hotel style indian curry gravy

Indian curry gravy, hotel style. This is something new. But something old. Probably really old. And the start of something new. And wonderful. For me. And hopefully for you.

If you like big, bold curries. If you want curries with a lush sauce that makes your mouth dance. Then this might just be the thing you didn’t know you were looking for.

I didn’t know I was looking for it. Until I found out about it. Then I knew I had to have it. And I can’t believe how good it is.

Not your everyday restaurant style curry gravy

This is not how they make curries in restaurants outside India. This is how they do it in India. And it’s incredible.

Want to make curries like you get at your local takeaway? Like they do at every day Indian restaurants around the world? Then there are many, many recipes on glebekitchen. I call those restaurant style.

This is something different. My guess is this is how they do it at posh restaurants. The best of the best.

I’m just getting started with this. And I’m truly excited. Inspired even. On a mission. This needs to be a thing. My thing. Your thing.

Bowlful of Indian hotel Indian curry gravy from the front surrounded by tomatoes on the vine.

What’s old is new

I have a theory. It’s just a theory. So if you’re going to shoot me down be nice. Or don’t. I can take it. But do try to be constructive at least.

I think this is how it’s been done in India for a million years. Well, maybe not a million. But a very, very long time. It’s closer to traditional technique. But adapted for restaurant style cooking.

Indian restaurant style cooking has it’s roots in the UK. At least the style I write about. Indians came to the UK working on ships back in the day.

Apparently they weren’t fans of life on the open sea. Because once they got to the UK they decided to stay rather than face the voyage home.

They needed work. And a lot of them wound up working in restaurants. Those sailors turned cooks became the architects of what is now mainstream Indian restaurant cooking in the UK.

Mainstream has it’s roots in hotel style

Overhead view of bold Indian hotel curry gravy surrounded by tomatoes, onions, garlic and green chilies.

The sailors started with what they knew. That’s only natural. And I’m guessing what they knew was curry gravy – hotel style.

As with all things, it evolved. The thick curry gravy became a thinner version. What’s now called base gravy. They dropped the deep browning of the onions. Because it was easier. Simpler. Less work. And it worked well. Everybody loved it.

It became mainstream. Global. People worked in Indian restaurants in the UK. They migrated around the world. And they took the technique with them. Everywhere.

Except for the mothership. They stuck to their roots. Kept the faith. And somehow nobody is blogging about it. Nothing on YouTube. In English anyway.

Until now. I’m picking up the torch. Because I believe. And like any zealot, I’m hoping I can convince you.

Naga chicken tikka curry in a carbon steel Indian styled bowl from the front.

This is curry gravy for bold curries

The nice thing about UK style Indian restaurant cooking is there’s only one curry base. It’s bland by design. One size fits all.

I’m a huge proponent of that. I like to let my curries speak for themselves. One base. Many curries. Easy. Simple. Just like those cooks in the UK figured out..

And I love what you can do with those techniques. Don’t get me wrong. It’s amazing. Seriously amazing. This intro to Indian restaurant curries is a great place to start.

But if you want to take it to the next level? Want to follow me down the rabbit hole? This is how. Curry gravy built for specific curries. Genius.

Not quite bespoke. But not off the rack either. The right tool for the job. How can that not make things better?

This is the bold version. It’s for madras. Garlic chilli chicken. Jalfrezi. Ceylon. For the curries where flavours are applied with a sledge hammer.

It is not for chicken tikka masala. Or korma. Or butter chicken. It is not delicate. That’s a different curry gravy. I’ll get to that. I’m just starting with the version that goes with my favourite curries.

Spoonful of Indian hotel curry gravy showing how thick it is.

This is a game changer

This is a whole different approach. And right now I’m think I’m probably the only one talking about it. So you are probably thinking this is crazy.

And it is crazy. Crazy good. If you want to push it. If you want to take it to the next level. Then think about trying this. It’s a whole new way of making restaurant style curries.

