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.

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

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.

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 its 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. Not by itself anyway. 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.
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4.90 from 82 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


  • 1 cup neutral oil (e.g. canola)
  • 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


  • 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.


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.


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

228 thoughts on “hotel style indian curry gravy”

  1. Hi Romain
    You have probably been asked this many times but could the onions be cooked down a bit in a pressure cooker and then browned off to save a bit of time I have made the gravy many times now and keep thinking should I try the pressure cooker way but I don’t want to waste so many onions. What are your thoughts on this please.
    Regards Paul H. UK

    • I have not been asked this (that I remember) and I have never tried cooking onions in a pressure cooker as you describe. If you do try it please let me know so I can try it too.

  2. 5 stars
    Hi Romain, I just finished this curry gravy for our Indian dinner tonight. Already the smell in the house is worth cooking it! And you are completely right, it tastes already great by itself, difficult to stay away from it, actually. I used high quality canned tomatoes, tastes absolutely fine. Cooking the onions took about 50 minutes, and they were light brown, but it was difficult to get them deep brown without powering up the heat and burning them. So I decided that they were brown enough, and tasting also gave that sweetness that is so fantastic about long cooked onions. And the final gravy tastes absolutely delicious, a little wonder it is! We can’t wait for tonight. Thanks for this, we can only be grateful! Kind regards from The Hague, Daniel and family.

  3. 5 stars
    So I made my first batch of hotel gravy last night. It took a *long* time to get the onions sufficiently dark using an electric stove, but I think the very long browning time was actually beneficial.

    When I look at the video you did for making hotel gravy, your onions don’t end up as consistently browned as mine did. On your gas stove, I could see that you had some onion bits which were probably close to the edge of being bitter while other bits were still light tan coloured.

    There was lots of stirring needed on my part as the onions would start to stick to the bottom of the pot. A good stir each time dissolved the bits that started to stick back into the mass of the onions and the final result was perfectly sweet, rich and uniform. It probably took close to 1.5 hours for me to brown the onions until I was happy.

    The end result was amazing! When you said that this takes things to the next level, you were almost bordering on understatement, which is hardly Glebe Kitchen style. 🙂 This is an order of magnitude above the flavours which can be achieved with restaurant style and that’s great already. My investment of time in stirring frying onions was so well rewarded.

    The only thing which didn’t work quite so well was trying to break down the cassia bark which I used in any of my blending tools – it’s simply too woody to break down completely so I ended up with a few bits of cassia in the finished gravy. Next batch, I’ll use some proper Sri Lankan cinnamon stick. That’s more like fine paper rolled up than the hard, outer bark of a tree and should break down totally when I blend it. Of course, it also has virtually no coumarin, in contrast to cassia and that’s probably one of those chemicals which are best avoided.

    Thanks for the inspiration as always Romain. This really is a game changer!

    • Slow and steady wins the race. I pushed things pretty hard for that video and actually went too far in 27 minutes. Nothing was bitter though. Delighted you made the leap. It really is a game changer (less understatement this time:-).

      I use a jug blender with reasonable power so it powers right through it. I haven’t always had the fancy one in the video though. I started this series while I still had my 30 year old very retro blender and it did just fine.

  4. Hey Romaine,

    Thanks so much for all of these awesome resipes- i’ve made a few ‘restaurant’ style and now am going fully down the rabbit hole! Did my first batch of hotel gravy last noght and whilst delicious- it has quite a kick to it (i’m a big fan of spicy curries) but wanted to check that this wasnt going to overpower the dishes i go on to make. Is it supposed to be wuite spicy? Wondering if i used the right chillis? I just used the standard green ones we get in the supermarket here in the U.K

    • I think you are going to have fun in this rabbit hole and I’m delighted to hear your joining me in this one!

      I use jwala chilies aka finger hots (they are generally around jalapeño heat – maybe a little milder depending on the jalapeño). I am in Canada so I know Canadian chilies but not what you get in the UK. What they aren’t is the little Thai Birdseye chilies. Those are pretty fierce.

      If this batch is spicy I’d suggest reducing or dropping the chili powder in the dishes you make. This gravy is meant to go with specific hotel style dishes so keep that in mind as well. This is not for korma:-)

    • Delighted to hear that! I’ve been meaning to get back to hotel style and add a third gravy (in addition to this one and makhani). After that I could do a pasanda but it wouldn’t likely be mild and sweet like you may be familiar with.

  5. 5 stars

    I just made your gravy today and damn it taste so good !! I am wanting to make your garlic chili chicken and it calls for 15 Oz of gravy . I per your gravy recipe I have popped them in to one cup portions . Silly question but would I just put two portions in the curry ?

