This article will show you how to make a delicious base gravy for your Indian restaurant curries. It can be used as a base sauce for practically any Indian curry recipes because there is only a touch of chili powder in it. Each separate recipe – whether a Madras, or a jalfrezi, or even a mild korma – is then made and the chili heat adjusted accordingly.
This is Part 3 of the series. In Part 1, we looked at what components are needed to make a tasty Indian curry. Then in Part 2, we went on to create a spice mix powder suitable both for adding flavor to the final dish, but also to incorporate into the gravy itself.
Let’s get cooking! Here’s the curry base sauce recipe I’ve been using for the past few years with delicious results.
Indian Curry Base Ingredients
- 2 large white onions
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch cube of ginger
- 1 medium sized carrot
- 1 stick of celery
- quarter of a green bell pepper
- quarter of red bell pepper
- 2 tomatoes
- handful of fresh cilantro
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (or puree)
- 25 fl oz (750 ml) water
- 2.5 fl oz (75 ml) vegetable oil
- 1 tsp Madras powder (store bought)
- 1 tbsp Mix Powder
- 0.5 tsp salt
Preparing the Curry Base Gravy
The first thing to do is roughly chop all the vegetables. and put them into a large pan. As cooking goes, this one is a piece of cake – chop, pan, oil and water, simmer. Simple as that.
Note – at this point do not add the cilantro (coriander) or the spice mixes.
After simmering the gravy for 45 minutes, add the salt, coriander, the Madras curry powder and the mix powder. Continue cooking for a further 15 minutes.
After simmering at a gentle boil for 60 minutes, all the ingredients will be soft and cooked through. The flavors will have incorporated into the stock with all the spices.
Cool and Blend the Sauce
Let the mixture cool for a while. It is NOT advisable to start blending hot cooking broths and liquids while they are still very hot, because this can cause the entire mixture to explode everywhere! Let it cool down for a while.
Then you can blend to a smooth paste using a hand blender or by taking portions and liquidizing it in a food processor.
Once you have blended it, you can portion it out into separate Tupperware or other air-tight containers. It will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 days. I normally freeze them. For storage, I use roughly half a pint, or about 1 cup of sauce to serve two people.
So that’s the Indian base gravy ready for use in any curry you like. I’ll show you a wonderful spicy chicken Madras in the final part of the series, so we can go through how to put it all together. Then periodically I’ll share some other great Indian curries which also use the mix powder and the base gravy. Until next time!