Except that it’s about as old as the hills. Doesn’t matter though. What matters is this curry gravy makes amazing curries. I’m not saying this way is better. But I am thinking it…

Ceylon chicken curry, dal , chapatis and cutlery table scene from the front.
Indian restaurant curry gravy with a spoon sitting in it. Surrounded by tomatoes on the vine, onions, green chilies and spices. From the front.
Print Pin
4.89 from 35 votes

Indian curry gravy – hotel style

This is how they make the base gravy in fine Indian hotels.
Course stuff
Cuisine Indian
Keyword base gravy, Indian restaurant base gravy
Servings 8 cups
Calories 342kcal
Author romain | glebekitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 lbs onions chopped – use a food processor
  • 2 lbs fresh tomatoes chopped (or substitute plain canned tomatoes)
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 tej patta Indian bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick or cassia bark
  • 1/4 cup garlic ginger paste
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 green chilies seeded
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • You need a lot of chopped onions for this. Do yourself a favour and use a food processor if you have one. Peel and half the onions. Cut each half into six pieces. Fill your food processor about 2/3 full and pulse around 5-8 times. You should have diced onions. Repeat until you have chopped all the onions.
  • As long as your food processor is out use it to chop the tomatoes (if using fresh). Easy.
  • Heat the oil in a pot large enough to hold all the ingredients.
  • Add the oil and heat over medium heat.
  • Once the oil starts to shimmer add the cardamom, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon and optional Indian bay leaf.
  • Let the spices bubble for about 20 seconds and then add the onions.
  • This takes some time and attention. Cook the onions over medium heat. Stir every minute of so. You want them brown. Nice and brown. Not tan. Brown. Think French onion soup. This is going to take you around 30-40 minutes and maybe more. But you are doing it once. For 8 restaurant portions of curry. So it's under 5 minutes a curry. Totally worth it.
  • While the onions cook do the rest of your prep. Make sure the tomatoes are chopped. Cut your green chilies in half and seed them (use a spoon).
  • Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander and kashmiri chili powder in a bowl. Add about a 1/2 cup of water and stir to make a slurry. You may need to add a bit more water. Doesn't matter.
  • Once the onions are this nice creamy brown mess add the garlic ginger paste. Stir to combine and continue to cook for about two minutes.
  • Add the powdered spice slurry and the salt. Cook another 3 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, green chilies and cilantro. Simmer until the tomatoes are broken down. This takes about 10 minutes. The oil may have separated at this point. If it did, do NOT remove it. It's pure flavour.
  • Add a cup of water. Let it cool a bit. Puree the hotel style curry gravy, whole spices and all. Yes. Whole spices get pureed. Use a blender. If it's too thick to puree add a bit more water.
    Make sure you vent your blender. Steam needs to escape or you'll be off to the hospital burn unit. Not good. Safety first.
  • You should now have about 8 cups of magic curry gravy to use in all sorts of curries.

Notes

This recipe makes enough for 6-8 restaurant sized curries. Make it and freeze it in one cup portions (237ml). That way, you can pull it out whenever you feel like making dinner.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 983mg | Potassium: 592mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 1251IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 2mg

148 thoughts on “hotel style indian curry gravy”

  1. Hi Romain, about to make a batch of this lovely sounding gravy. My concern is this:` Adding chillies . When I come to use it for making another curry eg Jalfrezi, where more chillies or spices will be added, will the gravy not overpower the profile . Thanks

    Reply
    • All the recipes marked hotel style are developed to work with this gravy. It is not intended to be interchangeable with the restaurant style curry base (which go with the recipes marked restaurant style on glebekitchen). Have no fear. It works! Where it wouldn’t work is in something extremely mild like a pasanda or the day glo yellow version of korma. It is a gravy for big curries.

  2. Hi romain looking forward to trying this ,can you tell me how many tinned tomato’s I can use in place of fresh thanks ,look forward to trying your recipes 😋

    Reply
    • Two pounds. Which is 32 oz. I’m going to do my next batch with 1 800ml can of tomatoes to see how it goes. Seems a bit of a waste opening a second can for 4 oz of tomatoes…

    • Sort of. I just published a makhani gravy recipe. I will be using it, in conjunction with this hotel onion gravy to make some of the milder dishes (butter chicken, tikka masala etc).

  3. Just made a batch of this and it’s EXTRAORDINARY all on its own. The commenter above said his wife was licking the pots and I’ve just done exactly that.

    I ended up with seven cups exactly. I cooked the onions down really well and I used a 32 oz can of peeled plum tomatoes. Maybe I didn’t cook down the tomatoes enough, but I’m not complaining. The gravy tastes amazing, all seven cups of it.

    Going to try the Ceylon curry now, once I’ve made a batch of Sri Lankan curry powder.

    Reply
    • Haha. I am delighted you made something that made you like the pot! Fresh Sri Lankan curry powder will be awesome I bet.

  4. Hi.I’ve made this before and it was AMAZING but I can’t for the life of me remember if the weight of onions (3lb) was before or after peeling. Same with the ginger/garlic paste. Is the 6oz before or after peeling? Thanks!