    • You are crossing restaurant and hotel style. This gravy is hotel onion gravy and is used in recipes that are called out as hotel style on the glebekitchen. The garlic chili chicken recipe is restaurant style so it uses the restaurant gravy

      It’s not straightforward to use one gravy in the other style. The hotel style is thicker and relies on the juices of chicken cooking to get it to the right consistency. If you want a garlic chili chicken maybe 1) follow the hotel style achari chicken curry but use the spice mix from the garlic chili chicken and leave out the naga?

      I’m sad you aren’t going to get to make the recipe you want but I am happy that you’ve discovered hotel gravy:-)

  6. 5 stars
    I have tried almost all your recipes and all have been excellent but the favourite of my two sons is Chicken Achari.
    I cannot buy Jwala chillies in the UK, can you suggest a suitable alternative please?

    • I am there with them. I love the flavour of Indian pickle.

      I use jalapeño or Serrano as a substitute when I don’t have jwalas handy. They aren’t quite the same (jalapeños are a thicker wall chili with what I find to be more of a grassy flavour) but they are definitely better than leaving them out.

  7. Hi Romain,
    I’ve just discovered your website and it feels like I’ve won the curry recipe lottery!
    I’m going to be attempting your hotel-style Rojan Josh, and am getting started a day early with the Indian hotel curry gravy. Just a question, I see in your videos you use white onions (or brown onions), but I’ve always made my Indian curries with red onions. Does it make a difference?

    • I don’t find it makes a huge difference once the onions are deeply browned. Red onions are much more expensive where I am so I stick to yellow (brown) onions.

  8. Hi Romain,
    so this base recipe has been around for 3 years now, I’m lazy and don’t plan ahead much so i often use your ‘Nearly Indian Restaurant’ onion paste recipe for most of your curry recipes. If I were to plan ahead and produce a big batch of base sauce for use in ALL your recipes which would you use, Almost Restaurant, Homestyle, Restaurant, or Hotel Style? Or maybe you have another I haven’t found yet?

    • Wow – it really has been almost 3 years. They aren’t super interchangeable but I’d say your best bet is hotel style. That gets you the depth of flavour of traditional with the lush restaurant sauce consistency. The makhani gravy (hotel) is good to have around for dishes that are big on tomato as well as for butter chicken.

  9. A slow cooker can be useful for making gravy in this style.

    Put in the onions with the oil, then go away and forget about them for hours. Go to bed, even.

    Next morning, add all the other stuff, go away and forget about it again for the rest of the day.

    Eventually, remember you were making gravy, come back, blend everything and there it is: your curry base, nice and dark with a rich, caramelised flavour.

  10. 5 stars
    Hi Romain,
    Just a quick message to say that I have now made two of your Hotel Style curries for the family, and they were massively impressed. In fact, my daughter said that they were as good as our local Indian restaurant, and it’s a good restaurant! So that is a massive compliment.
    As for me, I have been cooking BIR for years, and I must admit that your Hotel Style is the best-flavoured Indian Curry I have ever made, much better than my usual BIR. I won’t be using any other base gravy or recipes from now on. Well done mate; keep up the good work.

    • Ecstatic to hear that you are enjoying the recipes and have made the leap to hotel style. I will keep the recipes coming!

  11. Hi
    All of your restaurant curry’s have been amazing but when I made your hotel gravy it wasn’t very nice as I could taste all the blended whole spices in it, even tho I blitz the curry to death ha. Have I did something wrong?

  12. 3 stars
    Thank you for this curry gravy recipe and related information. The gravy is wonderful and I made palak chicken with it. I had never had palak chicken or chicken saag. But I wanted to cook a chicken curry with spinach today. So glad I found your recipes. They do seem authentic to India and what I remember from good restaurants in India, particularly in Ahmedabad. I spent 3 years in India and wondered why those curries were so special. I knew the gravy was very smooth and well-balanced, just didn’t know how they created it. Now I know and forever in your debt. I look forward to trying more of your recipes.
    Dwight in North Carolina, USA.

