This base curry gravy recipe gets excellent results!
This is now my ‘go to’ recipe for base curry gravy these days. It is lighter than the base curry gravies in my first two cookbooks as only a little oil is used. How much oil you use, however is completely down to you.
I don’t want you to think of this base curry gravy as the diet option though. It might be lighter but is not lacking in flavour!
Why make a base curry gravy?
At curry houses up and down the UK, base curry sauces are used so that the chefs can cook and plate their curries quickly. The base curry gravy is what gives curry house style curries their famous flavours and textures.
The base gravy is quite bland. It has to be as it is used as a base in everything from the mildest korma to the spiciest phal. It is essentially a smooth onion stock with a few other veggies and spices thrown into the mix.
So you wouldn’t eat it on its own. This base gravy is to be used to make curry house style takeaway food at home.
Once you’ve made the base curry gravy, you can whip up your favourite Indian restaurant curries in minutes.
Make this recipe your own…
This is a curry house style base sauce with, as mentioned above very little flavour. It does taste good but the magic happens when you used it to make the different curries.
That said, if you are only going to be using the base gravy for yourself and family, there is no reason why you can’t spice it up some.
Base sauces usually don’t have spicy or strong flavoured ingredients in them. Herbs like coriander (cilantro) for example as many people don’t like the strong flavour. If you do, go ahead and throw some in.
No, the base curry gravy isn’t at all spicy or it couldn’t be used in mild curries. If you like spicy curries, however go ahead and throw in some chillies. Just don’t try to make a korma for someone who doesn’t like spicy food with it.
Here are a few famous curries you can make with this base curry gravy:
- 1kg (about 7) brown onions
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 litre water
- 100g carrots, peeled and chopped
- 60g cabbage, chopped
- 50g red pepper, deseeded and diced
- 50g green pepper, deseeded and diced
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 x 5cm (2”) ginger – peeled and roughly chopped
- 200g tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 1/2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 1/2 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp ground fenugreek
- 1/2 ttbsp turmeric
- Finely slice the onions by hand or with a food processor. Heat the oil in a large stockpot. When hot add the sliced onions and stir them well until evenly coated with the hot oil. Continue to stir for about five minutes until soft and fragrant and then add all of the remaining ingredients up to the chopped tomatoes.
- Add about a litre of water, cover the pot and allow to simmer over medium heat for about an hour. The vegetables will become soft in the stock and it should also reduce by about half. add the ground spices and simmer for a futher 5 minutes.
- Using a stick blender or countertop blender, blend until very smooth. You shouldn’t see any chunks!
- If you are thinking about freezing any of the stock, this is the perfect time to do so. Freezing the thick sauce like this will save freezer space. To use in your curries, you need to stir in enough water or stock until it is the same consistency as full fat milk. So very runny! This base stock will keep in the fridge for about a week and it can be frozen for up to four months.