    Reply
  5. Hi Romain,
    Livo from Oz here. I’ve been doing some Hotel style recently and something sprang to mind. On the BIR site there is a group of threads called Aussie IR lessons by a member, Masala Mark, from back in 2010. I made the 3 gravies but unfortunately there was never a full set of recipes posted. It was very good but a bit of a false start.

    There is plenty of information about making the full range of hotel gravies but virtually nothing about using them to make dishes. Are you planning to do anything with the other gravies? I just made a crazy good Shahi Chicken Korma from white gravy.

    Reply
    • Hi Livo,

      I have a red (makhani) gravy coming next week. White gravy is tough for me though as I have a cashew allergy. I’ll work on one based on different nuts so I can test.

      I will also be combining gravies in recipes.

    • A Cashew allergy is nearly as bad as an allergy to crustaceans. My son is allergic to prawn, crab and lobster. Ouch. I see you now have a Makhani gravy up. I’ll take a look and compare to my favourite.

  6. Hi Romain, I made the chicken tikka jalfrezi last week but added around 1 and 3/4 cups of the gravy as didn’t think would be enough sauce. Is that the reason it came out too rich and salty? We like a bit more sauce with it. How can I do that without diluting the flavour?

    Reply
    • I haven’t made this with almost double the gravy so I really don’t know what went wrong. The gravy is quite thick to allow for dilution from raw chicken and can be diluted with unsalted chicken stock or water to your desired consistency. I’ve thinned it quite a bit and found the flavours to be well balanced. Maybe try one cup of gravy next time and add a bit more chicken stock?

      One thing I have noticed is that bouillon cubes are quite popular in the UK (much more so than Canada). When I say chicken stock I mean liquid chicken stock. Bouillon cubes are mostly salt…

  7. 5 stars
    Hi Romain,

    You have literally transformed my curry cooking skills and methods. You’ve removed all the frivolous aspects of cooking great curries, making them quick and simple without compromising the authenticity. Your bases are nothing less than a stroke of genius. Please could you do some makhani recipes as I always fail to achieve a good base (red) to this?

    Reply
    • I’m delighted you are enjoying the recipes!

      You have amazing timing BTW. I took the pictures for the hotel makhani gravy post yesterday and I am doing a butter chicken photoshoot with it tonight. Coming soon!

  8. Thank you so much for your recipes Romain. I’ve only done 2 x ‘restaurant style’ and I’m totally hooked already! Can’t wait to try this ‘hotel style’. Gemma Uk

    Reply
  9. 4 stars
    Thanks Romain. Great website. So happy to have discovered this. Finished 1st batch of curry base and blown away by the curries I made. Just m finished 1st batch of this base and I think it will make the overall process quicker and easier. Very excited to get started on the actual curries.
    Took me over an hour to Brown the onions too, so will increase heat and use wider pan next time. Bit confused as I only got 4 cups from the recipe??

    Reply
    • Thanks. I have only had one other person ever say they got significantly less than 8 cups and it turned out they measured incorrectly. 2 lbs of tomatoes is about 4 cups alone so I’m at a bit of a loss as to how that happened. Maybe a whole lot of evaporation? If you really only have 4 cups I’d dilute it up to 8 cups.

    • 5 stars
      Hi Romain.
      Just made my 2nd batch using a wider pan and more heat. Seems I needed to be more bold with the heat…… took exactly 1 hour this time. I used canned tomatoes and got 8 cups of very tasty gravy.
      Happy happy 😁

    • Awesome. I use a 6.2 litre enamelled cast iron dutch oven (the same one that is in the restaurant curry base video) which maybe helps a little more.

      I will make a video before too long. I have a puppy distraction right now that is taking up all my free time…

      But the really awesome thing is that you’ve now made your second batch. That is music to my ears!

  10. Hi,

    I made your hotel Base along with the Bagara Baingan curry. I was extremely pleased with the result. Once question however, I made the garlic and ginger paste and the base sauce calls for 1/4 cup. I don’t use ‘cups’ as measurements so converted this to grams (rather than ml) which landed at 32grams of paste. Is this about right?

    Reply
    • Glad you enjoyed it. A cup is 237ml and I would say garlic ginger paste probably has a similar density (roughly) to water. 1/4 cup would be 59ml so 59 grams. Another way to do it is 4 tbsp to a 1/4 cup. As this isn’t baking the error bars are pretty big so I’m sure the end result wasn’t too far off.

    • Hi Richard, if you are UK, do you have any cup-and-saucer type cups? That’s the size. It’s 8 fl oz. You could pick one up in a charity shop. I have an old one that I keep in the rice cupboard for measuring. Easy enough to measure 1/4 cup too.

