Curry Base

This recipe is meant to be used as a base for creating amazing curries.  It is not meant to be eaten as a curry, itself---although you could...I guess. 

This recipe will yield approximately 11 cups, you could add more water to increase the amount of gravy---just don't water it down too much!

The Spice Mix:
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander (seeds)
  • 1 tablespoon  fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika (this is not hot, it mostly just gives color)
  • 1 small 1" piece of cinnamon
  • 3 cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 green Cardamom pods- crushed
  • 1 large bayleaf

Mix all spices together in a bowl.  Take a smell...they should smell a little pungent, but mostly good!  The smell will change a lot once they're added to the oil/ghee.  Set your masala mix aside.


  • 10 onions- baseball sized- sliced pretty thin
  • 1 carrot - peeled and chopped (use 2 if you want!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 10 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (I used Hunts brand canned tomatoes)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp. ghee
  • salt/pepper to taste (I added a little salt, but left out pepper.  I can add this to the individual curries I make)


  • Heat oil and ghee in a large pan, over medium high heat.  Once it's nice and hot, toss in your masala mix.  Fry the spices-being careful nothing burns.  Stir around a while until everything is nice and fragrant...and no longer raw.  Add the ginger and garlic.  Stir-fry for a minute or so, just until it lets off a nice smell.  Add the onions.  Mix everything together really well so that the onions are covered with the masala.
  • While the onions cook down, slice the red bell pepper and grate the carrot.  Once the onions have gone soft and translucent (they will also shrink quite a lot), add the bell pepper and carrot.
  • Cook the vegetables until they go soft (you could also toss in about a cup of shredded cabbage, if you want).  Once the vegetables have softened properly, add the tomatoes and water to the mixture.  Stir everything together, mixing well.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about a half hour.  Once it's well cooked and all the flavors have had a little time to mingle, pull out your blender.  Working in batches (I had to do three batches), blend the mixture into a smooth, creamy looking gravy.
  • Pour all the gravy back into the pan and simmer for about 15 to 20 more minutes.  You can taste the gravy---it'll be a little bland will desperately need salt.  Fear not!  This under-seasoned gravy will go on to become many, many  great curries!
  • Once you've let everything cool for a while, pour it into containers to freeze/use.  You can keep it in your fridge for a few days, but any longer you should freeze it.  It'll keep really well, I promise!
Original Recipe and Photos can be found @