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+ servings

Indian Style Sauce Base

A starter sauce for many different Indian dishes
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: sauce
Servings: 4 people


  • 2 large onions peeled and cut into quarters
  • 2 medium tomatoes peeled, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic paste or 2 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger mince or grated with a Microplane
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenned pepper
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil


  • In the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade, process the onion and tomato separately into fairly smooth purees.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil.
  • When the oil shimmers, fry the onion puree for about five minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree and fry for another five minutes, or until most of the moisture has cooked out.
  • Add the salt, garlic, ginger, and the rest of the spices and continue to fry until the oil begins to separate from the vegetables.
  • To use in a recipe, for each cup of paste, add about ½ cup of stock and/or coconut milk and bring to a boil.
    Toast your favorite curry powder in a dry skillet until fragrant and stir that into the sauce. Reduce the heat, add meat and/or vegetables, and simmer until everything is cooked through.


Garam Masala, or mixed spice, is available at Indian grocery stores. You can also make your own spice blend using any one of a number of recipes on the Internet.