  11. 5 stars
    Brilliant result with this gravy today. Didn’t bother with the food processor as it was only six large onions. They browned beautifully in about the suggested 40 minutes – lots of fond formed through the process requiring the very regular advised stirring to avoid any burning. Gorgeous, thick, and incredibly flavoursome result. I’ve used 1/4 of it tonight with fantastic results, and so have 3/4 left and now in the freezer – which I reckon is better than having money in the bank. Don’t reckon it’ll last long though – I have about as much self discipline as a first-time quilting smoker at the end of day one.

    Reply
  12. Hi Romain

    If you are going to puree the whole spices at the end of cooking, would it be possible to dry fry them whole, then grind and add them at the start. It would avoid the risk of getting gritty pieces in the gravy?

    Reply
    • I have never tried that. I would think that would be exactly the same as added powdered spices up front. A spice grinder will result in considerably finer grind so I think the flavour profile would change as well – but as I said I have not tried it. I have a well used 30 year old blender who’s blades have never been sharpened and have no problem with grit.

      There are over 100 comments on this recipe. Lots of chat on Facebook. Nobody is complaining about grit. I think you will be OK!

  13. May I ask why the restaurant style recipes and the hotel recipes are not interchangeable?

    The reason I ask is because the restuarant style Jalfrezi and hotel Jalfrezi recipes are identical, except for the omission of tomato paste in the hotel recipe.

    Can it not be used with other restaurant style recipes and simply omit the tomato paste due to the tomatoes in the hotel gravy?

    I understand that some recipes will not be interchangeable, but surely several them of them can be.

    For example, is it not possible to make a tikka masala using the hotel gravy?

    Reply
    • You are right – tomato adjustments and underlying spice levels are quite similar generally for the big curries so the ingredient list is the not going to vary a lot between a restaurant jalfrezi and a hotel jalfrezi.

      The techniques involved are the key difference. Fry the base vs not fry the gravy. Quantity of gravy called for. Cooking the chicken in the dish directly etc. The hotel gravy has the Maillard flavours built in. You have to fry the restaurant curry base to get that.

      For milder curries you could use the hotel gravy if like big, bold tastes like I do. A tikka masala , for example, might or might not work for you. Depends if you are into mild and nuanced or sledgehammer flavours.

  14. hello again,
    never mind i found the salt in the recipe …i must be blind ….just finished and its truly magic gravy…thank you…do you have any possible recipes for shrimp?

    Reply
    • I don’t have any explicitly shrimp recipes although I keep meaning to get around to it.

      In the meantime I think the hotel style achari, hariyali and maybe the chettinad curries would work nicely. Just slip them in for the last few minutes and simmer until they are barely done. They will keep cooking while you serve. Nothing sadder than overdone shrimp…

  15. Hello,
    first time making the gravy…just wondering…where does the salt go…in with the onion to start the caramelizing process? or where? just add it in with the slurry?
    thanks
    Cheryl

    Reply
  16. 5 stars
    Hi Romain
    Used this with restaurant style Jalfrezi, absolutely stunning, the wife and I agreed best curry we have ever had.
    Thank you for your amazing recipes.
    Just made my third batch!!
    Dave

    Reply
  17. 5 stars
    Thanks for this – I just made a batch this morning. Photos in the Secret Curry Club on FB. It tastes amazing.

    I would say, as others have done that it took quite a bit longer to caremalise the onions. For me it was about 1hr 25m. I do wonder if your idea of “medium” heat is not that same as others? On my induction hob which goes from 1-9 (plus a special boost option), I would normally think 5-6 would be medium. I started on 6 but after about 45 minutes I turned it up to 7 and that seemed to get things moving a bit faster.

    Anyway – am now looking forward to deciding what curry to make with it 🙂

    Reply
    • I am hearing that people are taking a long time to brown the onions. There are a few possible reasons that I can think of.

      The level the stove is at. I do have a pretty high power cooktop so maybe my medium is your medium high but I think that’s the least likely reason.

      The size of onion chop. I checked your pictures (thank’s for posting them) and your chop is coarser than mine.

      The diameter of the pot. I am using a 6.3l Le Creuset dutch oven which is about 30 cm across. Bigger pot, more contact surface area and therefore less time.

      And in your case, having seen the pictures, I think you took your onions to a deeper brown than I do. That will be an even more intense tasting hotel gravy.

      Still, onions are what they are and this is one of those things that takes as long as it takes.

