Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Easy Curry Sauce Recipe. Everybody wants to recreate their favourite Indian Restaurant/takeaway or traditional Indian dish at home. How do you go about it?

The first answer you will probably get is ”You need to use a curry base sauce or gravy!”.

British Indian Restaurant Base Sauce

It’s not the wrong answer. Knowing how to make a base sauce will help you recreate some of your favourite restaurant and takeaway dishes. And so below you will find a really basic Indian Restaurant style curry base sauce.

Cooking with a base sauce, as they do in British Indian Restaurants or B.I.R as it’s known is one small part of cooking Indian food. I love it! Sometimes I want more though.

As a Chef I find it easy to adapt recipes. I can make a base sauce to suit a dish I am preparing. I personally don’t want a freezer full of a base sauce that is going to make my food taste a bit samey after a while. My base sauce does enough for 6 – 8 portions. That’s just about one meal for our family! If you are cooking for less, it can still be frozen and if you want to make more just double the quantity.

So here is my Really, Really Simple Base Sauce…

Really Really Simple Base Sauce

Really, Really Simple Base Sauce

‘Ome
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 31 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp of oil not a strong one so vegetable, rapeseed (not cold pressed) or sunflower oil.
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 big fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch cubed piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp mild curry Masala ('Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala is ideal!) or you could use 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • A handful of coriander stalks
  • 400 ml tin of tomatoes they get blitzed so chopped or whole

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt and gently fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes
  • Add the curry Masala or spices, along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir and mix and then pour in the water
  • Bring to the simmer and cook for 45 minutes, lid off
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and coriander stalks
  • Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a smooth sauce
  • Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be slightly thicker than full fat milk.
  • Use in a curry recipe as directed.

Notes

This is so easy to adapt. Feel free to add a small amount of peppers, carrot or any of the other usual base ingredients you find in different recipes.
I have made this sauce in less time than it says, giving it 30 minutes before adding the tomatoes and coriander and then cooking for only another 20 minutes. It was still good!
Of course you could fry your ingredients off and then add to a pressure cooker or soup maker along with all the other ingredients and it will still be just as good. Just follow the cooking times for a soup.
This base works really well in a curry when you use the method of adding diluted tomato paste to you cooked out spices. For 4 people use 2 tbsp of tomato puree diluted in 300ml of boiling water. Add this to your curry when you have fried your onion, garlic, ginger and spices and let it reduce down so you’re left with a thick paste. Then you can start adding your base sauce as normal.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, British Indian Restaurant, Curry Gravy, Indian Style, Indian Take away, Indian Takeway style curry
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But There’s more!

Cooking Indian isn’t just about base sauce.

It’s about techniques too.

There are two techniques that you must understand even to make an easy curry sauce.

Caramelise Your Onions!

When using a base sauce this is achieved by cooking the sauce down at the highest heat you can so that the sauce caramelises around the edge.

However you can get this caramelisation before the liquid is added by slowly cooking the onions in plenty of oil for a little longer than you would when cooking a base sauce. The onions soften and go a deep brown colour, releasing their natural sweet flavour.

This is to do with the maillard reaction. Google it if you like but all you really need to know is that it’s a reaction that happens when cooking food which makes it taste great! Think of a steak that is cooked on a searing hot BBQ with the chargrilled flavour versus a pale grey coloured steak cooked under a moderate kitchen grill? Get it? That’s the maillard reaction.

Blooming Spices!

No, this isn’t about getting angry with spices!

‘Blooming’ is the technique of cooking the rawness out of the spices and releasing all the aromatic, flavoursome oils they contain. If you have ever had a curry that has a bit of a gritty texture, it’s probably down to the spices not being cooked out properly. The spices can also have a bitter flavour if not cooked out but then this can also happen if you burn the spices.

To bloom your spices they need to be cooked in oil, plenty of oil. To little oil and they will burn and catch. Better to use lots of oil and spoon it off at the end of cooking the dish rather than skimp on it.

