The Ultimate Vegan and Easy Indian Basic Curry Paste:
And, this Indian basic curry paste you can make at home and store for a week or more!
Trick to have the perfect Indian Basic Curry Paste:
While many other cuisines use curry paste, the Indian basic curry paste is totally different. It’s rich, thick and hot. After all, it is the heart and soul of most Indian curries, and it is really easy to make. The trick to have the best and good quality Indian basic curry paste is by browning the onion and tomato pastes really well. When you fry the onion and ginger, garlic mixture, it should brown very well before you add spices and tomatoes.
If this curry paste is so simple, then why I am posting a recipe article on it? The truth is many people often ignore the fact that curry paste can be made in advance and stored in refrigerator, which will in turn save tons of time. And my curry paste can be easily stored in refrigerator for a week or more. And the best part is that you can whip up a quick curry, use the paste as a marinade or use it as a base for many gravies, soups and sauces.
Love vindaloo, add all essential ingredients to this Indian basic curry paste and you are done. Or looking for a gravy base for saag paneer? Just add two tablespoons of this curry paste, blanched spinach paste and paneer and bring it to a boil. Your scrumptious saag paneer is ready to serve.
I learned this trick from my cousin, who is a super mom. She makes a huge batch during the weekends, so she can whip up an easy curry for a quick weeknight meal. When I first heard of this, I felt ‘what a practical idea?’ I mean why didn’t I think about this before. And necessarily, you don’t have to use this curry paste in making curries only. I use it many ways, even while making a quick biriyani for my family too.
My busy life with two children sometimes leave me crazily tired and lethargic. This Indian Basic Curry paste certainly saves my life. Just cut some veggies or even use frozen veggies, add curry paste and make patties or add a spoon of curry paste to lentils and a lentil curry soup is ready.
The truth is that you can really get creative with this curry paste and make many many beautiful and yummy dishes in a jiffy.
Making curry paste, as I mentioned before, is really easy. Here is my step-by-step guide.
For two cups of Indian Basic Curry Paste:
Step 1: In a food processor, take onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Process to make a coarse paste.
- In a frying pan, add oil and allow it to warm.
- Add onion, ginger garlic and green chili mixture and cook it for few minutes.
- Once the onion starts to lose water, add salt.
- It allows the onion to cook even faster by losing more water.
- Brown the mixture well on low flame, and cook until the mixture starts to ooze oil, and the mixture starts to leave the pan.
- Keep stirring occasionally by scraping the mixture from the sides of the pan.
- At this point, the mixture becomes a thick with a pasty consistency.
- This is the time to add spices.
- Add all the spices and give a good stir, so the spices incorporate well.
- Now you have two choices.
- You can turn the heat off and keep this mixture as your base curry mixture or add tomatoes and cook it further.
- Because some curry recipes don’t include tomatoes, I prefer keeping half of this basic curry paste without adding tomatoes and then cook the rest half with tomatoes.
- After keeping half of this mixture, I add chopped or puréed tomatoes, and allow it to cook until the mixture dries up and has a pasty consistency.
- Once it reaches the desirable consistency, the curry paste is ready.
- Allow it to cool down completely and store it in refrigerator for a week or two.
Storing Suggestions for Indian Curry Paste:
- Store in an airtight glass or BPA free plastic container.
- Use a clean spoon every time you want to use the curry paste.
- Don’t add fresh herbs such as chopped cilantro to this paste. You can always add to the curry after cooking.
Making Other Pastes with basic Indian Curry Paste:
Red curry paste: onion curry base paste+galangal+kefir lime+dried lemon grass+Thai red chili+vinegar and tamarind+brown sugar
Korma paste: Indian curry paste+coconut cream+cashew paste+ garam masala
Tikka masala: Indian basic curry paste+tomato and cashew puree
Yellow curry paste: basic curry paste+turmeric+tamarind+green chili and Thai basil+kefir lime and dried lemongrass
Chole curry paste: basic curry paste+garam masala+dried fenugreek leaves+pomegranate seed powder
Some curries and curry flavored recipes I made with this curry paste are here. Just click on this recipe image to visit each recipe post.
I use two table spoons to 1/4 cup of this Indian basic curry paste per recipe based on the requirement.
Indian basic curry paste, the heart and soul of any Indian curry is really easy to make. And you can store it for a week in refrigerator or freeze it for months!
- 3 large red onions (cut into chunks)
- 6 larger garlic pods
- 2 inch ginger
- 4 green chilies
- 2 large tomatoes (pureed)
- 1 tbsp chili powder (hot or extra-hot variety)
- 1.5 tbsp cumin powder
- 0.5 tbsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp coriander powder
- 1 tbsp curry powder (optional)
- 2 tbsp canola oil (more if you want)
In a food processor, take onions, garlic, ginger and green chilies.
Heat a frying pan, add oil and allow it to warm.
Add onion, ginger garlic and green chili mixture and cook it for few minutes.
Once the onion starts to lose water, add salt. It allows the onion to cook faster by losing more water.
Brown the mixture well on low flame, and cook until the mixture starts to ooze oil and the mixture starts to leave the pan.
At this point, the mixture becomes semi-dry and leaves the pan easily.
This is the time to add spices. Add all the spices and give a good stir, so the spices incorporate well in the mixture.
Now you have two choices. You can turn the heat off and keep this mixture as your base curry mixture or add tomatoes and cook it further.
Because some curry recipes don't include tomatoes, I prefer keeping half curry paste without tomatoes and half with it.
After keeping half of this mixture, I add chopped or puréed tomatoes, and allow it to cook until the mixture dries up and has a pasty consistency.
Once it reaches a thick and pasty consistency, the curry paste is ready.
Allow it to cool down completely and store it in refrigerator for a week or two.
- Use mild curry powder if you are using hot or extra hot chili powder.
- I don't add garam masala to this basic curry paste. Instead, I add it to a finished curry in the end.
- Skip green chilies and hot chili powder if you want a mild curry paste.
- For Thai style curry paste, use only the onion base curry paste and avoid adding cumin powder.
Want to pin this recipe? Click Pinit!!
Now that you know how to make the Indian basic curry paste, you can make it any time you want. And share the name of your favorite curry in the comments. I really appreciate your feedback. Don’t forget to check my next post that will show you how to use this curry paste in making some awesome grill marinades.