  18. Hi Romain,

    In The UK here and been using your curry base for a number of months. Today I made up my first hotel style batch. Can’t wait to try them out tonight, with the rest in the freezer!
    Karl

    Reply
    • Awesome. I’m pretty sure you are going to love the results. Just make sure to use hotel style base gravy for the hotel recipes and the regular base for restaurant curries. They are not interchangeable.

  19. I am recovering from major heart surgery and other health issues including diabetes. I need to review my diet, I have told the health professionals that I will try my best to follow their programme as long as it included Asian food. Do you have a programme that would suit a more healthy lifestyle? I have said to them if curry has to be ruled out I might as well not bother and just take what comes along, I can’t contemplate living without my favourite comfort food

    Reply
    • I’m sorry to hear that. I’m afraid I am not a health professional so I can’t really offer any advice. Indian tends to be fairly high in calories and my recipes are no exception. The dal and chana recipes tend to be a little better but low calorie/low sodium isn’t really a focus at glebekitchen.

  20. Have you tried cooking the onions with a small amount of bicarbonate of soda? The onions will undergo a Maillard reaction, brown much quicker and be more flavourful. They are a bit sweeter as well so if you use sugar you will need to cut back on that. A little less salt as the bicarbonate will make up for that as well.

    Reply
    • I haven’t tried it yet but it is on my to do list. I’ve read that this trick is both “the greatest thing ever” and conversely “imparts unpleasant flavours” so I will try it with a few onions rather than risk a whole batch of gravy.

  21. It’s only a matter of time when Indians find you here or on Youtube, just like I did. Brace yourself for the overwhelming response you’re about to get, especially on your restaurant style technique and base curry/gravy recipes. It feels like a revolution in my kitchen. Way to go Romain.

    Reply
  22. So this one is a little hard to rate on it’s own, since it’s not really a dish in it’s own right. But the ceylon chicken that it helped produce was just great.

    It took me SIGNIFICANTLY longer to fry the onions than the recipe stated, though. I was at it for over an hour before they were properly browned, despite going hard on the heat. I will try some of Kenji Lopez Alt’s techniques for faster onion browning next time.

    Reply
    • I bumped the time up a bit on the browning step but it really depends on your setup and where you have the heat set. I have experienced significant differences from batch to batch myself.

  23. So, chopped tinned tomatoes. To strain or not to strain? Do I include the juice? I ask because the fresh tomatoes that we get here in uk are not the greatest so tinned might be better. Or should I stick with fresh anyway. So many questions! Any thoughts? By the way, I think this is the best blog that I have ever come across. Bang goes the diet…!

    Reply
    • Just toss them in juice and all!

      Thank you for such a nice compliment and I’m sorry for the diet (but only a little:-).

    • Brill thanks! Just made a couple of ‘nearly restaurant style curries’ and they were amazing so can’t imagine how good hotel style will be. Just one last question (promise!) Do you even blend the cardamom pods, cinnamon bark and Tej Patta? I presume so but not sure if my blender can handle it!

    • I buy boxes of tomatoes from our local Asian supermarket they are delicious and are perfect for making this fabulous curry gravy. I usually end up eating as many as I put in the gravy. Ps I’m on my 7th batch of gravy. Who wants a diet now this gravy exists?

  24. The recipe states that it produced 8 cups of gravy. The actual dish recipes (Ceylon chicken, for example), says to use 1 cup gravy for 2 servings. That would mean 16 portions per batch of gravy, right?

    But this text says one batch of gravy serves 6-8 persons. It doesn’t add up to me. Am I reading it wrong?

    Sorry for the barrage of questions the last few days!

    Reply
    • No problem re: barrage of questions. Delighted to help.

      I can’t find anywhere that says 6-8 people. I see 8 cups in the recipe, and 6-8 curries in the notes. In any case, 1 cup is right for one recipe of the hotel style curries that each serve 2 people so you could feed up to 16 people with one batch of hotel gravy.

    • Ah, I see, I interpreted one portion of curry as being one portion for one person. That’s probably it!

  25. Also, do you think the same high amount of oil is really required in this as in the restaurant style base? I mean, as long as the onions get browned in the beginning shouldn’t that be taken care of?

    Reply
    • It’s not trivial to brown so many onions. The amount of oil really helps avoid getting in trouble. And the mouthfeel is part of the experience as well. This style cooking is just not diet food.

  26. If time is not an issue, wouldn’t it be beneficial to let the gravy simmer for as long as possible (or a least a couple of hours) in step 13?

