Thursday, 28 May 2015

Takeaway style Curry Base Gravy / Mother Sauce for Indian Butter Masala

Mother Sauce / Curry Base Gravy is a basic sauce that is the starting point for making various curry or gravy. This base gravy has onion and tomatoes as basic ingredients along with Indian spices. Oven Roasted onions and tomatoes are pureed and cooked in Butter. Then cooked in yogurt and spice powders.
Make this base gravy in large portions over the weekend. Then divide them into 4 or 5 portions in zip lock bags and freeze them. On a busy week night, when you are craving for some delicious curry to serve with bread / naan, this base gravy comes in handy. Thaw one of these zip lock bags for 20 minutes and then add Chicken / Paneer / Mushroom / Cauliflower / or your favourite veggies. Add cream / coconut milk for extra creaminess. You can serve a delicious, lip smacking curry in no time.
 Here , I have used base gravy for making "Mushroom butter masala".



  • 2 Tablespoon butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Inch cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3 Cloves
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 1 large red onion chopped roughly
  • 1 inch Ginger chopped roughly
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 2 Large ripe tomatoes quartered
  • 2 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tablespoons Curd / Yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 and 1/2 Teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon Kasuri Methi / Dried Fenugreek Leaves

For the Mushroom butter masala

  • 1 Tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 pack of button mushrooms
  • 1/4 Cup Fresh Cream


1. In a baking tray , add roughly chopped onions, tomatoes and drizzle with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil. Sprinkle a big pinch of salt
2. Preheat the oven to 210 C / 425 F. Place the baking tray with onions and tomatoes in the oven and roast until they have a nice char and golden. It took about 15 to 18 minutes. Toss them in between so that they get roasted evenly on all sides
3. Cool down completely
4. Add roasted onions in a food processor and grind it to fine paste. Set aside
5. Add roasted tomatoes in a food processor and grind it to paste /puree. Set aside
6. Add ginger and garlic in the processor and grind it to fine paste. Add 2 tablespoons of water to grind
7. In a pan / wok, add butter and oil. When the butter melts, add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves. Fry for 30 seconds
8. Then add ground onion paste and sprinkle a pinch of salt and fry on low flame for 10 minutes until oil starts leaving from the mixture and it turns light brown
9. Add ginger and garlic paste and fry for 10 minutes on low flame.
10. Add pureed tomato and fry until all water evaporates and oil starts to leave from the mixture
11. Add tomato paste and mix everything
12. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and add 1/4 cup of water
13. Bring it to boil and simmer. Let the mixture get thickened
14. Once all the water evaporates, add 1/4 cup more water and cook the gravy further until there is no water in the gravy and oil starts floating from the mixture
15. Add crushed kasuri methi and give it a sir. Season with salt
16. Switch off the flame and completely cool. At this stage , you can freeze the base gravy. Divide the gravy into 4 portions and fill them in freezer safe container / zip lock bags. Each portion of the base gravy will be sufficient to make 2 servings of the gravy. Freeze until further use
17. For Making Mushroom Butter masala from the base Gravy : Thaw the base gravy at kitchen top for 25 to 30 minutes.
18. In a pan, heat butter. When butter melts, add chopped button mushrooms. Sprinkle little salt and fry the mushrooms until they are nice golden
19. Add the base gravy and bring it to gentle boil
20. Add 1 Cup water and bring it to boil. Check seasoning and add more salt if required at this satge
21. Finally stir in fresh cream and let the gravy simmer for a minute. Switch off the flame
22. Serve hot with roti / naan / steamed rice

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