Basic Curry Sauce Recipe -
Basic Curry Sauce Recipe
  • READY IN 45 mins

Basic Curry Sauce

Recipe by  

"This is a very versatile Indian curry sauce that can be served as a main course with meats and/or vegetables or as a sauce for dipping or to spice up veggie side dishes. It's great over baked potatoes."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 4 cups Change Servings
  • PREP

    15 mins
  • COOK

    30 mins

    45 mins


  1. Heat oil and margarine in a small skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add onion and saute until very brown, 10 to 15 minutes. (Note: This is an important step; if onion is not cooked well, sauce will taste funny.)
  2. Add ginger and garlic to onion and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Process onion/ginger/garlic mixture in food processor until smooth. Do not rinse food processor.
  3. Place onion mixture in a large saucepan. Stir in the cinnamon, black pepper, coriander, cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper and cook over low heat until mixture is thick and has the consistency of a paste.
  4. Puree tomatoes, chile peppers and cilantro in food processor until smooth. Add to onion mixture and stir well over low heat, cooking off moisture from tomatoes and cilantro. Add yogurt a little bit at a time, stirring constantly to avoid curdling.
  5. Blend the whole mixture in food processor to puree it (for a very smooth sauce). Return to saucepan, add water and increase heat to high; bring sauce to a rolling boil. Cover saucepan and boil for 3 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  6. To serve with meat, cook the meat first separately, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes in the sauce before serving over rice or with bread. To serve with vegetables, steam raw veggies first 4 to 5 minutes, then simmer for 5 to 10 minutes in the sauce before serving.
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Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Jan 09, 2004

Tasty sauce. Definitely an undertaking, both in terms of time and mess, but worth it. I finished in about 90 minutes, but the majority of that was simmering time, including 30 minutes at the end. I used canned tomatoes and prepared ginger and garlic to save chopping time. The tip about cooking the onions for a LONG time is right on target; the first time I made this recipe I didn't brown them enough, and the sauce tasted like raw onions. The second time I browned the onions VERY well and was rewarded with a very mellow flavor. As for additional seasoning, while there IS a curry plant with leaves that are used in Asian cooking, "curry powder" is simply a mixture of many of the spices already used in this recipe (cumin, coriander, turmeric, etc.) I didn't add any salt to the sauce, but I served the meal with the salt shaker so everyone could salt to taste.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Jan 09, 2004

Hot and spicy. At the end of following the recipe closely, i felt it needed a bit of salt, or conversely, used as a sauce with something salty


36 Ratings

Jan 09, 2004

Shouldn't a curry recipe contain curry? It's not on the list of ingredients; maybe this is what others sense is 'missing'. I have toyed around with this recipe several times & I have always added about 1T of curry powder (as well as salt) with a very good result, it's even better the next day.

Jan 09, 2004

This sauce is excellent! It is the same recipe my boyfriend, who is Pakistani, uses. I'd recommend adding a teaspoon of salt. I left in the seeds from the chiles, and it is really spicy.

Jan 09, 2004

A good simple recipe for me to get creative with. I used to on tofu and it worked out nicely. I have to respond to the other reviews: curry is NOT a seasoning, its a combination of seasonings. Indian dishes are extremely time-consuming and difficult; this is the easiest one I have encountered. And lastly, to compare it to restaurant Indian food is absurd. No one makes burgers like McDonald’s at home. You shouldn't tell an Italian that their spaghetti taste nothing like chef Boyardee, should you? Home made food is always different, if you want cheap restaurant food, go for it.

Mar 23, 2011

Four stars overall.....5 for taste, 3 for preparation steps and amount of water. I streamlined the prep by cooking the onions, peppers and tomatoes along with the garlic and ginger first. Blended it, added back to the pan, simmered and added the rest of the spices and 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth. Also, I did add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to this to keep the tomatoes from curdling the yogurt. Add the yogurt last, stir til smooth and poured it over some chicken. Baked it in the oven and served over rice.

Sep 02, 2005

Very good recipe. Having read the reviews, I also opted to add some sugar to mine because I prefer a sweeter curry. This recipe is taking me a lot longer than the time suggested; however, I can tell that it is worth every minute. Call me a wimp but, unless the peppers lose more heat as the sauce thickens, I will never leave the seeds in. LOL. Can not wait to share this recipe with my friends. Additionally, I did not know that curry was a combination of spices. I never read the label. Thanks for sharing this recipe Amy!

Jan 09, 2004

This recipe was extremely time-consuming. The recipe states that it will only take 45 minutes to prepare, yet it took us almost 3 hours!(I don't think there is anyone on this planet capable of making this in 45 minutes). After all our hard work, we were really looking forward to our meal. Unfortunately, it was just "OK". We had to add quite a bit of salt. Next time we want curry, we'll order from our favorite Indian restaurant.


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  • Calories
  • 25 kcal
  • 1%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 2.4 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • < 1 mg
  • < 1%
  • Fat
  • 1.6 g
  • 2%
  • Fiber
  • 0.5 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 0.6 g
  • 1%
  • Sodium
  • 43 mg
  • 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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