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Indian restaurant curry base is at the heart of indian restaurant curry
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4.44 from 106 votes

indian restaurant curry base

Indian restaurant curry base is the foundation for restaurant style curry. It's what makes Indian restaurant curry what it is.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 12
Calories: 70kcal


  • 8 large onions - about 2.5 lbs peeled weight
  • 6-8 cloves garlic peeled
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ginger coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 12-15 fresh cilantro stalks with leaves - roots removed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 12 cups boiling water
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes - one small can


Step 1

  • Bring the water to a boil (a kettle works well for this).
  • Quarter the onions and then break them apart into petals (roughly - two or three petals per quarter)
  • Combine all ingredients except tomatoes, bring to a gentle boil and simmer, loosely covered, for one hour. Use a big pot!
  • Add tomatoes, stir and simmer an additional 20 minutes
  • Let cool slightly. Blend to smooth consistency. Make sure you remove the centre cap from the blender lid and cover the hole with a cloth or you will be cleaning the ceiling. Alternately you can use an immersion blender.

Step 2

  • Wipe out the pot and return pureed curry base and simmer, loosely covered, until the oil separates out - this can take an hour or more. Stir the oil back into the base. At this point you can portion out the base into 2 cup portions and freeze if desired.


If you don't want to wait an hour or more during step 2, you can safely stop after 30 minutes - it's not the end of the world.
Don't worry if you get a bit of "scum" on the surface. Just mix it back in.
This recipe makes enough for 10-12 curries (restaurant size portions)
Use within a week or freeze in 2 cup portions (one curries worth)
1 cup is 237 ml.


Serving: 12g | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 360mg | Potassium: 260mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 185IU | Vitamin C: 11.9mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 1.3mg