Chris's curry sauce

In this video, Chris shows you how to make and freeze a versatile sauce. You can then use this sauce to make curry, soup or (other suggestions from Chris).

If you'd like to see the ingredients or download a highly accessible version of this recipe, you can do that here.


Chris: Hello I'm Chris and I'm a seven-year veteran stroke survivor. And I'm here to do a recipe for you today that is a universal curry sauce.

And it's a very simple curry sauce, I'm not going to ask anybody to go out and start buying spice racks, garam masala, all the different spices.

I know the Gurkha regiment would be upset with me to show that I have adapted this recipe to make it easy to make at home for anybody.

So my ingredients for this dish are diced onion, chopped garlic, tin of chopped tomatoes with salt content, a tablespoon of plain flour which is going to be my roux base.

And I use a mild curry paste for my sauce and for consistency purposes, to get the right consistency I use a vegetable stock.

To start I need to prepare my diced onions.


I've halved and peeled my onion and my root is still in place to hold the onion together.

And you'll see I can do this one-handed guillotine method. Cut through and get my dice.

And you'll see I have very limited waste on my onion. And that is prepared and in my bowl ready to go in to be softened. And into this sauce we are going to utilise two cloves of garlic.

Exactly the same, going to cut through just to get some sticks of garlic. Turn that through 90 degrees and then dice. We're not using a garlic paste because of the salt content but with fresh garlic we have to be careful of the sugar content, the natural sugar content within that product.

To get started we're going to turn our stove top on because we want our pan to heat up. And to that we are going to add one tablespoon of cooking oil. Now you can use standard cooking oil, sunflower oil. I'm just finishing off the bottle of olive oil that I had at home.

And that goes in my pan to heat up and I want to get a nice heat through that oil before I add my onions. And the reason for this is if you add onion to cold oil, the onion will start to absorb that oil rather than start to fry and soften.

By getting a nice heat through that, the onion will start to sizzle as soon as it hits the pan. If you want to advance prep your onions, your garlic and then take a break. If you suffer from heavy fatigue like I used to it's an ideal opportunity then just to sit and take a rest.

So I've got one red onion that's been finely diced and that's going to go into my pan.

And you'll see I'm using a wide based saute pan. And I learned very quickly that there's less chance I'm gonna chase a wide base pan around my kitchen on the stove top. It's quite heavy and it tends to sit in place nicely.

Now what I haven't done is, I haven't added the garlic yet. Because I want my onions to start to soften and if I add my garlic too early, because of the natural sugars they will catch and start to burn. And I don't want burnt garlic because it gives me a bitter taste.

So as my onions have softened then I can add my garlic. And to that I will add a half a teaspoon of pepper and that will be my seasoning. And again I don't add any salt to this dish initially.

Because the one thing I am aware of is there is salt, salt content in my low salt stock cube. There is salt content in my curry paste and there is salt content in my tin of tomatoes.

So I know that when I come to the end of the recipe I can check for the right level of seasoning and make a decision then whether I add any more salt and adjust the seasoning as needed.

Now being an easy curry source to make in the catering trade we used to call this a roux-based sauce.

And what that means is we will take a tablespoon of flour and that will help absorb the oil that is in the pan and bring it all together. And what we want that to do is absorb the oil and we will constantly stir just to get that all to come together.

And we want to, what we call, cook the flour out.

So we're letting that, we're stirring that and the flour is going to break down and you'll lose that floury taste that you can get. So once we're comfortable the flour has cooked out, we are going to add a tablespoon of curry paste.

And we're gonna get that to incorporate into our flour, onions and garlic. And as that starts to cook out, you will get that lovely curry aroma.

Now this is just a simple mild curry paste. If you're one of these people that likes a hot curry then you can always get yourself some chilli flakes or some fresh chillies to add.

So I just want that curry paste to bind with my onions my garlic and my roux base.

Our next ingredient is a 400 gram tin of chopped tomatoes and whoever invented the pull can thought of stroke survivors from the word go. And I know they haven't been around that long but it, they're ideal.

So we've added chopped tomatoes and you'll see that it starts to steam quite quickly. And I want to get that to incorporate the flour and the curry paste.

And you'll see very quickly it will start to thicken and that is where your low salt vegetable stock cube comes in. And I've got a 300 mils of water with one stock cube dissolved.

And I can start gradually adding the liquid and I want that to cook out. And as you add the liquid you'll see your sauce mix go quite thin and then very quickly you'll see the roux start to absorb that vegetable stock cube. And it'll start to go thick again. And each time you're cooking out the liquid that you've added to get a nice paste in your pan and then you can add a little bit more, gradually as you go.

You don't want this boiling away like mad but a nice easy simmer as you're adding the liquid.

Now everybody has their own version of the thickness of curry sauce they like, depending on what you are as a curry connoisseur will depend on how much extra liquid you add to your sauce.

Now as I said I use this as a universal curry sauce so that is why I use a vegetable stock cube.

Now I have got a few of my own personal hints and tips on how to save our curry sauce and freeze it down for use at a later date.

Do you ever remember seeing these: an ice cube tray? And I believe that for most households they've become redundant now and I'm going to show you how to make them unredundant.

So what I like to do with any sauce that I make and it might be a curry sauce, it might even be a tomato sauce.

I've cooked my curry sauce and I'm going to put it into my jug and now I'm going to let that cool down slightly. If I've made a large curry sauce like this then I know that I'm not going to use it all in one go.

So what I do is I just pour my cooled down curry sauce into my ice cube tray.

I can put that into my freezer and let those curry cubes set. I will then take the tray out the freezer once they're frozen and I might break it down into six cubes to a portion.

And I will put those into a freezer bag in my freezer. So if I come home and I think 'I don't know what I'm gonna have for dinner.' What I do know is I've got my curry sauce ice cubes in the freezer.

I can pick out a bag, bring them out and reconstitute them into the pan. And next door to those I've got my bag of roasted vegetables and I can bring them out and reconstitute those into my curry sauce.

So I've got a very easy 10 minute meal of a vegetable curry and I can just do a nice quick rice with it and dinner served. It's as simple as that.

So ladies and gentlemen, that is our take on a universal curry sauce.

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Thank you very much.

That's Chris over and out.