Curry base gravy

  • Yield : Approx 5 litres
  • Prep Time : 30m
  • Cook Time : 2:00 h
  • Ready In : 2:30 h

The base gravy does take a while to make but it freezes perfectly in batches. I have scaled down the base ingredients into a manageable quantity or you can scale down further if you wish. This base allows you to create your dishes very quickly. This is how the restaurants do it, most of the restaurants also pre-cook their meat to save time, however, I always prefer to cook from fresh. It may take a little longer to the final dish but thats a sacrifice I’m prepared to make.

Remember this a base sauce not a final curry, from this sauce we will be creating the finished curry dishes.

There are three stages to making this base, I would ask one thing if you intend to make any of my curry recipes, please follow the recipe without any substitutions or deviation. All of the ingredients I use are readily available from supermarkets or online. Check out the Spices of India website, they have everything you will need.

This recipe does make quite a lot of base, you will need a stockpot that will hold approx 6 litres, but it freezes exceptionally well. I freeze mine in used plastic takeaway containers each holding 650ml which is enough to make a curry for two. The same goes for the ginger garlic paste, I make a reasonable quantity and freeze it in ice cube containers and just pop out as many as I need. The spice mix I tend to make up in small batches and store it in an airtight container.

Now set yourself an afternoon and lets get cracking.


  • 10 Tennis ball sized brown onions quartered.
  • 1 Small bunch coriander, stalks and all.
  • 2 Carrots cut into chunks.
  • 2 Tins plum tomatoes.
  • 2 Desert spoons ginger garlic paste (link to recipe above)
  • 1 Tablespoon turmeric.
  • 25g Pataks creamed coconut (see image in slider above)
  • 1/2 pint vegetable oil.
  • 5 Tablespoons spice mix (link to recipe above)
  • 2 Teaspoons salt.
  • 170g Small tin of evaporated milk.
  • water


Step 1

Stage One. In a 6 litre stockpot add the quartered onions, carrots, coriander, 1/2 a tin of plumb tomatoes, ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric.

Step 2

Add enough water to just cover the onions, place on a high heat and bring to the boil, reduce the heat to keep it on a gentle boil for about an hour or so or until the onions and carrots are very soft.

Step 3

Remove from the heat and using a stick or jug blender blend until completely smooth.

Step 4

Stage Two. In a blender add the remaining one and a half tins of tomatoes and blend.

Step 5

Place a deep saucepan on medium to high heat and add the oil, pour in the blended tomatoes and bring to boil and stir for 3 minutes then add the spice mix and keep stirring for 5 minutes, do not allow the spices to sit on the bottom or they may burn. See images in the slider above.

Step 6

Now using the tomato cans add one and a half cans of water to this and continue to boil for a few minutes stirring all the time.

Step 7

Stage Three. Add the tomato mixture to the blended onion mixture you made in stage one, stir this in well.

Step 8

Bring to a boil and add the evaporated milk, reduce the heat slightly, you will notice a froth will rise to the top so keep stirring it in until it has gone.

Step 9

Reduce the heat to very gentle simmer, stir the base fairly often as the onion will collect at the bottom of the pan, after 10-20 minutes you will see the oil begin to rise to the top (see image in the slider above) This indicates that the base is done, don't worry if not much oil rises. Allow to cool and place into your containers or freezer bags and freeze. Or you can use it straight away.

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