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Curry Base Sauce

Curry Base Sauce

curry sauce

Low calorie curry gravy

Almost every Indian curry restaurant has it’s own base curry sauce which is made in large pots and used as a base for many different curries.

Simply by adding different ingredients to the house curry sauce, Indian chefs can quickly and easily create the majority of their curry dishes from korma to jalfrezi to vindaloo.

Usually the base sauces contains lots of mouthwatering ghee which gives the sauce a rich taste that curry lovers have grown to love.


Remember this is a base curry sauce. It is quite bland like a stock!


That said, it is not necessary to use a lot of fat in your restaurant style curries to make them absolutely gorgeous!

You can use this low calorie version of my curry sauce with any of my restaurant style curries.

This curry sauce recipe makes enough for about three 4 person curries. It will keep in the fridge for about three days and also freezes well.

Here are a few curry house style recipes you can use this sauce in now!

Try my Chicken Tikka Masala recipe from my cookbook ‘The Curry Guy’
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Korma
Chicken Madras
Chicken Dhansak
Lamb Rogan Josh
Lamb Vindaloo
Chicken Chilli Garlic
Chicken Patia
Lamb Bhuna


Low Fat Recipes- A Low Calorie Restaurant Style Curry Gravy to Use as a Base for Many Different Curries

Low Fat Recipes- A Low Calorie Restaurant Style Curry Gravy to Use as a Base for Many Different Curries


  • 10 tennis ball sized cooking onions - finely sliced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger - finely sliced
  • 10 cloves of garlic - smashed in their skins
  • 3 pints water (1 1/2 litres water)
  • 400ml chopped tomatoes
  • 1 carrot - grated
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons olive or rapeseed oil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika


  1. Place the garlic and ginger with about one pint of the water in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.
  2. Place the onions, carrot, red pepper and cabbage in a large heavy bottomed saucepan and cover with the rest of the water and the garlic and ginger mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil and then turn the temperature down and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  4. Allow to cool for a few minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and then blend until very smooth in a blender. You may need to do this in batches.
  5. By very smooth I mean silky smooth. I often blend the sauce for about three minutes.
  6. Wipe the saucepan clean and add the vegetable oil. Sprinkle in the turmeric and paprika and fry over medium heat for about a minute. The turmeric will darken slightly.
  7. Pour in the sauce and bring once again to a merry simmer then reduce the heat and simmer for about twenty minutes.
  8. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to four days or freeze.

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David Artus

Saturday 6th of March 2021

Loving the lite curry book, Bhajis are a winner! Question about what portion size to freeze. Recipes seem to call for about 300 ml of base sauce. Instructions say to add water or stock to creite a runny sauce, about consistency of single cream. Is that 300 ml the amount before or after then addition of water? Do I freeze in 300 ml portions or in some lesser amount?

Dan Toombs

Sunday 7th of March 2021

300 ml called for by the recipe would be 300 ml of diluted base sauce. I would suggest freezing it in 300 ml portions. Thanks Dan


Wednesday 28th of February 2018

I have made this many times now and find that adding a half reason of ground green cardamom lifts it massively... however when basing Korma with this, it's too much... luckily I don't eat korma.

Great work mate.

Dan Toombs

Thursday 1st of March 2018

Than you Gary.



Monday 3rd of April 2017

Hi from the USA! Thanks for sharing your curry base, total life saver as I hate buying bottled sauces. Saves money and time! I felt it was a little bland so I added a serrano pepper, cilantro, and a little parsley. Other than that, your spice blend ratio is wonderful! Thanks again from a rookie cook!

Dan Toombs

Saturday 8th of April 2017

Hi Lauren

Thank you. You did the right thing by adding chillies and herbs. It is meant to be bland so that it can be used as a base for everything from the mildest chicken korma to the hottest vindaloo. Take a look at this link and you will see a few of the curries that it can be used in.

Thanks, Dan


Friday 14th of February 2014

Made your full fat version , was just perfection ! Now I want to try the low cal one.. I see many differences in the two in terms of spices. You have updates your full cersion recently. Does this one need updating too? Should I use thr same spices as used in the full version for a better curry?

Thanks a lot for your recipes..

Dan Toombs

Saturday 15th of February 2014

Hi Sumi

I think this one does need some updating. Don't know when I'll find the time. You could try it as is though or use the spices from the other. Both work but I do like the more recent version.

Thanks Dan


Monday 23rd of April 2012

I followed this recipe for Low fat curry sauce to the T. For some reason I ended up with a stock pot full of runny sauce that tasted like week gravey. I had to add lots of curry powder and chilli etc to get a curry taste and cornflour to thicken. Its ended up quite nice but I wont be making another batch. I certainly would not say it was anything like curry sauce. Cheers anyway Rog

Dan Toombs

Monday 23rd of April 2012

Hi Rog

Sorry to hear that.

Remember, this is only a base sauce. It's really an onion sauce with very little flavour just like a chicken stock. As you said, you needed to add a lot of curry powder and chilli to make it taste worth eating.

That is how it should be!

You take this base curry sauce and add it to my restaurant style curry recipes. You can then make anything from chicken korma to madras to vindaloo.



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