    Reply
    • I don’t think it would make much of a difference. It’s already well cooked and the flavours are well integrated at the point you puree.

  27. Hi Romain thanks for this superb gravy recipe. I bought a new stock pot yesterday specially for it then made an occasion of the process chopping everything by hand. Then stirring, stirring, stirring to get that deep brown onion stage just right, the result is alchemy! Now will it be Lamb Madras or your Ceylon recipe tonight….decisions!
    Thank you for transforming the way I approach my Indian cooking, the compliments I receive are really down to you!

    Reply
  28. I’m new to Indian cooking but your recipes are so much better than any Indian food I’ve had in restaurants. My question is our grocery stores don’t carry some of your ingredients but I’ve driven to Austin to find almost everything but I can’t find Jwala peppers anywhere. Is there a substitute chile? I can easily get Hatch green chile, jalapeno, poblano, serrano, and shishito. The recipe for Hotel Style Indian Curry Gravy lists 4 green chilis seeded. What chile do I use for this recipe? Thank you so much for taking the time to post recipes. Your photography entices me to try so many new recipes.

    Reply
    • Haha. I’ve never looked for Indian in Austin. When I’m there I’m chasing Mexican ingredients to bring home and stuffing my face with brisket. You could seed out two jalapeños to replace the 4 jwala called for in the recipe.

      And for the record, I am super jealous that you can get hatch chilies.

  29. Hi.
    I absolutely love making your curries, there are some wonderful tasty recipes that actually work unlike a lot available out there.
    Question: in this curry gravy you say to seed the chillies, is this really necessary or does it just reduce the heat?
    Also can I leave out the cardamom as I don’t like the taste, maybe it’s from biting into whole ones, or can I substitute something?
    Keep the excellent recipes coming, you’ve been our saviour during lockdown.

    Reply
    • Chili seeds can be bitter and this is exacerbated by pureeing them. That’s why I leave them out.

      Leaving the cardamom out will change the flavour of the gravy but if you don’t like cardamom then I don’t see any harm. Different but tasty to you is better than accurate and not tasty to you I would think.

  30. 5 stars
    A game changer! For the purposes of all your recipes you please remind me what constitutes a Cup? How many millilitres?
    Adore Glebe Kitchen ?

    Reply
  31. 5 stars
    For years I have been searching for some authentic indian style recipes and like they say ” all good things come to those that wait “. I have tried several of your recipes and there isn’t one that’s disappointed me even to the stage where my husbands now saying we will never have to go to an indian restaurant again !

    Tomorrow I am making your new hotel sauce base along with a couple of the recipes. I wondered if you were able to help me out with a recipe for methi lamb?

    Reply
    • I’m delighted to hear its working out for you!

      I can put methi lamb on the list for sure. It won’t be immediate as I have a few on the go but it will come.

  32. Hi Romain
    We are great fans of your recipes and have made many of them repeatedly (I particularly like your the Pathia and the Saag dishes). I have been cooking Indian food for many years, always trying for that elusive ‘restaurant taste’ I used to use Pat Chapman’s books which were pretty good to be fair, but you have hit the nail right on the head with your ‘system’.
    I used to be friends with an indian chef, Jaz, and on his night off some of the lads and I would go around the town with him, ending up back at his restaurant after hours, where he would try to teach us how to cook. That is where I learned a lot of tips, like how to pre cook meat and even that raw king prawns are ‘butterflied’ and deep fried for a couple of minutes. As I recall, his method was much the same as yours although in addition I do remember him adding a spoonful what looked like bread dough. He said it was made by cooking down pureed onions on a very low heat for a long time. It tasted soapy.
    Anyway I digress. Your new ‘hotel style’ curry gravy is an absolute triumph. I have already tried the Ceylon Chicken and am doing the green chilli one tonight.
    Finally, I think the presentation of your recipes on this site is exceptional.
    Have you ever considered a book?

    Regards Andy

    Reply
    • Hi Andy,

      I’m very happy to hear that you are enjoying the recipes on glebekitchen and especially glad you are trying the hotel style approach. I’m really excited about this approach myself.

      Jazzer’s likely added some bunjarra (a fried onion paste) that would have added additional depth of flavour. His must have been a pretty good restaurant indeed.

      Thank you for suggesting that I would be good enough to author a cookbook as well. Glebekitchen is actually my hobby. I have a job in the real world so while the idea of a cookbook is fun I really don’t have the time it takes to commit to a project like that.

