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Easy Curry Sauce Recipe

Easy Curry Sauce Recipe. Everybody wants to recreate their favourite Indian Restaurant/takeaway or traditional Indian dish at home. How do you go about it?

The first answer you will probably get is ”You need to use a curry base sauce or gravy!”.

British Indian Restaurant Base Sauce

It’s not the wrong answer. Knowing how to make a base sauce will help you recreate some of your favourite restaurant and takeaway dishes. And so below you will find a really basic Indian Restaurant style curry base sauce.

Cooking with a base sauce, as they do in British Indian Restaurants or B.I.R as it’s known is one small part of cooking Indian food. I love it! Sometimes I want more though.

As a Chef I find it easy to adapt recipes. I can make a base sauce to suit a dish I am preparing. I personally don’t want a freezer full of a base sauce that is going to make my food taste a bit samey after a while. My base sauce does enough for 6 – 8 portions. That’s just about one meal for our family! If you are cooking for less, it can still be frozen and if you want to make more just double the quantity.

So here is my Really, Really Simple Base Sauce…

Really, Really Simple Base Sauce

‘Ome
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 31 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp of oil not a strong one so vegetable, rapeseed (not cold pressed) or sunflower oil.
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 big fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch cubed piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp mild curry Masala ('Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala is ideal!) or you could use 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • A handful of coriander stalks
  • 400 ml tin of tomatoes they get blitzed so chopped or whole

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt and gently fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes
  • Add the curry Masala or spices, along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir and mix and then pour in the water
  • Bring to the simmer and cook for 45 minutes, lid off
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and coriander stalks
  • Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a smooth sauce
  • Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be slightly thicker than full fat milk.
  • Use in a curry recipe as directed.

Notes

This is so easy to adapt. Feel free to add a small amount of peppers, carrot or any of the other usual base ingredients you find in different recipes.
I have made this sauce in less time than it says, giving it 30 minutes before adding the tomatoes and coriander and then cooking for only another 20 minutes. It was still good!
Of course you could fry your ingredients off and then add to a pressure cooker or soup maker along with all the other ingredients and it will still be just as good. Just follow the cooking times for a soup.
This base works really well in a curry when you use the method of adding diluted tomato paste to you cooked out spices. For 4 people use 2 tbsp of tomato puree diluted in 300ml of boiling water. Add this to your curry when you have fried your onion, garlic, ginger and spices and let it reduce down so you’re left with a thick paste. Then you can start adding your base sauce as normal.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, British Indian Restaurant, Curry Gravy, Indian Style, Indian Take away, Indian Takeway style curry

But There’s more!

Cooking Indian isn’t just about base sauce.

It’s about techniques too.

There are two techniques that you must understand even to make an easy curry sauce.

Caramelise Your Onions!

When using a base sauce this is achieved by cooking the sauce down at the highest heat you can so that the sauce caramelises around the edge.

However you can get this caramelisation before the liquid is added by slowly cooking the onions in plenty of oil for a little longer than you would when cooking a base sauce. The onions soften and go a deep brown colour, releasing their natural sweet flavour.

This is to do with the maillard reaction. Google it if you like but all you really need to know is that it’s a reaction that happens when cooking food which makes it taste great! Think of a steak that is cooked on a searing hot BBQ with the chargrilled flavour versus a pale grey coloured steak cooked under a moderate kitchen grill? Get it? That’s the maillard reaction.

Blooming Spices!

No, this isn’t about getting angry with spices!

‘Blooming’ is the technique of cooking the rawness out of the spices and releasing all the aromatic, flavoursome oils they contain. If you have ever had a curry that has a bit of a gritty texture, it’s probably down to the spices not being cooked out properly. The spices can also have a bitter flavour if not cooked out but then this can also happen if you burn the spices.

To bloom your spices they need to be cooked in oil, plenty of oil. To little oil and they will burn and catch. Better to use lots of oil and spoon it off at the end of cooking the dish rather than skimp on it.

However if you really want to cut down on the oil make sure you have jug of hot water handy. Just as the spices begin to stick add a splash of the water. It’s not the best method but sometimes if you have to cut down on oil for health or medical reasons, it’s the only way.

So generally speaking the start of a curry goes; heat oil in a pan, add onion (if not using a base sauce), garlic, ginger and then spices. To bloom the spices they need to cook for 40 – 60 seconds on a lowish heat, stirring so they don’t catch.

It’s Not All About That Base!

I have already written a post about Indian Hotel Gravy, just click the link if you want to read more.

Hotel Gravy has a lot more depth of flavour and because the onions have already been caramelised it means you don’t have to reduce on a high heat when added to the pan. And that means less splatter! Winner!

Here is my version and again it’s a really easy curry sauce recipe…

And there’s more!

While doing some research I discovered that in India they have a myriad of base sauces that they use depending on what dish they are cooking.

There’s two that I find really useful.

One is a White Gravy, used for mild, subtly spiced dishes .

The other is a Yellow Gravy which falls in between a white gravy and hotel gravy. A good allrounder!