  13. Hi, I wonder if I’ve overcooked/burnt the onions as they took over an hour and I was looking for your French onion soup dark brown. Finished the gravy but it tastes bitter which makes me think I have. I wish I’d watched your video first as the colour is much less dense in that and I could probably have stopped cooking a bit earlier

    • Sounds like they burned if you are getting bitter flavours. I’m so sad to hear that and hope it doesn’t put you off trying again…

  14. Hi Romain,
    I’ve tried many of your restaurant style dishes, but didn’t want to, didn’t have time to, was too lazy, to make a big batch of restaurant style curry base, so i used your ‘almost’ restaurant style onion trick and the curries were brilliant. Recently I had a little time and realised it was actually quicker to make a batch of hotel style curry base. Just wow! and I made hotel style chicken tikka jalfrezi with it, absolutely outstanding and I have another 5 tubs in the freezer. So now the BIG question. Which is your favourite hotel style recipe? I see the ceylon is mentioned a few times and I loved the jalfrezi. I will cook them all in the end but which is next?
    Thanks for an outstanding recipe site,

    • You are very welcome! Delighted to hear you are enjoying the site.

      For me it is still the Kerala chicken curry. The Ceylon is up there too. I love them all though. Hotel style dishes always put a smile on my face.

  15. Hello Romain,
    I have been cooking Indian Restaurant style for many years and am about to try your “Hotel Style” gravy. Just a few questions if you don’t mind.

    Do you prefer using fresh tomatoes as opposed to tinned ones?
    Is there much difference in taste?
    If using fresh tomatoes, did you consider adding some “double concentrated” tomato paste?
    And lastly, what weight/volume do you recommend using tinned tomatoes?

    Thanks in advance.

    • If the fresh tomatoes are in season and tasty I prefer fresh. If not I go with canned. It does not require any tomato paste either way. I recommend 2 pounds of canned tomatoes but this isn’t baking so a 28 ounce can of tomatoes is close enough.

      Hope you enjoy hotel style as much as I do!

  16. 5 stars
    Hi Romain

    I have tried multiple of your curry recipes and my bf and I absolutely love them. It’s hard to pick a favorite. I always have a batch of restaurant or hotel style base in the freezer.
    I was wondering if you had a recipe Navratan Korma?


    • Delighted to hear you are enjoying the blog. Unfortunately I am allergic to cashews so navratan korma is tough for me…

  17. Hello Romain
    If a recipe calls for 1.5lbs of fresh tomatoes how many cans of tomatoes should I use. This gets me every time I make the hotel base curry it has always turned out great using one can or two cans but for the sake of accuracy is there a rule of thumb on this such as 1lb fresh = 1 tin of chopped tomatoes. I have made quite a few of your recipes now and they are all amazing the Sri Lankan curry powder in the Ceylon curry gives amazing depth of flavor and colour.
    Paul H
    Manchester England

    • I’d go with 1.5 lbs of canned tomatoes – juices and all. An 800ml/28 oz can would be close enough I think – depending on the recipe.

  18. 5 stars
    Absolutely delicious. I was licking the spoon after pouring it into jars. I upped the heat because I like it spicier. So, so good 😋
    Can’t wait to create yummy dishes with it.

  19. 5 stars
    I love your this recipe so much that I’ve even used it in noodles, a hybrid version of jollof rice and sourdough pizza! For the pizza, I use boneless chicken for the curry, shred the chicken to make pulled chicken curry (oh so tasty). Use the stock curry sauce (since it’s thicker) as the sauce of the par-baked pizza, add the pulled chicken, grilled peppers/veges, a few kinds of cheese (I’m no fan of mozzarella), continue baking. Garnish with caramelized onions, cilantro, pepper, lime juice. Thank you so much! ❤️

    • Afraid not. The hotel gravy and technique are not the same as restaurant style. Maybe you can give it a go when you get low on restaurant gravy?

    • I tend to put methi into the final dishes so I can decide if a recipe calls for it or not. Never tried it in the gravy so I really don’t know how it would go.

  20. One quick question is reheating the hotel base. Do you need to get it piping hot before adding it into the dish? What’s the best approach?

    • No need to warm it up. This isn’t restaurant style. You have done all the hard work before the gravy hits the pan…

  21. 5 stars
    Oh my goodness this stuff is absolutely divine!! Ya know, one of the first things i thought of when i tasted this was how delicious this would be as a pasta sauce so i was a bit surprised when i finally watched your video and heard your Indian-Italian fusion remark 😆..that being said, Ive actually used this curry mixed with a 50/50 ratio of homemade vodka sauce and serve over goat cheese ravioli. IT IS AMAZING! My next experiment will be using as a base sauce for and Indian inspired pizza! Thanks for all you do!

    • Never thought of that…

      My current favourite pizza is chicken tikka, jalapeño and red onion with a 50/50 blend of makhani hotel gravy and tomatoes passed through a food mill.