    • Hi Romain,
      Tried your above recipes and they came out great first time.
      Been cooking Indian curry’s for fifty years.
      And all the family want more of this upbeat style.
      My wife says it is the curry we would look forward to after a night out, that old flavour is so hard to find in restaurants now days.
      Well done, I was so near but so far away from that flavour.

      Bernie k.

  33. 5 stars
    Hi Been using your Recipes for the last few weeks, absolutely amazing, won’t be ordering Indian takeout again. Making the curry gravy today, looking forward to tomorrow for the garlic chilli chicken
    Keep these amazing recipes coming
    Thanks from me a my family for re- inventing curry night.

    Reply
    • You are very welcome. I am happy to hear that curry night is alive and well! I will certainly keep the recipes coming.

  34. This is delicious gravy. Going to try it with the green Chili and chicken. Used 2 cans of drained , diced tomatoes and worked well. Only ended up with 5 cups but no big deal. Only slow boat to China is browning the onions. Took a good hour and a bit. I have tried using a pressure cooker and baking sofa as per some of the Modern Cuisine techniques, but while caramelized the texture is wet and unappetizing. So, will keep on stirring! Thanks for the great posts.

    Reply
  35. 5 stars
    Having just made up my second batch of this already, I think you may have just had the ultimate compliment from my wife! Despite feeding her endless curries recently and the house now permanently smelling an Indian restaurant she has just come out to the kitchen spooning out the remains of the pot after I had decanted it into portions – like a child licking the remains of a cake mix out the bowl! The new sauce has definitely been approved!

    Reply
    • That is just absolutely awesome. I may be coming up with the ideas but you are the one making them for her so I think we can share the credit here!

      My house smells like an Indian restaurant as well at the moment – FWIW. But I’m really having fun with this so I’m not worried about it:-)

    • Just leave the Tej Patta out if you can’t find it, I had no idea you had a bit of the Irish in you, to be sure i do now, “top of the mornin to you Romain 🙂

    • Thank you Michael. I published a Ceylon chicken curry recipe that makes use of the hotel style curry gravy this morning! Many more to come.

  36. Another advantage to this way of cooking is that it will be easier to scale up recipes. The need to have high heat in order to get the Maillard reaction moving along is one the factors that makes cooking for a croud using curry base difficult – most home stove tops don’t have the burner size and output to cook more than a portions at once.

    Reply
  37. 5 stars
    Oooh, Romain! I made a batch of this loveliness last night and I have to say it’s just fantastic! It is now sitting in my freezer in batches screaming to be used. Awaiting further instruction, sir! xx

    Reply
  38. This looks fantastic, can’t wait to try some recipes with it. Anything that expands our knowledge of Indian cooking is a beautiful thing!

    Reply
  39. Do we really need this ? Surely , base gravy will cover most sins. Now getting in to the realms of BIR discussions , which I know you dislike .

    Reply
    • Base gravy is a fine thing. Think of this as master class.

      But as long as you are making dishes you are happy with, you are where you need to be!

      I always want to do better so I’m off on this mission! My goal is simply to help people make the best food they possibly can. Maybe some day you’ll join me. Or not. Doesn’t matter. What matters is you enjoy what you cook.

  40. Hi Romain, the recipe says it makes about 8 cups. I’ve ended up with about 2.8 litres which I think is about 12 cups. It seems quite thick though. How much will each curry recipe use?

    Reply
    • The only thing I can think of is I browned the onions longer than you did? Doesn’t seem likely as I know you can cook so I’m really at a loss.

      Each restaurant sized portion will require one cup so 8 curries per batch.

    • Solved! My apologies, the problem was that the graduation marks on the inside of my cooking pot are so wildly out as to be laughable. On decanting the curry sauce into my usual tubs, hey presto! There was almost exactly 8 cups worth.

  41. This approach is inspired. Your communication and passion for the subject, as well as the obvious quality of the recipes, deserves a wider audience.
    Jalfrezi recipe with this base please!! Or (please God) a Jhaaldaar…..

    Reply
  42. Thank you, Romain!
    This recipe looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it. Your recipes are the best and have really lifted my curry making game. Looking forward very much for recipes to use with this (you’re such a tease!). Again, many thanks.

    Reply
    • Don’t mean to be a tease although I have to say it’s kind of fun:-) I will publish some recipes as quickly as I can. I was working on the first one tonight as a matter of fact!

    • Hi Romain,
      Would you use this curry gravy with any of the vindaloo recipes, or stick with the curry base.
      Also which vindaloo is the best as I need to impress thanks.

      P.S your recipes are fantastic, thank you

    • Thank you. Very kind of you to say!

