The Big Boys Curry Book

Basic Curry Sauce

The lack of adequate Health and Safety regulation is a major killer in India

This is a basic sauce that is used in a great many recipes. It is derived from the style of basic sauce often found in restaurants. These sauces usually have secret recipes known only to the head chef, but they do dictate, along with the stock, the fundamental taste of the restaurant. I present here only a starting point. You should adjust it according to your own tastes. Beware of making it too hot however, either with chillies or pepper. The principle is that it can be used to make a range of dishes. If those dishes require extra heat, then it can be added, but once in, cannot be taken away. I first saw this type of sauce described in one of Pat Chapman’s books and I’ve adapted it since to my own taste and style of cooking. When you’ve finished cooking, allow it to cool, pack into 1/2 pint containers (yoghurt pots are handy for this,) and freeze. Defrost as needed.You will need a food blender, liquidiser , or a lot of elbow grease for this recipe. You will also require a large pan as this recipe will make up to 3 pints of sauce.


  • 8 tblspn Mild Curry Powder
  • 1 tblspn Paprika
  • 1 tblspn Turmeric
  • 20 cloves of garlic (50g garlic puree)
  • 2oz fresh ginger (55g ginger puree)
  • 5 onions, chopped coarsely
  • 6oz fresh coriander, chopped coarsely
  • 8oz cooked carrot
  • 8oz cooked potato
  • 2lb of tomatoes. Use plum tomatoes if you can get them.
  • 4 tblspn tomato puree
  • 8 oz ghee
  • 1 tbspn salt


  1. Boil potato and carrot together in salted water until carrot cooked. Allow veg to cool but retain cooking water.
  2. Make a curry paste by mixing the curry powder, paprika and turmeric together with enough water to form a thick runny paste. Allow to stand for 5 minutes to absorb water. It will thicken to a dropping consistency. If it is too thick, then add a little more water.
  3. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water and remove skins.
  4. Puree the garlic and ginger together. Set aside.
  5. Puree the onions and coriander together. Set aside
  6. Heat ghee in large deep pan. Add garlic and ginger and stir fry for 5 minutes.
  7. Add curry paste and stir fry gently for 5 minutes. Stir constantly and add a little water to prevent sticking.
  8. Add onions and coriander and cook, covered for 30 minutes, gently, stirring occasionally.
  9. Puree the carrot, potato and tomatoes together and add it to the pot with the tomato puree and salt after the 30 min mark and cook, covered for further 45 minutes. Maintain a thick pourable consistency, adding vegetable water as necessary.
  10. Add salt to taste, cook for 5 mins and allow to cool completely.

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