Go Back
+ servings
Really Really Simple Base Sauce

Really, Really Simple Base Sauce

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


  • 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


  • 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.


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
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!