However if you really want to cut down on the oil make sure you have jug of hot water handy. Just as the spices begin to stick add a splash of the water. It’s not the best method but sometimes if you have to cut down on oil for health or medical reasons, it’s the only way.

So generally speaking the start of a curry goes; heat oil in a pan, add onion (if not using a base sauce), garlic, ginger and then spices. To bloom the spices they need to cook for 40 – 60 seconds on a lowish heat, stirring so they don’t catch.

It’s Not All About That Base!

I have already written a post about Indian Hotel Gravy, just click the link if you want to read more.

Hotel Gravy has a lot more depth of flavour and because the onions have already been caramelised it means you don’t have to reduce on a high heat when added to the pan. And that means less splatter! Winner!

Here is my version and again it’s a really easy curry sauce recipe…

Hotel Style Curry Sauce

‘Ome
Similar to a base gravy, this sauce can be made in advance and added to fried ingredients to create a tasty curry. This Hotel Style Curry Sauce has a bit more depth of flavour, is thicker and caramelises the onions first so no high heat reduction is necessary.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 750 g sliced onion About 4 medium onions
  • 110 ml oil Any neutral oil such as vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed (not cold pressed)
  • 4 Tej Patta leaf (also known as Indian Bay or Malabar leaf) Bay leaf can be substituted but won't give the same flavour.
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or cassia
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder substitute with 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1 tsp chilli powder if not available
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Mild Curry Masala
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litre water 3 x empty tomato tins worth!
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks can be used if wished
  • 2 green chillies deseeded and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
  • Add the onions, tej patta leaves and cinnamon to the pan and fry on a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until just starting to turn brown.
    Onion, tej patta and cinnamon
  • turn the heat to the lowest you can and fry for another 30 minutes, stirring quite often until the onions have turned a deep brown colour.
    Browned onions
  • Add the garlic and ginger and gently fry for another 20 seconds
  • Add the Kashmiri Chilli and stir in. Add the turmeric and stir in again before adding the curry masala. Fry for 20 seconds.
    Hotel Indian Curry Gravy
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the salt and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the fresh coriander, chillies and Garam Masala
  • continue to cook for another 10 – 20 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and let cool a little before fishing out the cassia and tej patta leaves
  • Now blend with an immersion blender, food processor or blender. If using the latter I would recommend to let it cool slightly first as hot steam tends to blow the lid off!
    Indian Hotel Style Gravy
  • Use in any recipe that requires a Hotel Style Curry Gravy or try using as a replacement to Base Gravy in any highly flavoured B.I.R curries that require a base sauce.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, Curry Gravy, Indian Hotel Curry Sauce, Indian Style
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And there’s more!

While doing some research I discovered that in India they have a myriad of base sauces that they use depending on what dish they are cooking.

There’s two that I find really useful.

One is a White Gravy, used for mild, subtly spiced dishes .

The other is a Yellow Gravy which falls in between a white gravy and hotel gravy. A good allrounder!

There is another one, Makhani Gravy. I will be giving this one a post to itself shortly but if you’re desperate then I reccomend you look at Glebe Kitchen version (just google it!).

I have also included a recipe for a Madras Curry Sauce… Just add the main ingredient and voila! instant Madras. Or if you like things hot just dilute and use as a base sauce for other dishes!

As well as an instant Madras sauce, there’s also a Tikka Masala sauce. Again just plonk in some Chicken Tikka or whatever you want and you have an instant dish.

These two instant sauces are great if you’re entertaining and can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated until you need them.

The recipes are below.

Keep an eye on the blog for recipes coming up where I will be using these Easy Curry Sauce recipes!

Curry On Folks!

