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 a stock. The predominant ingredient is onion.

In 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 and the onions it contains, 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, UK Curry Group or The Curry Secret. A couple of friendly groups 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 several curry masalas that are perfect for homemade curries. They are available to buy at

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 curry Base Sauce

Really, Really Simple Base Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 31 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people


  • 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


  • 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.


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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