There is another one, Makhani Gravy. I will be giving this one a post to itself shortly but if you’re desperate then I reccomend you look at Glebe Kitchen version (just google it!).

I have also included a recipe for a Madras Curry Sauce… Just add the main ingredient and voila! instant Madras. Or if you like things hot just dilute and use as a base sauce for other dishes!

As well as an instant Madras sauce, there’s also a Tikka Masala sauce. Again just plonk in some Chicken Tikka or whatever you want and you have an instant dish.

These two instant sauces are great if you’re entertaining and can be made a couple days in advance and refrigerated until you need them.

The recipes are below.

Keep an eye on the blog for recipes coming up where I will be using these Easy Curry Sauce recipes!

Curry On Folks!

And remember all of my curry masalas can be purchased online at www.omemade.co.uk

White Curry Gravy

A light coloured, delicate flavoured curry gravy to use when making dishes such as Korma or other subtle spiced dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 Indian bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 5 green cardamom
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 70 g cashew nuts
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 3 green finger chillies
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp corn flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 ltr Water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the bay leaf and cardamom for around a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions and on a low heat cook for around 20 minutes until beginning to turn golden brown.
  • Add the cashew nuts and fry for a couple minutes more.
  • Add the garlic, green chilli and white pepper. Fry for a minute.
  • Mix the corn flour with the yoghurt and stir in to the pan.
  • Add the salt and the sugar, stir in and then add the water.
  • Stir the mixture until it comes to a simmer.
  • Cook the gravy for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cardamom and bay leaf and blend the gravy with a hand blender or blender (leave to cool slightly if doing the latter otherwise the steam will build up and blow the lid off!)
  • Once smooth the gravy is ready to use.
Keyword White Curry Gravy, Korma, Indian Gravy, Indian Sauce, Korma Sauce, Mild Curry Sauce

Yellow Curry Gravy

Yellow curry gravy is the next ‘flavour’ step up from White Curry Gravy. It can still be used for Kormas and mild and medium dishes but has a little more spice and flavour.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 min
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 3 Indian bay leaves (Tej Patta)
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 3 green finger chillies chopped
  • 70 g cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder or 0.5 tsp of normal chilli and 0.5 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 tablespoons plain natural yoghurt
  • 1.5 litre water

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamom for around a minute.
  • Add the sliced onions and salt, cook on a low heat for around 30 minutes, stirring often, until beginning to turn deep brown.
  • Add the cashew nuts and fry for a couple minutes more.
  • Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Fry for a minute.
  • Add the ground spices and cook, stirring for 30 – 40 seconds
  • Stir in the tomato puree and cook gently for 30 seconds, stirring.
  • Mix in the yoghurt followed by the water
  • Stir the mixture until it comes to a simmer.
  • Cook the gravy for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon. Blend the gravy with a hand blender or blender (leave to cool slightly if doing the latter otherwise the steam will build up and blow the lid off!)
  • Once smooth the gravy is ready to use.
Keyword Yellow Curry Gravy, Indian Curry Sauce, Base Gravy, Mild Curry Sauce

Madras Curry Gravy

This is gravy for a restaurant style Madras dish.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 3 medium onion sliced
  • 50 g garlic finely chopped or grated or use paste
  • 30 g ginger finely chopped or grated or use paste
  • 1 tbsp ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 tsp chilli powder
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 400 g water
  • 2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi
  • 2 tbsp ground almonds (leave out if you have a nut allergy)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add the onions and fry gently, stirring, until a nice dark brown colour. This should take 30 – 40 minutes
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds
  • Add the curry Masala and ground spices, fry for a further 40 seconds
  • Add the tomatoes and water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes
  • Blend the gravy using a hand blender
  • Bring back to the simmer and add all the other ingredients.
  • Cook for a further 15 minutes before adding you main ingredient or portioning and freezing.
Keyword Madras Curry Recipe, Curry Base Sauce, Spicy Curry Sayce, Restaurant Style Curry Ssuce

Tikka Masala Curry Gravy

This is gravy for a restaurant style Tikka Masala dish.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 tbsp 'Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala or curry powder
  • 1 tbsp 'Ome Made Tandoori Masala
  • 1 tsp tomato puree diluted in 175ml water
  • 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp vinegar white wine or cider
  • 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • ½ green pepper chopped
  • 4 green chillies chopped medium heat unless you like it spicy!
  • 2 tsp 'Ome Made Garam Masala
  • 100 ml single cream
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add the onions and fry gently, stirring, until a nice dark brown colour. This should take 20 – 30 minutes
  • Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds further.
  • Add the curry Masala and Tandoori Masala. Fry for a minute stirring all the time. If the spices are getting dry and sticking, add a splash of hot water.
  • Add the watered down tomato paste and reduce down to a thick paste.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes, vinegar, tomato ketchup and a further 200ml of water (½ tomato tin full).
  • Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the green pepper and chillies.
  • Simmer for 45 minutes before blending using a stick blender.
  • Bring back to the simmer and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • To use simply add chicken or lamb tikka, Tandoori prawns, paneer or vegetables of your choice for a vegetarian version.
Keyword Easy, Tikka Masala Sauce, Indian Curry Sauce, Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe
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Hotel Indian Curry Gravy

Hotel Indian Curry Gravy, I first came across this Hotel style gravy from Romaine Saha of Glebe Kitchen.

