Indian Base Gravy, also known as Curry Base, is a versatile gravy base that may be used to quickly prepare a range of Restaurant Style Indian curries at home. It also goes by the name All-Purpose Curry Sauce. Make the basic gravy in advance, store it in the freezer, and use it as needed.
Typically, I make the majority of my Indian curries from scratch. So never thought of making curry base in advance and store. However, when I traveled to my hometown with my kid last year, I thought that making an Indian base gravy would make my husband’s cooking much easier. And, I was right! Making curries from scratch takes time, hence he used to avoid cooking but curry sauce made his job simpler and quicker.
After my trial was successful, I try to have a small batch of curry base in my refrigerator at all times. When I’m in a rush or not in the mood to cook from scratch, I can quickly make a curry instead of getting takeout.
Ingredients to prepare Indian Base Gravy
Onion: One of the main ingredient of the Indian curry masala base. Since medium-sized onions are easy to handle, I always chose them. When you have more quantities of onion, I would suggest to use vegetable chopper to chop the onions.
Ginger & Garlic Paste: Always use homemade ginger and garlic paste to get a good quality curry base. Remember store bought ginger garlic contains preservatives which might change the taste of the multipurpose curry sauce.
Tomato: I have used chopped tomatoes while making this curry base. You can also use freshly made tomato paste for the same.
Spices: I prefer easily available spice powders including turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, etc. Adjust the quantity of the chilli powder according the spice level your family’s taste bud.
Oil: You can choose any vegetable oil of your choice.
Others: Little bit of sugar or jaggery powder helps to balance the taste of the gravy. I have not added any other whole spice except bay leaf while making the curry paste. Because when you will use this base gravy to make various curries you can chose the whole spice for tadka (tempering) according to that curry.
How to make Restaurant Style Curry Base
On hectic weekdays, this Indian base gravy saves a significant amount of time, which is great for both bachelors and working parents. Follow the below steps and learn how to make this restaurant style Indian Curry Base.
Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf into it. Next add chopped onion and stir continuously until they are translucent. Now stir in the ginger and garlic paste.
Then, add the diced tomatoes and continue cooking until the raw smell is vanished. Now add all the dry spice powders, salt and sugar. Mix well.
If the spices are prone to burning at this point, add a little warm water and continue cooking until the oil separates.
Now switch off the gas and allow to cool the cooked spice mixture. After it has cooled, blend the ingredients into a uniform paste without the addition of water.
Finally, Indian Base Gravy is prepared to be kept in a refrigerator in an airtight dry container.
How to use THIS Indian Base Gravy
Once you have the all-purpose curry base, you can cook a wide range of Indian dishes and each of them turns out perfect. You can prepare vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian Indian curries using this base gravy.
You can use it to make Chicken Curry, Egg Curry, Macher jhol aka Fish Curry by adding some fried potatoes in it. Curry base is handy in making vegetarian dishes like Gobi Masala, Mushroom Masala, Bhindi Masala, Paneer or Tofu Masala Curry, Aloo Dum and many more recipes of your choice.
For example, if you have to cook Egg Curry using this paste, follow these steps:
- Heat oil in a pan and fry boiled eggs using salt and turmeric powder and keep aside.
- Now heat 1or 2 teaspoon of oil, add cumin seeds, green chilli and sauté.
- Add required amount of base gravy sauce, combine well.
- Next add required amount of water, ad just salt and allow to boil for few minutes.
- Now add the fried eggs and cover the pan with a lid. Allow to boil for few more minutes.
- Switch off the gas and add chopped coriander leaves on top. Egg curry is ready. You can also add fried potatoes or any other fried vegetables while boiling the curry.
Shelf life of All-purpose Curry Sauce
When making a large batch of curry base, let it cool completely before storing it in a dry, airtight container. Instead of keeping it in one large container, try to divide it up and store it in various containers. It can last up to 4 weeks in refrigerator.
Variations in Curry using Multipurpose Curry Sauce
Apparently, a lot of people don’t want to use Indian Base Gravy since they think all the curries will taste the same. But I am sharing few simple tips to bring variations in your curry.
If you want the gravy to have a tangy flavor, when making the curry, add some beaten yogurt into the curry base. Fresh cream and cashew paste can be added to gravies to make them sweeter and creamier if desired.
Addition of melon seed paste helps to make a thicker gravy. You can add coconut milk to bring variation in the gravy. You can also bring in variations by adding different types of dry spices such as dry mango powder, nutmeg powder, chaat masala powder, curry leaves powder, etc.
More Indian Recipes
Indian Base Gravy | Curry Base
- 6 nos Onion, medium chopped
- 1 tablespoon Garlic Paste
- 1 tablespoon Ginger Paste
- 2 nos Tomato, medium chopped
- ⅔ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ⅔ teaspoon Cumin Powder
- ½ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- ½ teaspoon Sugar
- ¼ cup Vegetable Oil as required
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf into it.
- Next add chopped onion and keep stirring until they are translucent.
- Now add ginger and garlic paste and combine well.
- After that add chopped tomatoes and cook until the raw smell is gone.
- Now add all the dry spice powders, salt and sugar. Mix well.
- At this time if spices tend to burn, add little bit of warm water and cook until the oil separates.
- Now switch off the gas and allow to cool the cooked spice mixture.
- Once it is cooled blend the mixture to a smooth paste without using any water.
- Finally, Indian Base Gravy is ready to be stored in airtight dry container in refrigerator.
- Avoid adding water while making the paste from cooked masala
- Always add generous amount of oil while cooking curry sauce. More amount of oil helps to preserve gravy for a longer time.
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