Mamta's Kitchen

Basic Curry Sauce 2 with Yoghurt & Sesame Seeds

Curry Gravy with Dahi and Til Seeds

Mamta Gupta

Curry Sauce with Yoghurt and Sesame Seeds

In India, tomatoes are often expensive when they are not in season. Tinned tomatoes are not as widely available, affordable. Curries are often made without tomatoes. This sauce is made with yoghurt. This amount makes approximately 3-4 cups of sauce. Main ingredients cooked in it can be either vegetarian or non-vegetarian. Some suggestion are; boiled and halved eggs, boiled and cubed potatoes, any vegetable koftae, frozen or steamed peas, Paneer Cubes, cubed boiled potatoes/colocasia tubers, cooked chicken, fish or meat. The reason I say cooked meat/root vegetables is because if this sauce is cooked for too long after adding raw ingredients, it may split/curdle. Do not use skimmed milk yoghurt, it is more likely to split/curdle. Just add the main ingredients to the ready sauce and heat through completely. This sauce will last in the fridge for around a week here in UK, probably a couple of days in hot countries. Makes enough for approximately 6 portions

Edited April 2016


  • 3 medium sized Onions

  • 1 inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled

  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds (til), dry roasted in a wok or frying pan

  • For Yoghurt and Spice Paste

  • 2 cups thick yoghurt

  • 1/2 tsp. chilli powder

  • 1 tsp. coriander or dhania powder (ground seeds)

  • 1/2 tsp. turmeric powder (in picture, it is underneath the coriander and chilli powder, so not visible)

  • 1 tsp. cumin or jeera powder

  • For Cooking the sauce/gravy

  • 3-4 tbsp. oil

  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds*

  • 4-6 small green cardamoms*, lightly crushed with a rolling pin

  • 1-2 bay leaves*

  • 1 small piece of cinnamon or cassia bark*

  • 6 cloves*

  • 1 to 2 cups water, depending upon how thick you want your sauce to be

  • 1/2 tsp. Garam masala powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 1/4 cup fresh double or thick cream for serving

  • *These are Garam masala ingredients, except that GM normally has large, brown cardamoms. If you do not have access to all these or if you do not like whole spices on your plate, sprinkle a teaspoon of garam masala at the end.


  1. Peel and wash onions, chop roughly.

  2. Heat a couple of cups of water, add onions and boil until soft, approximately 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, dry roast sesame seeds in a hot pan until golden coloured.

  4. Drain cooked onions out of water, saving the water for gravy.

  5. Grind/blend onions along with ginger, garlic and roasted sesame seeds to a smooth paste. Keep aside.

  6. Place yoghurt in a separate bowl, add chilli, cumin, coriander, turmeric powder and salt, beat lightly with a fork to mix well.

  7. Heat 4 tablespoons of oil in a pan. Add cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaves, whole cloves and black peppers. When they starts to change colour slightly and cumin seeds crackle a bit, add onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry until deep golden brown.

  8. Add the yoghurt and spices mix, stir it for a few minutes.

  9. Add water (use left over water from boiling the onions) and bring it to a quick boil. It just needs to be heated through. When ready, oil floats at the surface. Sprinkle garam masala and close the lid, too allow the flavours to infuse.

  10. To serve, add main ingredients that you are cooking with and simmer for a few minutes.

  11. Just before serving, stir in the fresh cream.

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