I have never made Glebe Kitchens hotel style gravy. However reading his recipe inspired me to look in to the technique.

It wouldn’t be fair to write this post without giving Romaine some credit for starting me off on this journey.

If you have never seen the Glebe Kitchen blog you should! Click the link above to take you there.

Hotel Indian Curry Gravy

The Technique

One of the main differences between my Hotel Style Curry Gravy and other recipes is the whole spices used. Mine are not blended up with the gravy at the end of cooking. I just don’t have a blender that can cope with that. Although I have read some recipes that blend and grind the sauce and then pass it through a sieve.

The addition of tej patta leaves and cinnamon, for me, gives me a good flavoured gravy which you can easily fish out before you blitz the gravy.

To make up for the lack of whole spices used I use a little Garam Masala. I find it an acceptable substitute.

The key to this gravy though is the browning of the onions. This takes time and a little patience. You have to watch them to make sure they don’t burn. After all you want sweet, caramelised onions in your Hotel Style Curry Sauce not bitter burnt ones!

The other key ingredient, which as far as I found was in every other hotel gravy, is the green chilli. This along with the Kashmiri Chilli powder gives a little spiciness to the finished result. I like it. If you don’t like the idea, leave it out.

How To Use

So once you have made this gravy you can use it in most B.I.R style curries in place of base sauce, unless it’s a mild dish such as Korma. This gravy is just a bit to gutsy for that!

As a starting point I would suggest using it in my Lamb Madras. If you like you could replace the lamb with chicken.

To be honest though you can be use this gravy in any of your favourite chefs recipes where you would normally use a base sauce. Because the onions in your gravy are already caramelised, your sauce doesn’t have to reduced on a high heat, so you can avoid decorating your kitchen with splatters of curry sauce! That has to be a bonus surely!

Watch out for my Christmas Turkey Curry, which uses this gravy, soon!

Turkey Curry using Hotel Indian Curry Gravy



Hotel Style Curry Sauce

Similar to a base gravy, this sauce can be made in advance and added to fried ingredients to create a tasty curry. This Hotel Style Curry Sauce has a bit more depth of flavour, is thicker and caramelises the onions first so no high heat reduction is necessary.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 8 people

Ingredients
  

  • 750 g sliced onion About 4 medium onions
  • 110 ml oil Any neutral oil such as vegetable, sunflower or rapeseed (not cold pressed)
  • 4 Tej Patta leaf (also known as Indian Bay or Malabar leaf) Bay leaf can be substituted but won't give the same flavour.
  • 2 sticks cinnamon or cassia
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder substitute with 1 tsp sweet paprika and 1 tsp chilli powder if not available
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Mild Curry Masala
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1.2 litre water 3 x empty tomato tins worth!
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander stalks can be used if wished
  • 2 green chillies deseeded and chopped

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
  • Add the onions, tej patta leaves and cinnamon to the pan and fry on a medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes or until just starting to turn brown.
  • turn the heat to the lowest you can and fry for another 30 minutes, stirring quite often until the onions have turned a deep brown colour.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and gently fry for another 20 seconds
  • Add the Kashmiri Chilli and stir in. Add the turmeric and stir in again before adding the curry masala. Fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and water and bring to a simmer.
  • Add the salt and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Add the fresh coriander, chillies and Garam Masala
  • continue to cook for another 10 – 20 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and let cool a little before fishing out the cassia and tej patta leaves
  • Now blend with an immersion blender, food processor or blender. If using the latter I would recommend to let it cool slightly first as hot steam tends to blow the lid off!
  • Use in any recipe that requires a Hotel Style Curry Gravy or try using as a replacement to Base Gravy in any highly flavoured B.I.R curries that require a base sauce.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, Curry Gravy, Indian Hotel Curry Sauce, Indian Style
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Base Curry Sauce

Really Really Simple Base Curry Sauce

When it comes to Base Curry Sauce this is as simple as it gets! A few ingredients that you should be able to memorise and it can easily be made from start to finish in 1.5 hours (I’ve done it in less!).

This is my go to recipe for base sauce these days. A great recipe as you can get this put on and by the time you’ve done your prep for the main dish for instance, your base is cooked and ready to add.

This recipe makes enough for 4 – 6 portions of curry, depending on how saucy you like it. If you want to make more to freeze, for convenience, just double or even triple up.

What Is Curry Base Sauce?

Curry base sauce or gravy is basically a stock. The predominant ingredient is onion.

Indian restaurants they have a base sauce which is added to fried garlic, ginger, different spices (adapted for various dishes) and other ingredients.

High heat is used to quickly reduce the base sauce which results in a caramelisation of the sauce, which is where the flavour comes from. This allows the restaurants to produce many different dishes, very quickly. If they were cooking from scratch they wouldn’t be able to do that and we would be waiting an age for our curry!