And remember all of my curry masalas can be purchased online at www.omemade.co.uk

Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

White Curry Gravy

‘Ome
A light coloured, delicate flavoured curry gravy to use when making dishes such as Korma or other subtle spiced dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 Indian bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 70 g cashew nuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 3 green finger chillies
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 ltr Water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the bay leaf and cardamom for around a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions and on a low heat cook for around 20 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Add the cashew nuts and fry for a couple minutes more.
  • Add the garlic, green chilli and white pepper. Fry for a minute.
  • Mix the corn flour with the yoghurt and stir in to the pan.
  • Add the salt and the sugar, stir in and then add the water.
  • Stir the mixture until it comes to a simmer.
  • Cook the gravy for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cardamom and bay leaf and blend the gravy with a hand blender or blender (leave to cool slightly if doing the latter otherwise the steam will build up and blow the lid off!)
  • Once smooth the gravy is ready to use.
Keyword White Curry Gravy, Korma, Indian Gravy, Indian Sauce, Korma Sauce, Mild Curry Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Yellow Curry Gravy

‘Ome
Yellow curry gravy is the next ‘flavour’ step up from White Curry Gravy. It can still be used for Kormas and mild and medium dishes but has a little more spice and flavour.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 Indian bay leaves (Tej Patta)
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 3 green finger chillies chopped
  • 70 g cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or 0.5 tsp of normal chilli and 0.5 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons plain natural yoghurt
  • 1.5 litre water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom for around a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions and salt, cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring often, until beginning to turn deep brown.
  • Add the cashew nuts and fry for a couple minutes more.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Fry for a minute.
  • Add the ground spices and cook, stirring for 30 – 40 seconds
  • Stir in the tomato puree and cook gently for 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Mix in the yoghurt followed by the water
  • Stir the mixture until it comes to a simmer.
  • Cook the gravy for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Blend the gravy with a hand blender or blender (leave to cool slightly if doing the latter otherwise the steam will build up and blow the lid off!)
  • Once smooth the gravy is ready to use.
Keyword Yellow Curry Gravy, Indian Curry Sauce, Base Gravy, Mild Curry Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Madras Curry Gravy

‘Ome
This is gravy for a restaurant style Madras dish.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 medium onion sliced
  • 50 g garlic finely chopped or grated or use paste
  • 30 g ginger finely chopped or grated or use paste
  • 1 tbsp ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp chilli powder
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g water
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds (leave out if you have a nut allergy)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add the onions and fry gently, stirring, until a nice dark brown colour. This should take 30 – 40 minutes
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add the curry Masala and ground spices, fry for a further 40 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes
  • Blend the gravy using a hand blender
  • Bring back to the simmer and add all the other ingredients.
  • Cook for a further 15 minutes before adding you main ingredient or portioning and freezing.
Keyword Madras Curry Recipe, Curry Base Sauce, Spicy Curry Sayce, Restaurant Style Curry Ssuce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Tikka Masala Curry Gravy

‘Ome
This is gravy for a restaurant style Tikka Masala dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tbsp 'Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala or curry powder
  • 1 tbsp 'Ome Made Tandoori Masala
  • 1 tsp tomato puree diluted in 175ml water
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vinegar white wine or cider
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 4 green chillies chopped medium heat unless you like it spicy!
  • 2 tsp 'Ome Made Garam Masala
  • 100 ml single cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add the onions and fry gently, stirring, until a nice dark brown colour. This should take 20 – 30 minutes
  • Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds further.
  • Add the curry Masala and Tandoori Masala. Fry for a minute stirring all the time. If the spices are getting dry and sticking, add a splash of hot water.
  • Add the watered down tomato paste and reduce down to a thick paste.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, vinegar, tomato ketchup and a further 200ml of water (½ tomato tin full).
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the green pepper and chillies.
  • Simmer for 45 minutes before blending using a stick blender.
  • Bring back to the simmer and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • To use simply add chicken or lamb tikka, Tandoori prawns, paneer or vegetables of your choice for a vegetarian version.
Keyword Easy, Tikka Masala Sauce, Indian Curry Sauce, Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

2 comments

  1. Your curry gravies all look so delicious. Will definitely try out Some. Thanks for sharing. Porsche.

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