This is such a life saver when you just don’t have the time to spend ages making your lunch/dinner! Great for when you get back from work or a busy day and you can just mix this base with your favourite veg, paneer, tofu etc.as well as meat for those of you who aren’t vegetarian.
It freezes well for months and you just need to cook your main ingredient(s) for the curry and then simmer with the defrosted curry base.
What you need:
- 5 large onions- sliced pretty thin
- 1 carrot – peeled and chopped (I don’t like to use more than 1 as it tends to give a strong orange colour which I’m not fond of)
- 1 large red capsicum/ bell pepper, sliced
- 5 large cloves of garlic, finely minced (add more if you like!)
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced
- 4 – 8 green chillies (depending on your spice tolerance)
- 2 cups of chopped tomatoes (I often use the tinned tomatoes)
- 1 cup of water
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons, garam masala (or any other curry masala you prefer)
- salt, to taste
How to make it:
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and add your masala mix, taking care not to burn the spices. Stir well for about 5 minutes on a low flame until the spices are cooked through and no longer give out a ‘raw smell’.
2. Add the ginger and garlic. Sautée these with the spices for a minute or so. Add the onions and mix everything together really well so that the onions are covered with the masala.
3. While the onions cook down, slice the red bell pepper and grate the carrot. Once the onions have gone soft and translucent (they will also shrink quite a lot), add the bell pepper and carrot.
4. Cook the vegetables until they go and then add the tomatoes and water to the mixture. Stir everything together so it’s combined well.
5. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about a half hour. Once it’s well cooked and all the flavours have had a little time to combine, pull out your blender/grinder. Working in batches (I had to do about 2 – 3 batches), blend the mixture into a smooth, creamy looking gravy. You may have to cool the mixture fora while before blending, so do take care.
6. Pour all the gravy back into the pan and simmer for about 15 to 20 more minutes. Check for seasoning, but don’t worry if there is not enough salt as you will be able to add this when you go on to make your curry.
7. Once you’ve let everything cool for a while, pour it into containers to freeze/use. You can keep it in your fridge for a few days, but any longer you should freeze it. It really is great for freezing!
When you have made this once, then you can just add/take away ingredients for the next time, according to your taste. But the main ingredients I always keep are the tomatoes, onions, ginger and garlic.