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Madras Curry Sauce

A Madras curry sauce  just like you get at the best curry houses!

In my cookbook, ‘The Curry Guy’ I featured a lamb Madras recipe to serve four. The thing is, that madras curry sauce doesn’t have to only be served with lamb.

Madras curry sauce

Madras curry sauce with chicken. You can add the main ingredient of your choice. Paneer is good!

When you go out for a curry and see the madras option on the menu, you also get to choose your main ingredient or ingredients to go into your curry. 

When you cook a madras curry sauce at home, you can do the same thing. Make the deliciously spicy madras curry sauce with the main ingredients of your choice and you will be in curry heaven!

You might like to try the madras curry sauce with tandoori chicken or paneer for example. Make this curry sauce and you can have it the way you like and it will be even better than you get when you go out. 


Pre-cooked ingredients are used in curry house style curries.

You will want to plan your meal so that you can make it just like they do at the best curry houses. For best results, add pre-cooked ingredients to your madras curry sauce such as tandoori chicken tikka, lamb tikka, jumbo prawns or paneer. 

Ingredients like jumbo prawns and paneer cook quickly so you could cook them in the sauce from raw. That said, your curry will be even better if you have it with marinated and grilled paneer or prawns. 

Meat such as beef and lamb could also be cooked from raw but they will take much longer, up to an hour, to cook in the sauce.

For flavour and time reasons, therefore, try grilling up your main ingredients and you will love the results even more. 

Curry house style curries use a base sauce.

All curry houses use a base sauce (gravy) to make their traditional British curries. The base sauce is quite bland, like a chicken or vegetable stock is bland. The magic happens when you add that base sauce to your madras curry sauce!

Do I have to prepare a base curry sauce to make a restaurant style curry?

The answer to that question is yes and no. If you want to make a madras curry sauce like you would expect from a great curry house, you need to make the base sauce. My ‘go to’ recipe is here. Use that authentic base sauce recipe and you will get a madras curry that is even better than when you go out. 

On the other hand, you could make your madras curry sauce using more authentic Indian cooking methods. The result won’t be that smooth sauce you find at quality restaurants but it will still be delicious. 

Madras curry ready to serve.

Dig in!

If you like this Madras sauce recipe, you might like to try some of these curry house favourites too…

Tikka masala sauce
Korma sauce
Pasanda sauce
Chasni sauce
Chilli garlic sauce
Ceylon sauce
Pathia sauce
Jalfrezi sauce
Keema sauce
Bhuna sauce
Methi sauce
Vindaloo sauce
Phaal sauce

Yield: 1 - 2

Madras Curry Sauce Recipe - BIR Curry House Style

Madras curry sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 2 dried Kashmiri chillies
  • 2 green cardamom pods
  • 1 1/2 tbsp garlic and ginger paste
  • 2 green bird's eye chillies
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp mixed powder
  • 70ml (1/4 cup) tomato puree
  • 300ml (1 1/4 cups) base sauce
  • 1 tbsp smooth mango chutney or lime pickle
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat your pan over medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the dried Kashmiri chillies and cardamom pods.
  2. Move these whole spices around in the oil for about 30 seconds and then add the garlic and ginger paste. Fry for a further 30 seconds.
  3. Add the green chillies followed by the cumin, coriander, turmeric, chilli powder and mixed powder and stir to combine.
  4. Spoon in the tomato puree followed bye a ladle full of the base sauce. This is the perfect time to add your main ingredient of choice. You could also just keep making the sauce to serve later with any main ingredient.
  5. Stir in the mango chutney and lime juice. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes only stirring if the sauce is obviously sticking to the pan.
  6. To finish, sprinkle the garam masala over the top, garnish with the fresh coriander (cilantro) and season with salt to taste.

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I hope you enjoy this authentic madras curry sauce recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you.

Mark Bambridge

Thursday 23rd of September 2021

Hi ,any reason why I can’t use red chilli peppers instead of green ? Thanks Mark

Dan Toombs

Friday 24th of September 2021

No, you can certainly use those if that is what you have available. Thanks Dan

Martin Haills

Monday 29th of March 2021

Hi Dan II have just discovered your great web site, and your recipes look fantastic and looking forward to making them. My question is can I make large batches of madras sauce or any of your curry sauces for that matter and freeze them into portions. Thanks

Dan Toombs

Monday 29th of March 2021

Thanks for your message, you can certainly freeze the curry sauces. Cheers Dan

Martin Haills

Friday 26th of March 2021

Hi Dan just found your web site really enjoy a good-curry, yours Look fantastic. My question is can you make a big batch of madras curry sauce and freeze it. Really looking forward to making some of you recipes thanks.

Dan Toombs

Monday 29th of March 2021

Yes, you can certainly freeze the curry sauces. Thanks Dan

Anneliese Lucido

Friday 12th of February 2021

Made the whole lot from your recipes. No words to discuss how incredibly delicious it was - possibly the best curry that I have ever eaten and I am half Indian! Everyone was raving about how good it was.

Dan Toombs

Tuesday 16th of February 2021

Thank you so much for letting me know and great to hear. Dan


Thursday 5th of November 2020

What is mixed powder?

Dan Toombs

Friday 6th of November 2020

Hi It is just a curry powder, you can buy in in Asian groceries or my recipe to make it is here Thanks Dan

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