Of course most people aren’t cooking for 100s of people a night. It’s still nice to be able to recreate that Indian restaurant or takeaway flavour though, isn’t it? And that is why many people in the UK make their own base sauce because who wouldn’t want that authentic Indian restaurant flavour? Especially if like me, you don’t go out for an Indian meal very often.

I’ve Made My Base… Now What?

This base curry sauce is ideal for any Indian recipe that requires a base sauce.

A good place to start would be some of the basic curries I have given on my British Indian Restaurant blog.

If you’re looking for inspiration have a look on the Facebook group The Curry Secret. A friendly group where you can discuss all things curry related.

There are many authors and You Tubers that specialise in British Indian Restaurant style cooking. Why not use this base for their recipes too.

What About The Spice Mixes?

I make a number of curry masalas that are perfect for homemade curries. They are available to buy at www.omemade.co.uk

Of course you could always have a go at blending spices to make your own bespoke blend.

More Recipes From ‘Ome Made

Lamb Madras

Goan Pork Vindaloo

Chicken Pathia

Chicken Jalfrezi

Mutton Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala




Really, Really Simple Base Sauce

‘Ome
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 31 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 tbsp of oil not a strong one so vegetable, rapeseed (not cold pressed) or sunflower oil.
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 big fat cloves of garlic
  • 1 inch cubed piece of fresh ginger
  • 3 tsp mild curry Masala ('Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala is ideal!) or you could use 1 tsp each of ground cumin, coriander and turmeric
  • 1.2 litres of water
  • A handful of coriander stalks
  • 400 ml tin of tomatoes they get blitzed so chopped or whole

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt and gently fry for 10 minutes or until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes
  • Add the curry Masala or spices, along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir and mix and then pour in the water
  • Bring to the simmer and cook for 45 minutes, lid off
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and coriander stalks
  • Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a smooth sauce
  • Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be slightly thicker than full fat milk.
  • Use in a curry recipe as directed.

Notes

This is so easy to adapt. Feel free to add a small amount of peppers, carrot or any of the other usual base ingredients you find in different recipes.
I have made this sauce in less time than it says, giving it 30 minutes before adding the tomatoes and coriander and then cooking for only another 20 minutes. It was still good!
Of course you could fry your ingredients off and then add to a pressure cooker or soup maker along with all the other ingredients and it will still be just as good. Just follow the cooking times for a soup.
This base works really well in a curry when you use the method of adding diluted tomato paste to you cooked out spices. For 4 people use 2 tbsp of tomato puree diluted in 300ml of boiling water. Add this to your curry when you have fried your onion, garlic, ginger and spices and let it reduce down so you’re left with a thick paste. Then you can start adding your base sauce as normal.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, British Indian Restaurant, Curry Gravy, Indian Style, Indian Take away, Indian Takeway style curry

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Mutton Curry

Rich & Spicy Mutton Curry Recipe

I do like chicken and lamb in a curry. Sometimes though you want a more traditional dish, cooked long and slow. Mutton is ideal for this. Mutton Curry is ideal if you’re looking for an Indian dish for a special occasion. We had this dish as part of an Indian meal.

Where To Get Mutton?

It’s not something you’re going to get from the supermarket!

Ask your local butcher or get some direct from the farm yourself.

If you’re in the Sheffield area you could pay a visit to Whirlow Hall Farm Shop. It’s where we got ours from but it is advisable to give them a bell first to make sure they have some in.

Be warned though. I only went in for Mutton and make a delivery but came out with mutton and a hefty piece of Sirloin steak! It was calling me!

If you are struggling to get mutton you can use lamb, just cut down on the cooking time. You could even use chicken thigh but again decrease the cooking time further.

What Cut Of Mutton For A Mutton Curry?

This is entirely up to you. I just asked for a little over a kilo of diced. I think it was shoulder. To be honest any cut will be good enough for a mutton curry. As it needs slow cooking any fat will render down and give a lovely rich sauce. If you want a really traditional Indian dish you could of course cook the mutton on the bone. This way you will get even more flavour in your gravy.

How Spicy Is Spicy?

Most of the spice in this recipe comes from Kashmiri chilli. This recipe isn’t blow your head off spicy. It’s quite easy to adjust the spiciness by either using more chilli powder or adding more fresh chillies. I added some whole fresh birds eye chillies towards the end of cooking to give it an extra kick.

If you like the look of this curry you may want to have a look at my recipe for Lamb Madras

Rich Spicy Mutton Curry

Slow cooked diced Mutton with onions, garlic and ginger in a rich tomato & yoghurt sauce, thickened with cashew nut paste.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Marinade

  • 1 kg mutton diced
  • 3 garlic cloves crushed
  • 3 tsp chopped ginger
  • 6 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder use 3tsp chilli powder and extra 3tsp sweet paprika if you can’t get hold of Kashmiri
  • 6 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp yoghurt