      The hotel gravy isn’t meant to work as is with the regular restaurant style curries. I do have a hotel vindaloo coming but it will be a few weeks yet.

      If you want to stick to vindaloo then try this one with the paste. https://glebekitchen.com/chicken-vindaloo-restaurant-style/ My vindaloo got a lot better once I figured out the restaurants were using pastes.

      If you really want to impress, I’m finding the hotel style curries are taking me to a whole different level of curry.

  43. Cant wait to make this. There are more steps than your Restaurant Style curry base – does this mean the finished curry will have less steps? I love making your recipes but find my stove a mess afterwards!

    Reply
    • The beauty of this approach is the curry gravy is already full of the wonderful Maillard flavours so you don’t have to crank the heat when you add the curry base. And you don’t add it in stages. So less steps that way and way less splatter. I’d still wear old clothes but it isn’t the full on mess like regular restaurant style cooking.

    • Hi, I love your curry recipes , they go down a treat at home, I’m about to make this new curry base, just one question, do you also blend the cassia bark ? I have never used this before, having just had it delivered, it looks to be very “woody” excuse the pun lol. Thanks in advance.

    • Great to hear you are enjoying the recipes! Yes, you blend all the whole spices in. Your blender can do more than you think.

    • Hi Romain,
      Congratulations on the Hotel Style recipes. These remind me of the Glasgow Indian Takeaway Recipe Book which I wrote for Alex Wilkie in the UK several years ago. The base was pretty much a finished curry that needed little cooking but you added items to create individual flavours. It was loved by Scots and expats world wide and a complete mystery to those in England who couldn’t comprehend there were other ways to cook a restaurant curry without making a thin base. I made this today and we all loved the 4 curries I made. Cant wait for more from you, including perhaps red and white bases?

    • Great story. Glad you enjoyed my version. I’m really loving what I can do with it!

      Red gravy is next (fairly soon and along with a few makhani recipes). White gravy after that. Or a lighter flavoured yellow gravy before white. Haven’t decided that yet. I have a lot of work to do yet on this.

    • I can’t believe it. I have that book on my kindle. The curry base sauce is great and I have made it many times. I grew up and got married in Glasgow and I miss having curry restaurants at nearly every corner. I learned how to make curries when I lived there as I could not afford to eat out all the time and I think I now have about ten or twelve Indian recipe books now. I live in Ohio now and there are hardly any Indian Restaurants here and the sauce is nothing like back home. Ah, the memories.

    • 5 stars
      Alex Wilkie is another one of my favourites. I didn’t know that he had an Indian cook book out. He now mainly does Chinese cooking on his YouTube channel which is also great. By the way thanks for sharing your great recipes Romain.

    • 5 stars
      Hi, to reduce the mess I’m cooking the restaurant style curries in a large/high stainless steel cooking pot. Most of the splashes get caught on the inner walls of the pot. During the really messy steps I’m sometimes covering the pot with a splash guard.
      This works quite well.

  44. Hi Roman

    Thank you for sharing this amazing aromatic recipe
    Combination of all the spices is really aromatic.

    Reply
  45. Wonderful news, my curries are fantastic, have not served a mediocre one to my family yet, think I’m in love with you xxx.

    Reply
    • So sweet. This one will be a fun new way to cook curries I think. And it’s even easier once the curry base is done.

  46. 5 stars
    Hi Romain

    I’m going to make this tomorrow, will it freeze?

    I can’t wait to try this in your first curry.

    I’ve tried most of the curries you’ve posted using the original curry base and techniques and they are magic.

    Please hurry with the first recipe.

    Ian

    Reply
    • It will freeze. I will update the recipe to reflect this. I meant to say that – just slipped my mind. The first recipe is coming next week!

    • There are 14 done so far. Have a look at the Indian tab under Recipes. Anything labelled hotel style works with this gravy.

    • I don’t want to over-promote it but I am having great success with this. Recipes are coming just as fast as I can get them out!

  47. Hi Romain,

    Fascinating post, I can’t wait to get started on my first batch.

    Is this used interchangeably with curry base? If so, how do I use it since this makes 1 cup servings and most of your restaurant style recipes call for 2 cups of base.

    Barry

    Reply
    • Have to say I’m pretty fascinated myself. It’s not the same as regular curry base and the techniques are not the same. If you try a regular restaurant style curry recipe you will wind up with one very thick, overpowering curry.

      I had to post this first to lay the groundwork. The next post will be the first of many hotel style curry recipes. Sorry to make you wait.

    • I suspected that to be the case. I am now even more excited for future curry recipes than I usually am.

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.