Category: Curries
Rating: 4.09
Servings: 8


2 lb cooking onions
2 oz green ginger
2 oz garlic
2 3/4 pint water
1 teaspoon salt
1 8oz tin tomatoes
8 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon paprika

Directions: How to Cook Basic Curry Sauce

This is a recipe for a base curry sauce. It is not a dish in itself but requires adding other ingredients to it to finish a particular dish.

Stage 1 Peel and rinse the onions, ginger and garlic. Slice the onions and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.

Put the chopped ginger and garlic in a blender with about 1/2 a pint of the water and blend until smooth.

Take a large saucepan and put in the onions, blended garlic and ginger and the rest of the water.

Add the salt and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to very low ans simmer with the lid on for 40-45 minutes.


Stage 2 Once cooled, pour about half of the boiled onion mixture into a blender and blend until perfectly smooth. (at least 2 minutes). Pour the blended onion mixture into a clean pan or bowl and repeat with the other half of the boiled onions.

Wash and dry the saucepan. Reserve about 4 tablespoons of the sauce at this stage to use in cooking the meat in your chosen curry.

Stage 3 Pour the can of tomatoes into the rinsed blender and blend until perfectly smooth (about 2 minutes).

Into the clean saucepan, put the oil, tomato puree, turmeric and paprica.

Add the blended tomatoes and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.

Add the onion mixture to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer.

When froth rises skim this off.

Simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally to stop the sauce sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.

Use immediately or refrigerate for upto 4 days.

This recipe has been taken from the book 'The curry Secret' by Kris Dhillon. isbn 0-7160-0850-5 Posted to MM-Recipes Digest V4 #257 by Jack Elvis on Sep 29, 1997

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Recent comments and reviews for this recipe:

Hillico writes:

This is the best curry I have ever made.

Posted on 28 Mar 2008, 17:03 ET

st writes:

Dhillon's book is well worth picking up. You will not make authentic Indian curries following his recipes, but rather those styles of curry dishes commonly encountered in British 'Indian' curry houses. And that in itself is a _Good Thing_.

Very small paperback volume that will fit, almost, in a shirt pocket.

Posted on 02 Apr 2008, 18:56 ET

dave writes:

i agree with st,try the chicken tikka masala and the tandoori marinade

Posted on 11 May 2008, 02:55 ET

Christine writes:

Good recipe can't wait to try it, the blending of the onion mixture is maybe where I have gone wrong in past!

Posted on 27 Jun 2009, 15:48 ET

Scott writes:

This is a good sauce. I think I have improved it by blending 3 small green chillis (deseeded) at the ginger and garlic stage and adding half a tsp of ground coriander and a tsp of fenugreek at the turmuric and paprika stage.

Posted on 02 Oct 2009, 08:39 ET

Paul writes:

I bought his book and lost it somewhere but his recipie for this base mix is the real deal. the base mix when done seems thin but when it hits the hot cooking oil/ghee in the next process it amazingly thickens.

Posted on 04 Nov 2009, 11:10 ET

Paul writes:

dont forget you need to know the next stage... thats where you add the spices ie chillie cumin garam masala etc i would strongly advise kris dhillons book the curry secret it works.

Posted on 04 Nov 2009, 12:23 ET

Ruth writes:

I just made this recipe today, its very nice but needs chillis and other spices to bring it up to a nice curry. Well worth making. Am putting fish with it tonight.

Posted on 08 Dec 2009, 01:07 ET

Gazbo writes:

Everyone is referring to Kris Dhillon as he or him....Kris Dhillon is a lady lol

Posted on 25 Jan 2010, 05:50 ET

Paul writes:

I had this sauce recipe it all so has 1 tea spoon of finely ground black pepper and 1 dessert spoon of garam masala in it.

Posted on 01 Aug 2010, 11:21 ET

Mark writes:

don't forget that this is a 'base sauce'. the recipes in the book call for the base sauce plus other spices. before adding spices to the base sauce, i would advise following the recipes to get the 'authentic' British curry flavour! :)

Posted on 02 Nov 2010, 23:11 ET

Richy writes:

had the same book years ago, i found the base sauce excelent but, to make it almost exactly like a takeaway/restaurant i would add (at the turmeric/paprika stage) 1/2 tspoon ground fenugreek, 1 tbl spoon garam masala and 1 tspoon black pepper. This gives near perfect results. Also, any recipe using the base sauce that requires chilli powder i found i generally doubled the amount of chilli powder. hope this helps. enjoy!!

Posted on 11 Jan 2011, 03:04 ET

Peter writes:

Nice to find so many fellow Dhillon enthusiasts; for those who find the dishes a little oily, try heating up a bit less oil first,then lightly frying the spices in it before adding the onion mix to the pan.
Just realized I've been making this magic sauce base for twelve years!

Posted on 28 Jan 2011, 10:12 ET

Anna writes:

Love the curry secret book!
My no.1 tip is to preheat a slowcooker and when i make the garlic, ginger water to the onion i add boiling hot water- then add it to the slow cooker and cook it in my outdoor laundry room as it is STINKY!

Posted on 21 Apr 2011, 02:50 ET

Rob writes:

I would also recommend a book by Mick Crawford called British Indian Restaurant Cooking (just type in currybarkingmad into google) very authentic restaurant/takeaway recipes.

Posted on 01 Sep 2012, 08:27 ET

Steve writes:

This book which i discovered around 7 years ago is the absolute curry bible. After years of trying the mainstream books and usually being disappointed, it was a revelation. You can add your own little variations to the recipes as desired but they are very good as they are. Also surprised to find out the author was a woman.Nothing wrong with that!

Posted on 29 Nov 2012, 11:12 ET

Florence13 writes:

Have just ordered the book through Book Depository, and after reading peoples's reactions - I just cannot wait -hoping to impress Hubs!!

Posted on 16 Feb 2013, 11:00 ET

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