few minutes. Ingredients that need a quick cook or warm through can be added after the next step.
  • Add coconut milk to the pan, stirring to combine along with vegetable broth. You can adjust how much liquid you add to adjust the texture of the sauce to your liking. For a thicker sauce, add slightly less coconut milk and veggie broth. Also be sure to give your sauce a taste to make sure you're happy with the flavour.
  • Finally, add any quick cooking veggies to the pan, increase heat to a light simmer and cook for a few more minutes, stirring constantly.
  • Once ingredients are cooked through, finish with salt and pepper to taste and enjoy.


*Using oil helps to "bloom" the spices and really bring out flavour. If you prefer not to use, you can opt to use splashes of veggie broth or oil, though it is highly recommended for best results.
*As an additional preliminary step in this recipe, you can dry toast anise and bay leaves. This is a flavour building step and you can proceed with the recipe as listed after heating on a pan for a few minutes. You may also want to fish out these ingredients once the curry is ready, as they can have quite an intense flavour once bitten into.
*To make spice mix using ground ingredients, combine 3 tablespoon ground cumin, 1 tablespoon ground coriander, 1 tablespoon ground turmeric, 3 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom, 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 3 teaspoons ground mustard seed, 2 teaspoons ground black pepper, 2 teaspoons ground red chili powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cloves, 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Remy

Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Delicious recipe! Made oil-free, added eggplant, and used the ground spice recipe provided. Thank you both so much for sharing this! It will be my new go-to recipe this season.

    5 stars

  2. This is hands down beautiful. That’s the only way I can describe this dish. Beautiful. I’ve tried a lot of vegan recipes, and this for sure is a top. I’d meant to take a photo, but both my boyfriend and I devoured our meals before even thinking about it. Served it with cashew sour cream. *chef kiss*

    5 stars