  22. 5 stars
    Romain I’ve been carmelising onions for more than half my life and it just occurred to me that there may be a quicker way if I investigated. Haven’t tried it yet, but theoretically if you add a quarter teaspoon of baking soda to two pounds of onions it can caramelise them in around 15 minutes. Apparently the texture is different (not really an issue) and it leaves a slightly sweeter taste because it doesn’t break down all the internal sugars (could be an issue). I’d say an extra push to 20 minutes it would probably solve that. Big time saver if it works though, spent nearly forty minutes on my last batch! I’ll be trying this myself in the future but I’ve got 11 hotels in the freezer so my homework will be late sir haha

    • I think I have 9 containers right now myself:-). I’ve read about this technique. I’ve also read that people can detect a specific taste from the baking soda so I’ve always been cautious (8 portions of hotel base would be a painful thing to chuck out). Be very interested to hear how it goes for you.

    • It’s not caramelising it’s the maillard reaction, a completely different process. I use it often and it gives a complex sweet flavour which you can caramelise afterwards if you want.

    • If you have concerns about choice of oil use any neutral oil you like. I would not recommend butter ghee as it is too rich and mutes the flavours.

  23. Hi Romain
    After about an hour the oil seperated from the onions but the onions did’nt turn very brown (certianly not french onion soup brown).
    Could this be lack of heat or using sunflower oil as opposed to rapeseed oil ?

    Thanks Joe

    • I doubt it has anything to do with the oil. Too gentle on the heat or too small a pot (or both) is the culprit I suspect. I shot footage for a hotel gravy video last weekend (coming fairly soon) and I went 28 minutes.

    • Nice! Can’t use it with vegetarian curries like that but if you aren’t worried about that it’s an excellent addition!

  24. 5 stars

    First time for me with the hotel gravy. Absolutely excellent! My next batch will have at least double the green finger chillies – I likes my heat.
    Thank you immenesly for sharing this and all of the other fantastic recipes on your site.

    You, Sir, are a genius!


    • You are very welcome! Thank you for the kind words.

      You can double the green chilies or you can add a bit extra to the final curry. Either way, I’m delighted to hear you are venturing into hotel style:-)

    • Hotel gravy is meant to be used with hotel style recipes on glebekitchen. Any dilution needed happens in the actual recipe.

  25. Is it possible to adapt this for a pressure cooker? Did hour Laal Maas last week – so good I almost cried. Making it for friends and again this weekend. Would love to know if I could make this hotel gravy quicker in the pressure cooker as we have little ones and time is tight, always!

    • Glad you enjoyed the laal maas. It really is an epic curry.

      I don’t see how you could adapt this to a pressure cooker. Most of the time is spent on carefully browning the onions. After the onions are brown it takes almost no time. If there’s a way to deeply brown onions in a pressure cooker without burning them then yes – and I’d love to hear how that works…

  26. Well I’ve always loved Romains recipes so eventually I had to make this. I admit it took an hour and a half to caramelise the onions but I felt that more oil would have speeded that process up. Having cooked the sauce down I proceeded to blitz it with my hand held wand but it just wasn’t cutting it so I used my ninja blitzed and it made a nice job of it. I tasted a sample, as you do, and it’s delicious! Looking forward to cooking a curry with it.

    • Welcome to hotel style. I think you will enjoy it!

      I will make a video showing how I get the onions cooked down in 30-40 minutes fairly soon.

  27. Hello romain
    Just made the first batch of hotel curry gravy, now does the gravy need to hot when used in a recipe, I only have made restaurant style up till now in which the gravy is hot.
    Regards jeff

    • Awesome! The gravy does not need to go in hot. All the work is done up front so the whole fry your curry base hard no longer applies.


  28. Hi Romain
    Another fantastic recipe, how do you do it, every one is bang on! So I made this ready for your bagara baingan curry, which I finished tonight (that is also great!). I am in a quandary now though, as before making the bagara baingan, I tasted a bid spoonful of this curry base I had made the night before – wow it tastes amazing!! So now I am thinking maybe I won’t use the rest as a base ingredient, but use it as the whole curry instead. Add some meat to it, let it rest together for a day and then eat. Lovely!!!
    Thanks as always for such a great site. It’s got me back into cooking again, for which my partner sends her thanks too!!

  29. Hi Romain,
    As I’m addicted to the amazing hotel style curries I’m planning to cook and freeze a larger batch of hotel gravy.

    Is the recipe scalable? Would doubling-up the amount of ingredients work? For sure, the cooking time would increase significantly as the pot still has the same size but a lot more water needs to evaporate before the onions start browning. Do you expect this would that change the flavour/texture?

