Basic Indian gravies
Basic Indian gravies are the base for many Indian curries such as tomato and cashew gravy for butter chicken, south Indian masala for many south Indian curries, spinach gravy for lassoni palak, palak paneer etc.
What is Curry ?
Curry is basically a Indian sauce with full packed flavored liquid made from vegetables, meat in it and other aromatics and flavorings. A curry is basically a combination of gravies cooked with protein and other flavorings.
A gravy is a semi liquid or liquid made in a form of grounded or fine chopped masala type used as base for curries or sabzis ( side Indian accompaniments made from vegetables).
Different types of Basic Indian gravies
There are many different types of gravies all over India but here are the basic 6 gravies used widely and for most of the dishes.
There are many base gravies used widely through out the Indian cuisine but here we classify it into 5 major categories such as OTM (onion tomato masala ), Tomato or makhani gravy, cashew gravy, spinach gravy, yellow or brown gravy, and other popular base is south Indian masala.
White gravy or Cashew gravy : It is made from boiled cashewnuts and melon seeds paste and cooked further in khova and other flavorings and used as base in many curries such as malai paneer, Methi paneer, Malai kofta curry etc.
Hariyali or Green gravy : It is made from blanched spinach puree and cooked further in aromatics and used widely. It is used in dishes such as palak paneer, hariyali murgh makhani, Lasooni palak etc.
Yellow and brown gravy : Yellow is made from boiled onions and fine pureed and this gravy is used as combination with other gravies to prepare dishes such as Chicken lababdar, rara murgh etc.
Brown gravy or onion gravy is made from deep fried onions blended with curd and cooked with other flavorings and used widely in middle Indian cuisines.
OTM (Onion Tomato masala ) : This is one of the base gravy used widely in Indian kitchen for curries, sabzis, other preparations etc. It is made from chopped onions and tomatoes with whole spices and other aromatics , cooked for long time and used with other gravies or directly in many curries.
Tomato gravy and Makhani gravy : Tomato gravy is made from cooked tomatoes with red chili powder and other spices and blended to fine paste where as
Makhani gravy is made from cooked tomatoes along with cashewnuts and blended and used widely in preparations of curries such as Murgh makhani or butter chicken, chicken lababdar or chicken tikka masala, etc.
Most of the Indian curries are enriched with butter or ghee, spices, and fresh cooking cream, kasoori methi and so on.
Combinations with gravies
There are certain paste or other things that combine with gravies to make a final curry. They are vast but the common ones are classified here such as
Ginger Garlic paste : Ginger garlic paste is an widely used aromat in Indian cooking and especially in Indian curries to add more flavor and it also helps in digestion process. It is known that 1: 2 ratio of ginger to garlic is grinded and used.
Coconut paste : Finely grounded coconut paste is used widely in South Indian curries which has wide usage and rich flavor enhancement in curries.
Khoya or cream : Khoya is an milk solid unsweetened is used widely in cooking for many curries . This adds the additional flavor to the curries and a unique taste.
Cream is most common ingredients in North Indian curries which enhances the flavor the curry along with the gravy. It is used in final stage of preparation which makes the curry more rich and tastier.
Kasoori Methi and Tadka : Kasoori methi is a dried fenugreek leaves used in curries for the rich aromat and flavor to the curries. It is not an combination but an flavoring agent that is used widely in the North Indian curries.
Tadka is an South Indian tempering made from heated oil, mustard seeds, dried red chilies, curry leaves. This is also not an combination but an Flavoring used for all types of curries mostly in South Indian cuisine.