Curry Onion Base

I found this recipe somewhere, some time ago on the internet. It’s a pretty good base and this will make almost ten foil tray portions (the size your Chinese takeaway rice comes in), from which you can easily start off a curry for 4 people. Using the base, it’s quite easy to knock up a decent meal with a good curry flavour in half an hour. Generally I’ll fry up some onions in oil, with some curry powder or paste, and then add whatever I have in the cupboard – mushrooms, tomatoes, mango chutney, chickpeas etc etc and then add some chicken, or lamb, or prawns…..
  • 10 large cooking onions – finely sliced250ml vegetable oil
 or rapeseed oil (the more healthy option); 5 tablespoons garlic paste; 4 tablespoons ginger paste; 1 carrot – peeled and chopped; ¼ head of cabbage – chopped; 1 red capsicum (bell pepper) – diced;  1 green capsicum (bell pepper) – diced; water 400ml; I large 14oz/400gm can chopped tomatoes; 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter); 1 tablespoon garam masala powder; 1 tablespoon cumin powder; 1 tablespoon coriander powder; 1 tablespoon ground fenugreek seeds; 1 tablespoon smoked paprika; 1 tablespoon turmeric; Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pour the oil into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over medium high heat until bubbling.
  2. Throw in the sliced onions and fry, stirring regularly for about 20 minutes until the onions are soft, lightly browned and translucent.
  3. Add the capsicums (bell peppers), carrot and cabbage and stir to combine.
  4. Fry for a further five minutes and then add the ginger and garlic purees and the all of the spices except for the turmeric.
  5. Now add the tomatoes and just enough water (about 2 cups/ 500ml) to cover the vegetables and simmer for about half an hour.
  6. After 30 minutes, remove the mixture from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
  7. Scoop the mixture in batches into a blender and blend until silky smooth. I usually do this for about three minutes per batch. If you have a hand held blender, this stage will be much easier.
  8. Once your sauce is smooth, melt the ghee in a frying pan. Add the turmeric powder to the ghee. It will darken as it cooks. You want to brown it for about 30 seconds being careful not to burn the turmeric.
  9. Now add the turmeric/ghee mixture to the sauce and bring to a simmer again.
  10. Once it is bubbling away, turn down the heat and simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes
  11. Use immediately or store in the fridge for up to three days or freeze in 750ml (3 cups) portions for up to three months.