    Many thanks, Martin

    • I’m addicted too:-).

      I think doubling would be possible with a big enough pot but I also think it would take a very long time. I haven’t tried scaling to a double batch yet so I cannot say for sure. Could you run two pots in parallel? You could easily manage that I expect.

  30. Hi Romain
    Just made a batch of this gravy. It’s very thick so my question is, do I thin it out when making the curries? And do you reduce it like you would with the restaurant base?

    • The hotel gravy is specific to the hotel recipes. You don’t thin it out until the end (or as directed on specific recipes). Its not meant to be used (fried hard) like a thin restaurant style base.

  31. Hi Am new to this everyone. Only done one curry base gravy.. It says you can use tin tomatos but what about the pips? Will it be gritty?

    • It will not be gritty assuming you have a proper blender. If you are really worried about it you could pass the tomatoes through a food mill but I don’t bother. I am very sensitive to gritty myself…

  32. 5 stars
    So, if I wantws to make a vindaloo for example, would I use your restaurant recipe and simply use this grave instead of the regular restaurant base gravy?

    • You can adapt recipes but this gravy is meant for recipes that have been developed for it specifically. There is a lot of flavour built into this style gravy. It’s not the same as the bland, near onion soup style gravy and the techniques are different when you are making the actual gravy.

      That said, you could look at the spices etc in your restaurant style recipe and adapt it to the technique but it’s not a simple one for one. Maybe try one or two of the hotel style recipes here to get a feel for the technique and go from there?

  33. 5 stars
    We did this night and it was delicious thank you – made a jalfrezi. Just some quick questions. When you say ‘brown’ and ‘french onion soup brown’ I was wondering if you could post a photo as to how brown you get your onions. We cooked ours (possibly) too slowly so it took almost 2 hours for them to start to go brown and I’m not sure if they were as brown as they needed to be as I would have let them go longer to get really really brown (controversy in the kitchen!). And if I assume that we are going for french onion soup brown do you let it catch every now and then on the bottom of the pan to speed up the process? Also the onions were pretty well collapsed by this time and very mushy – is this correct?
    Also would you be able to post a recipe for tandoori masala spice mix please as I can’t find it in the East Asian shops around here?
    Also would you mind weighing how much salt is 1tsp of salt for you as I understand you use kosher salt which has about 2/3 of the amount of salt as table salt but we are finding your recipes slightly salty for our taste and wondered if it was the measures or just our preferences. Hmmm, I guess I had more than a couple of questions! Thank you in advance! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Glad you liked it. Browning time is dependent on the pot, dice size and temperature. I can get my onions brown in 30 minutes pretty consistently. 40 minutes on the outside. I use a 6.8l Le Creuset dutch oven. I hover over my pot during the whole cooking process so I likely push the heat harder than you did. I will be making a video of this recipe eventually. And yes, your onions should be pretty mushy.

      I am going to do a tandoor masala recipe soon. The variations in the amounts of salt in the commercial masalas makes it difficult for people to get consistent results. Some are mostly salt. I avoid those.

      One teaspoon of kosher salt weighs 2.9 grams. I have a scale that goes to 1/100 of a gram so I’m confident of that number. Could be preference. I tend to cook to restaurant salt levels.

  34. 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

    • 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.

  35. 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 😋

    • 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).

  36. 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.

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

  37. 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!

  38. 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.

    • 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.

  39. 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?

    • 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…

  40. 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?

    • 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!

  41. 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

  42. 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??

    • 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!

  43. 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?

    • 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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?

    • 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!

  46. 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?

    • 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.

  47. 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?

    • 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…

  48. 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?

  49. 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!!

  50. 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 🙂

    • 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.

  51. 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!

    • 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.

  52. 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

    • 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.

  53. 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.

    • 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

    • 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.

  56. 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…!

    • 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?

  57. 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!

    • 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!

  58. 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?

    • 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.

  59. 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?

    • 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.

  60. 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!

  61. 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.

    • 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.

  62. 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.

    • 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.

  63. 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 ?

  64. 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?

    • 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.

  65. 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

    • 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.

  66. 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.

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

  67. 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.

  68. 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!

    • 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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

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

  72. 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 .

    • 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.

  73. 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?

    • 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.

  74. 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…..

  75. 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.

    • 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. 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.

  76. 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!

    • 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.

  77. Hi Roman

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

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

    • 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.

  79. 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.


    • 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!

  80. 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.


    • 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.

4.90 from 82 votes (46 ratings without comment)

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