Curry

  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 onions pureed in a food processor
  • 6 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1 inch cube piece of ginger finely chopped or grated
  • 4 tbsp of oil or ghee
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon or cassia bark
  • 2 whole star anise
  • 12 fresh curry leaves if you have them
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 3 tsp tomato puree dissolved in 300ml of hot water
  • 140 g cashew nuts just covered with hot water and left to soak for 20 minutes and then blended
  • 1 tbsp of ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala (or other curry Masala)
  • 400 g tinned tomatoes pureed in a food processor with 3 red chillies (more if you like heat, or fewer for a milder curry)
  • 500 g natural plain or Greek yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp of Kasoori methi or fenugreek leaf
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 2 tsp of ‘Ome Made Garam Masala or any other brand
  • 1 tsp of ground all spice optional
  • 1 tbsp of sugar jaggary or a dark sugar is better
  • 2 limes juice of
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Toasted almond flakes optional

Instructions
 

  • Put the mutton to marinate overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan
  • Add the sliced onion and gently fry until brown and caramelised. Once the onion is browned remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve for later.
  • Add the curry leaves, cinnamon and star anise to the pan (careful they may splutter)
  • Add the onion puree and 1 tsp of salt. Continue to fry gently for 15 minutes
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry gently for 30 seconds
  • Add the curry Masala and fry for 20 – 30 seconds
  • Add the mutton and any marinade, stir and let seal
  • Add the watered down tomato puree, stir and let reduce back down to a thick paste.
  • Add the blended tinned tomatoes and chillies. Bring back to a simmer
  • Add the yoghurt and cashew paste, stir and again bring back to the simmer.
  • Turn the pan down and cover with a lid. Either cook on a very gentle heat on the hob (use a heat diffuser if you have one) or cook in the oven on a low temperature around 140°C. It wants to cook for around 2 ½ – 3 hours. If the sauce is looking to thick after an hour of cooking then you can thin it with a little water.
  • After 2 ½ – 3 hours you can add all the other ingredients, including the caramelised onions from earlier (keep a few almonds and coriander leaves back to garnish if you wish). Cook for another 20 – 30 minutes on the hob, lid off, before serving with pilau rice & Indian style breads.
Keyword curry, Indian, Mutton, spicy

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Vindaloo Curry

Goan Pork Vindaloo Curry

I do love a good, hot curry. However a Vindaloo curry from the local Indian Restaurant or takeaway would never be first choice as it simply is a hot curry. Heat a priority, flavour secondary.

Vindaloo Curry

Vindaloo originates from the Indian region of Goa. This region is heavily influenced by the Portuguese settlers. It also has a quite large Christian population meaning that pork, a meat rarely eaten in India, can be found on the menu.

So a traditional Vindaloo Curry is made with wine, vinegar and copious amounts of garlic. The name Vindaloo comes from the Portuguese language. ‘Vinho’ meaning wine and ‘alho’ meaning garlic. Quite a few people think that the ‘aloo’ in Vindaloo means potato. Strangely enough many British Indian Restaurants do put potato in there Vindaloo, just to confuse things further!

Vindaloo Curry Spices

Vindaloo Curry, How Hot Can You Go?

My recipe for Vindaloo is spicy but no where near as spicy as the dish you would get in a British Indian Restaurant.

If you want more heat it’s quite easy to adapt the recipe. Either add some chilli powder when you fry the masala off. Or add more fresh chillies. Birdseye chillies are great in this dish as are the thin Thai chillies which I believe are a type of cayenne. The other option is to add some chilli pickle towards the end. Naga Pickle, of course, is always going to add plenty of heat!

On the other hand you may fancy the sound of this dish but you’re not a fan of hot curries. If that’s the case then just add however much or little fresh chillies as you want.

But I Like Aloo In My Vindaloo?

If that’s the case then add some! Simply boil a few cubed potatoes so they’re not quite cooked and then throw them in your Vindaloo for the last 20-30 minutes of cooking.

If you like the look of this recipe you might want to check out the recipe for Lamb Madras

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Beef Chilli

Beef Chilli always seems to go down well with most people, we love it in our house.

It’s one of those dishes you can just throw together, I don’t think any two of my chillies I’ve cooked have been the same!

I have put this recipe together though to cover the basics and a few tips to help you with the cooking techniques.

Tomatoes

For me a Beef chilli has to be heavy on the tomatoes. Skimp on the tomatoes and your going to end up with a lacklustre dish. Don’t forget in some parts of the US a Chilli is referred to as ‘A big bowl of red’, well where do you think that red comes from?

I recommend using a hefty amount of tomato paste, a teaspoon just isn’t going to cut it here! I also add tinned tomatoes as well.

Spices & Herbs For Your Beef Chilli

Chilli has its origins in Mexico. Chilli Con Carne is really just a poor imitation of a Mexican Mole. Just because it’s an imitation though doesn’t mean it can’t be a great dish in it’s own right.

So thinking about the Mexican influence, the spices that you simply must have are chilli (obviously), ground cumin and oregano. I also add fresh coriander but that may not be to everyones taste.

A little cinnamon works nicely too but I’ve missed that out on this recipe. If you want to try it add a 1/4 teaspoon and see how you get on with that.

Sweet & Sour

A lot of dishes that are tomato based need something a little extra to bring it together. A combination of something sweet and sour works wonders.

For this recipe I’ve kept it simple and just used a little sugar and vinegar. You could replace the vinegar for a squeeze of lime.

