Basic curry sauce

Basic curry sauce
  • Serves icon Makes enough for 3 curries
  • Time icon Takes 5 minutes to make, 25-30 minutes to cook, plus cooling

This is a great home-made curry sauce, which can be frozen in batches and transformed into three different curries: Creamy chicken korma, lamb rogan josh, and prawn madras – ideal for entertaining or feeding the family.


  • 3 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 12 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 8cm piece fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Place the chopped onions, garlic and ginger in a food processor and blitz to make a paste.
  2. Heat a large non-stick frying pan, add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves and cinnamon stick and let them sizzle for a minute. Add the oil and, once hot, pour in the paste from the food processor and fry for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
  3. Add the ground spices, tomato purée and salt and pour in 600ml water. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.
  4. Leave to cool completely, then divide evenly between 3 containers, label and freeze for up to 3 months.
  5. Defrost each portion as you need it and use the curry base to make any of the following curries: creamy chicken korma, lamb rogan josh, and prawn madras.

delicious. tips

  1. Freezing intensifies the seasoning, so taste the curry sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste.

    Ladle the curry sauce into freezer bags, place in rigid containers and freeze until solid, then remove the containers and your sauces will be frozen into easily storable shapes.


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Read what others say...

  1. After liquidising the onions, garlic and ginger it was very wet, it was not possible to cook it until it was golden brown as there was too much liquid. After adding the other ingredient and cooking for the required time, I was left with a slop that tasted of raw onions.

  2. I love this recipe because… it’s so quick and easy to make, meaning there is always a batch in my freezer, no matter the time of year! It also get’s the thumbs up from several work colleagues and friends who have had the (mis)fortune to be fed by me.

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