Curry Paste Recipe
We all love a Ruby Murray, Yes its Cockney rhyming slang for a curry. Virtually every curry you have every had has started from a basic curry paste recipe.The basic curry paste starts with, onion (lots) garlic, ginger, tomatoes and turmeric. Of course there are many variations including more spices. I prefer the very basic curry paste as you can always add to flavour but never take away.
I was fortunate enough that my father owned a fruit and veg shop for a number of years. Why is this important ? well I would help him make deliveries when he fell unwell. The veg he mainly needed help with on Mondays, the start of the week was onions. You would not believe how many sacks of onions the IndIan restaurants would actual get through. It did range from 20 bags a week for the popular Indian restaurants to five bags for the smaller places. One of the most tiring places was up two flights of stairs on the outside to the kitchens. They had about ten bags a week and after just doing that one delivery my legs felt like jelly.
- 2lb Onions
- 50g of ginger
- 50g of garlic
- 2 pints of water
- 225g of tinned tomatoes, 1 tin
- 8tsp of vegetable oil
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp paprika
- sugar to taste
Peel and chop all the onions along with the garlic and ginger.
To save time occasionally I will use the frozen garlic and ginger that come in hand squares already mashed
If you are using fresh garlic ginger put them into a blender with a cup of water and blend until smooth
In a large pan add your turmeric and paprika in some of the oil and cook for 1 minute to release the spice
Now add your garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute in the oil to again release the flavour.
Now add all your onions, add more oil if needed as they all want to be coated in a little oil to help them cook and sweat down.
Ensure its a gentle heat as you don’t want to really brown the onions just make them soft and sweated,
Once the onions (20/30 mins)are cooked get a hand blender and make the onions as smooth as possible, add a cup of water if necessary
Now add the tomatoes and cook for another 20 to 30 mins. At this point I add the sugar to balance the tomatoes.
Once the tomatoes have cooked down blend again until smooth.
You can now use this base curry sauce to start a good curry sit or allow to cool and freeze
Adding the sugar to give balance ensures this basic curry sauce is mild but flavourful. This is the sauce I use for the kids all by itself. I will eventually introduce a little more spice into their curry as time goes on
The Basic Curry Paste
Every curry house I went into they would have a gigantic stock pot on the gas always. It looked a little red, very watery and of course I would ask what is in it. Many weeks passed by before I got a response in the language I could speak. Yes English, they would just talk to me in their native language as they didn’t want to share their secret recipe for curry sauce. After a few months some would tell me a little about the basic curry recipe. Some would just tell me its tomatoes and onions, others would say a bit of turmeric and some spice. So after many months of asking lots of chefs in the Indian kitchens I began to build up a picture of what exactly was in their basic curry paste recipe.
Of course they didn’t realise that I was talking to lots of Indian chefs and I could stick together the very basic curry sauce. So I started experimenting my very own basic curry sauce recipe. To be honest some of them were virtually uneatable in the early days. The kitchen smelt absolutely rank, very unappetising, today it still smells a little hmm. Its the garlic and ginger and onions that produced the smell as they cook down but the taste is something different. The flavour and the consistency after a little effort put into the basic curry paste is well worth it.
Add Spice Later
As I said you can always add spice but you can not take it away. Thats is why I make mine basic to start with. The Mrs and the kids like mild, I like a little spicier. Our friends like super spicy when they visit so it is fitting and perfect for all tastes. If you like your Ruby Murray spicy then add chillies and other strong spices to the oil to start with before adding your basic curry sauce.
The Curry Sauce
The great thing about this base curry sauce is it can be frozen into portions. I do measure it out into 2 portions bags and four persons bag which has proved to be the most convenient way of storing this. I probably have already said this a few times but with the base curry sauce you can add whatever spice you need. This base curry sauce will give you the lovely creamy consistency you always get from a takeaway curry.
The Curry Gravy
I use this for my Bombay potatoes, (I will publish the recipe) also for my Gobi Aloo. Using your own base curry sauce is the foundation of cheap dinner ideas. This was used many times in the Homemade curries dishes that I made for the weekend. Great with homemade naan bread to stock up the curry sauce.