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This article is in continuation to the earlier one on – Understanding Basic Indian Spices 101

Who doesn’t love to play around with different variations of curries and yes when I say curry its an umbrella of things underneath it. Not all curries from the East/Asia is made using the same principle. This is a basic Indian curry base which keeps varying with the combinations across various Indian cuisines. (Let Op (Beware): Just because you love curry doesn’t mean you love Indian curry, a Thai or a Vietnamese curry will be very very different from each other, trust me on that!)

Recipe to make the curry base:


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Making Basic Indian Curry Base Yum
  1. In the pan add 2 tbsp of oil of your choice (I cook mainly using Sunflower Oil).
  2. Once the oil is warm enough, add cumin seeds and let them splutter for a few seconds.
  3. This is the stage when you will be adding the chopped onions and sautéing them for a good 3-4 minutes will light golden brown (cook on a medium flame).
  4. Meanwhile, using a pestle mortar or a grinder make a paste of the ginger and garlic. Add them when the onions have cooked. Sauté them in the same oil for another 5 minutes till they lose their raw odor.
  5. Add the cubed tomatoes and mix everything well. Tomatoes should start sweating in less than 5 or 6 minutes. Once they are soft and mushy, use the back of your cooking spoon, ladle to further mash them. (Using Tomato Ketchup as a substitute to this step wouldn’t be the best idea but using Tomato puree will be a great idea)
  6. Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder to this mixture. Remember to add spices always on a low to medium flame as adding them on a high flame can burn them and can give your curry a burnt taste.
  7. Mix everything well and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Finally add some salt to taste.
  8. Add this stage you can change this curry to a potato curry but adding par-boiled potato cubes or to a chicken curry but adding small cubes of chicken breast or any curry of your choice and water to make it a wet gravy.
  9. And once cooked, garnish the curry with a generous amount of fresh coriander leaves (Indians can swear by their love for coriander leaves, trust me!).
  10. This basic curry paste can be stored in an air-tight container upto a week in the fridge and upto 3 months in the freezer.
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And voila, Congratulations you are NOW an Indian Chef! Do try your own combination and let me know your experiences 😊

You can see me make this curry paste just to know the process better.


(This is Part 2 of the article originally written for Cooking With Yen and follow this space for more on spices and things to do to understand them better)

Categories: Spices & All


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