Beef Chilli Chillies!

Obviously chillies are a major part of a chilli! You don’t have to use fresh though. If you have no fresh just increase the amount of dried your using.

Fresh chillies do add a nice zing though and of course you can play around with the varieties your using. In this one I used a combination of standard red chillies and Scotch Bonnets.

Also you could try getting a variety of dried chilli pods and grinding your own chilli powder. I particularly like a combination of Ancho, Pasilla, Mullato and chillies de Arbol.

Of course you could try adding one of my ‘Ome Made Rub-a-Dub-Rubs to the mix. I have 2 which are South American based and ideal for a chilli. They are Spirit Of The Jaguar Rub-a-Dub-Rub and Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub. You can find them here omemade.co.uk

Cooking

To get the best flavours you need to cook your chilli correctly. It’s quite easy.

First off, get those onions cooked. You want to cook all the moisture out of the onions, the salt helps drawer the moisture out. You then want to bring out the natural sweetness of the onion by slightly caramelising the onion, which is why you cook it ’till it’s starting to turn a pale brown colour.

Brown your meat. Simple, it seals it and caramelises all those lovely juices. To achieve this make sure you have a pan big enough so the meat can spread out, if it’s overcrowded it will just steam.

Evaporate any liquid before adding the tomato paste, if you do you know you’re concentrating all those flavours in the pan and everything is going to be cooked out correctly.

And that’s about it, Here’s the recipe. Enjoy and don’t forget to add your own embellishments to make it your perfect Chilli recipe!

Beef Chilli

A basic recipe for a spicy, tomato rich beef chilli.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 500 g minced beef
  • 150 g dried beans I use a mix of kidney and pinto, soaked overnight. Or you could use tinned (400g tin will be fine)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or grated
  • 1.5 tbsp oil (neutral flavoured)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 each red chillies Add more or less to taste, If you like it hot, try some fresh Scotch bonnets.
  • 1 each red pepper diced
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder or to taste
  • 1 tsp 'Ome Made Adobo Loco Rub-a-Dub-Rub (optional)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp vinegar White/red wine or cider work best
  • 1 each beef stock cube
  • 40 g tomato paste (a hefty tablespoon)
  • 400 g chopped tinned tomato
  • 400 ml water an empty tomato cans worth!
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano finely chopped (use 1 tsp dried to replace fresh)
  • 1 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped (optional)
  • 6 good turns of freshly ground black pepper

Instructions
 

  • Drain the beans and cover with fresh water plus an inch. Bring to the boil and boil for ten minutes. Once boiled turn down to a simmer and cook for a further 20 minutes then drain.
  • Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add the onion and salt. Cook gently for 10 minutes until the onion is starting to brown.
  • Add the garlic to the pan and fry for 20 seconds.
  • Add the minced beef to the pan. Stir to break up and cook until browned.
  • Add the dried spices and black pepper to the meat and continue to fry for a minute.
  • Add the fresh chillies and red pepper and stir
  • Add the sugar, vinegar and the crumbled stock cube, turn up the heat to reduce any liquid in the pan.
  • Once most of the liquid has evaporated add the tomato paste and fry for a further 20 seconds or so,
  • add the tinned tomatoes plus 1 can full of water.
  • Add the cooked and drained beans, the oregano and coriander.
  • Cook on a gentle simmer for 50 minutes to and hour, add more water if needed. Or alternatively put in a slow cooker to finish cooking, give it a t least 3 hours. Or you can put in a low oven at 100C for at least 3 hours but up to 5. Just check the liquid levels and add more water if needed.
Keyword Beef, carne, chilli, con
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Chicken Jalfrezi

Chicken Jalfrezi is a favourite curry. It’s my go to curry when I have some leftover Tandoori Chicken. In fact it’s worth making some Tandoori Chicken Just to make a Jalfrezi!

What Makes A Chicken Jalfrezi?

Jalfrezi has it’s origins in Bengal. It was a way of using leftover meat or fish that was stir fried with onions, chillies and often peppers.

The B.I.R (British Indian Restaurant) version has more of a tomato sauce but it still has the onions, peppers, chillies and sometimes tomatoes.

I also like plenty of ginger in a jalfrezi, it gives it a lovely fresh ‘zing’

I used little Thai chillies in this version that pack some serious heat. It’s entirely up to you what sort of chillies you want to use and how you present them. Some people prefer their chilli to be chopped more, which is fine.

I prefer to use normal sized salad tomatoes for a Jalfrezi, cut in to quarters or sixths. On this occasion I had run out so I threw some cherry tomatoes in, you might prefer this option though.

Base Sauce

I’ve included a recipe for base sauce for this Chicken jalfrezi. It’s a very simple one but I love it!

If you have your own tried and trusted base sauce you can use that instead of the one in the recipe. If it’s not heavy on the tomatoes though you might want to add a little extra tomato puree or some tinned chopped tomatoes.

If you don’t use all the base sauce. Just pop it in a container for the freezer for another time.

