Hotel Indian Curry Gravy, I first came across this Hotel style gravy from Romain Saha of Glebe Kitchen.
I have never made Glebe Kitchens hotel style gravy. However reading his recipe inspired me to look in to the technique.
It wouldn’t be fair to write this post without giving Romain some credit for starting me off on this journey.
If you have never seen the Glebe Kitchen blog you should! Click the link above to take you there.
One of the main differences between my Hotel Style Curry Gravy and other recipes is the whole spices used. Mine are not blended up with the gravy at the end of cooking. I just don’t have a blender that can cope with that. Although I have read some recipes that blend and grind the sauce and then pass it through a sieve.
The addition of tej patta leaves and cinnamon, for me, gives me a good flavoured gravy which you can easily fish out before you blitz the gravy.
To make up for the lack of whole spices used I use a little Garam Masala. I find it an acceptable substitute.
The key to this gravy though is the browning of the onions. This takes time and a little patience. You have to watch them to make sure they don’t burn. After all you want sweet, caramelised onions in your Hotel Style Curry Sauce not bitter burnt ones!
The other key ingredient, which as far as I found was in every other hotel gravy, is the green chilli. This along with the Kashmiri Chilli powder gives a little spiciness to the finished result. I like it. If you don’t like the idea, leave it out.
Update! I now have a Hotel Gravy Curry Masala on my site. Ready ground, it can easily be fried with your onions, garlic and ginger. It now means you can blend your gravy just using a hand blender, without having to fish any spices out. Super easy!
How To Use
So once you have made this gravy you can use it in most B.I.R style curries in place of base sauce, unless it’s a mild dish such as Korma. This gravy is just a bit to gutsy for that!
As a starting point I would suggest using it in my Lamb Madras. If you like you could replace the lamb with chicken.
To be honest though you can be use this gravy in any of your favourite chefs recipes where you would normally use a base sauce. Because the onions in your gravy are already caramelised, your sauce doesn’t have to reduced on a high heat, so you can avoid decorating your kitchen with splatters of curry sauce! That has to be a bonus surely!
Watch out for my Christmas Turkey Curry, which uses this gravy, soon!
Hotel Style Curry Sauce
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.