Jan 21, 2009

Get the Indian curry basics right

Having been through many recipe books as a cooking newbie I realised that there is enough in there to confuse the novice. That has been the motivation to post powder recipes in my cookery blog. Today I tackle the curry, in a generic way. Essentially most curries have the same base to which a multitude of vegetables and after-thought ingredients are added to pamper different palettes.
There are two forms of curry that is made in India - dry and gravy.

Dry Curry

What you need to make Dry curry


  • Mustard seeds (rai) - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric for its antiseptic properties as much as the colour - 1/4 tsp
  • Kadlebele (Split Yellow Chick peas/Channa dal) - 2 tsp
  • Uddinbele(Urad dal) - 2 tsp
  • Red chilly powder - 1 tsp / 2 red chillies broken into pieces / 2 green chillies cut into small rings

Optional Ingredients for Seasoning

  • Coriander leaves - 2 strands, finely chopped
  • Curry leaves - 10, finely chopped or as is

Preparation to make Dry Curry

  • Wash curry leaves and dry thoroughly in the sun. It should not have any moisture in it
  • Wash coriander leaves thoroughly.

Method to make Dry Curry

  • Heat oil in a pan or kadai (heavy bottomed vessel).
  • To the oil add all the seasoning ingredients.
  • Wait for the mustard seeds and cumin seeds to splutter, kadlebele and
    uddinbele to turn golden brown and chillies to be fried well.
  • Add any vegetable of your choice. The vegetable could either have been steamed earlier or be raw(which means it will have to cook in the pan).
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Optional for Dry Curry - Yennegai Powder could be added at this juncture to get a different taste.
Gravy Curry
What you need to make Gravy Curry
Same as Dry Curry plus
  • Onions - 1, blended or cut into small pieces according to convenience
  • Tomatoes -2, blended into a puree
Optional ingredients
  • Garlic - 4 pods, mashed or cut into tiny pieces
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, mashed or grated
Preparation to make Gravy Curry
  • Same as for Dry curry
Method to make Gravy Curry
  • Same as for Dry Curry


  1. Arent there enough bawarchis and sapadis on the web already?
    Is this your last resort to letting loose your urge to wright, when your mind actually dont work ;)

  2. Roopsy, do you ever experience the need to write down a recipe so that you can make that dish more than once? My blog provides me and you with that :). I think I should use that as my USP...me and my memory ;)

  3. Hmmm ... Food for thought... You seem to be one awesome cook, Siri.

  4. Hi siri,
    I like how you are defining the basic theme - dry vs wet curry. I like having this sort of basic theme and variations kind of organization for recipes, makes my head feel a lot clearer!

  5. Dilz, am just an avg cook.
    Priya - I know! Understanding the basics right is so important!

  6. I see, well you have varities though :) So what's new on the platter ??

  7. Hey there,

    How have u been, Siri, long time... Whats cookin'... ; )


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