Curry Masala & Spices

I obviously use ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala & Tandoori Masala when I was making this which are available to buy at www.omemade.co.uk

B.I.R Curry Masala

You can substitute your favourite brand or your own if you have your own favourite mix.

If you are in the Derby area you might want to give The Herb And Spice Emporium a look up for your spices. Great selection, service and very reasonable prices. Check out there Facebook page here The Herb And Spice Emporium

And if you’re stuck for a Tandoori recipe follow this link British Indian Restaurant Curry

Happy cooking!

Chicken Jalfrezi

This is my go to dish when I have leftover Tandoori Chicken to use in a curry. Hot & Spicy with plenty of fresh peppers, onions and tomato.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Base Sauce 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

Curry Base Sauce

  • 4 tbsp oil (vegetable, sunflower, rapeseed)
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger chopped
  • 3 tsp mild curry masala (you could use 1 tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tsp turmeric instead)
  • 1.2 litres water
  • 1 handful coriander stalks (if you have them)
  • 1 400ml tin of tomatoes

Chicken Jalfrezi

  • 500 g Tandoori/Tikka Chicken cut in to chunks
  • 1 medium onion cut in half and then quarter each half
  • 2 whole peppers (whatever colour you have) deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic grated or finely chopped
  • 1 inch cubed fresh ginger grated or finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp oil or ghee
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder (optional)
  • 4 tsp curry masala
  • 1 tsp Tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree diluted in 300ml water
  • 1 portion base sauce mix
  • 1 tbsp Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek) leaves
  • 4 large tomatoes cut in to 4 – 6 (or around 250g of cherry tomatoes, left whole)
  • 6-8 finger type chillies cut in half and half again if large (or leave whole if small)
  • 1 handful chopped fresh coriander
  • 1 tsp salt to taste
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala If you don't have any a grind of black pepper

Instructions
 

To make the base sauce

  • Heat the oil in a large pan. Once hot add the onions and salt. Gently fry for 10 minutes until the onions are starting to soften.
  • Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Add the curry masala or spices along with a splash of water. Give a quick stir around and then add the water.
  • Bring to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  • Add the tinned tomato and coriander stalks/
  • Bring back to the simmer and cook for another 30 minutes
  • Take the pan off the heat and blitz with an immersion blender until you have a very smooth sauce.
  • Put back on a low heat ready for adding to your curry. If it looks a little thick add some water. It should be the be slightly thicker than full fat milk.

To make the curry

  • heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan or karahi.
  • Once the oil is hot add the onion and peppers. Fry until they are just blistering and colouring. remove the peppers and onions from the pan with a slotted spoon and put in a bowl.
  • turn the heat down on the pan and add the garlic and ginger. Fry for a few seconds
  • Add the Kashmiri chilli and stir through. Add the curry masala, tandoori masala and other spices. mix in and fry for 20 seconds or so. If they start to catch add a splash of the water/tomato puree.
  • Turn the heat up to medium and add the Tomato paste and water. let this simmer and reduce down almost to a paste.
  • now add a couple ladles of base sauce, stir in a and let reduce. Now add 3 ladles of base sauce and let reduce. Now you can add most of the base gravy (leave around 200ml for adjusting your finished sauce) and simmer until you have a thick sauce and see little craters appearing. Don't stir to often as the sauce reduces. You want the sauce to caramelise around the edges of the pan and then the caramelised edges can be stirred in to the sauce. That's where all the flavour is.
  • Now you can add your chicken, Kasoori Methi, garam masala, tomatoes, chillies, peppers and onions. Heat through for around 15 minutes, if the sauce is too thick add more base sauce 'till you have your preferred consistency and then add your chopped coriander. Heat gently for another 5 minutes. Taste and add extra salt to taste.
  • Serve your curry with some pilau rice and Indian bread such as naans or chapatis.
Keyword Base Curry Sauce, British, curry, Indian, Jalfrezi, Ome Made, Restaurant
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Lamb Madras

I do love a Lamb Madras. The good thing about a Madras is it can be as simple or as complicated as you like.

The basics of Madras are tomatoes, something sharp & sour such as lemon juice or tamarind and plenty of chilli heat.

As we don’t have lamb curry all that often I decided to go to town with this recipe with a deep, rich sauce.

The Lamb Madras Curry Gravy

This recipe has a curry gravy which is made separately. There is enough gravy for the Lamb Madras and I had about 250ml left which could be frozen and used in another curry at another time. If you like plenty of sauce though you may decide to use all of it.

The Lamb

For this recipe I used lamb shoulder, off the bone. You could of course use leg or neck and it’s entirely up to you if you want to leave the meat on the bone.

I didn’t pre-cook the meat in this recipe. I added the lamb to 1/2 of the gravy which had been allowed to reduce so it was nice and thick. This coated and sealed the lamb before I added the rest of the gravy and allowed the dish to cook slowly, resulting in a deep rich sauce.

The lamb would be cooked after 45 minutes but in my opinion its best left for 1.5 hours so it’s melt in the mouth tender.

The Heat

We have our Madras reasonably hot but the level of heat can be altered to suit your taste with the addition of chilli powder for more heat or less chilli powder if you want something milder.

Of course you could add fresh chillies or if you like real heat try adding some Naga Chilli Pickle!

For More Curry Recipes Click Here

Click Here To Buy ‘Ome Made Curry Masalas

For my recipe I use ‘Ome Made Curry masalas. Of course the recipe will work with your own or favourite brand of curry powder.

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Pathia

Pathia – Sweet, Hot & Sour Curry

Pathia is a wonderful Indian dish that has it’s roots in Persia. Sweet, hot and sour it hits all the right notes in out household.

Obviously you can alter the level of heat to suit your taste by using more or less Chilli powder and fresh chillies.

Pathia

Chicken & Paneer Pathia Made With ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala

For this recipe I used chicken thigh as the main ingredient with a little added paneer. If you are using chicken breast it may take a little less cooking.

You can use whatever main ingredient you like though. Prawns work really well. If you are using lamb or beef remember they will need longer cooking or try par-cooking first. If you want a vegetarian version You can use whatever you like. If using root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots try par-boiling before adding to the sauce. They will then cook quicker and take on more flavour from the sauce.

Obviously I used my own ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala for this dish. You can however use any branded curry masala or your own version.

Base Sauce

Pathia - Base Sauce

I’ve used a base sauce for this recipe but I’ve made one especially for this curry. It’s a bit heavier on the tomatoes than most base sauces.

If you want to use your own base sauce go ahead. Just add the tomato ingredients to the fried spices before adding your own base.

For more on base sauce and British Indian Restaurant style cooking follow this link.

Spicing Essence

This is what makes my version this curry a little bit different. You’re basicly making an aromatic, sweet and sour syrup,

Added towards the end of the cooking it adds a lovely sweet layer of flavour, with some subtle tones from the spices.

You can of course adapt this syrup to your own liking, using extra spices or less, depending on your taste.

By the way, try this syrup drizzled over onion bhajis for a treat, it tastes amazing!

Pathia - Spicing Essence

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Chicken Tikka Masala With Paneer & Chilli

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Paneer Tikka Chilli Masala

Chicken Tikka Masala is a favourite in the ‘Ome Made house. Only thing is, we have to have it a little hotter. Madras hot is about right for us. Paneer is also a great addition. If you’re not a fan or you’re struggling to get hold of some, it can always be left out.

Chicken Tikka Masala

Chicken Tikka & Paneer

For this recipe I use chicken breast which I coat with a basic Tandoori Marinade and bake in the oven. I also coat the paneer in the marinade as well and bake that alongside the chicken.

For this recipe I use 1kg of chicken and 400g of paneer. This will feed the six of us with a little left over for 2 more light meals. If you want less just halve the ingredients.

Paneer Tandoori

For the marinade I take 4 teaspoons of ‘Ome Made Tandoori Masala (you can use your own mix or another brand) and mix that with about 4 tablespoons of plain yoghurt. I also added about half a teaspoon of red food colouring powder, this is optional as it’s purely cosmetic.

I leave the chicken breasts whole, just scoring the tops of them slightly to help the marinade stick. I also leave the paneer whole in a block. It’s a lot easier and less fiddly to cut the paneer in to blocks and slice the chicken after they’re cooked. I also like the contrast of the red marinade on the outside against the white interior of the chicken and paneer.

The chicken and paneer want cooking in a pre-heated oven at 200℃ for around 25 minutes.

Onion Paste

Onions frying

Quite often when I’m cooking curries I will purée the onions, garlic and ginger before frying. However for this recipe I fry sliced onions with a little salt until they are starting to caramelise. I then add sliced garlic, ginger and fry some more before adding some chopped coriander stalks, some diced red pepper and sliced chilli. The mixture is then cooked to soften the peppers before being left to cool so it can be blended in a food processor.

This paste is the fried again before adding the spices and everything else.

This method gives a lovely deep and sweet, from the natural caramelisation of the onion, base to build the curry on.

Frying Mix For Chicken Tikka

Spices

For this curry I use my ‘Ome Made B.I.R Curry Masala which is a Madras style masala with a few added extras to give that authentic Indian restaurant flavour. Of course you could make up your own masala, or use one of the recipes from the many curry chefs out there such as Mistys, Dans or Als! And of course you could use any shop bought curry masala/powder.

I also use Kashmiri Chilli powder. This is mainly to give a deep rich red colour. If you haven’t got any either leave it out or use a little sweet paprika instead. Also I add some chilli powder for some heat. If you don’t want extra heat and prefer a more ‘traditional’ Tikka Masala, then leave the chilli out.

Tomatoes

For the tomatoes in this curry I use a little tomato purée and tinned tomatoes. The tinned tomatoes get blitzed in the food processor for that smooth texture that you get in an Indian restaurant or takeaway.

If you haven’t got a food processor you could get a way with cooking the onion etc and instead of pureeing them as described above you could carry on adding the spices, tomato purée and then use a stick blender to blitz the whole lot in the pan.

I think that about covers everything.

Chicken Tikka Masala

If you want to read some more about curries have a look at my other post British Indian Restaurant Curry.

So here is the recipe… enjoy!