Balti Curry

Hurrah for the good old  British curry invention  – the Balti curry

As you know, at the moment my passion is my cookery classes.  I am learning so much by teaching adults one evening a week.  We made Balti sauce,  Balti curry and rice in one  lesson.   Before teaching the class, I always make the dish at home to make sure that the recipe instructions are correct.   I am always  pleasantly surprised by how tasty home made  Balti sauce is and even use it as Pasta Sauce sometimes.

The recipe for Balti sauce is copied below for ease of reference:



  • 1 tbls ground cinnamon
  • 1 tbls ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chili powder (or fresh green chillies)
  • 2 -4 tbs oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes or ½ can of tinned tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom powder
  • Lemon juice of half a lemon


1. Add the cinnamon, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, ground cumin and chilly powder together and lightly toast them on a hot griddle or frying pan. Keep the heat low and keep stirring with a wooden spoon until you get the fragrance of the spices. Remove the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool.

2. Prepare the onions, ginger and garlic. Chop the onions in slices, the garlic in small pieces and grate the ginger, In a saucepan, add the oil and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds pop, add the curry leaves, onions, ginger and garlic. Keep stirring and make sure the garlic doesn’t get burnt or it will ruin the taste of the sauce.

3. Once the onions are cooked, add the spice mixture to the onions and lower the heat.

4. Now add the tomatoes with one cup of hot water. Also add the salt, lemon juice and cardamom seeds and allow this to simmer on a low heat.

5. Once the sauce looks rich and thick, take it off the heat and allow to cool.

6. Once cooled, remove the curry leaves and blend the sauce to make it smooth.

7. Taste the sauce. You may find the sauce quite spicy but this can be adjusted by adding water or cream to it once you use it in a curry.

8. Any extra sauce can be frozen.

For making the Balti curry:


Use any mixture of vegetables:  e.g potatoes,  peppers, cauliflower, aubergines, peas, beans etc.(use enough vegetables to make curry for 4 people unless you wish to make more).

1. Chop and wash the vegetables and add them to the Balti sauce with a cup of hot water if the sauce is too thick.


2. Allow this to simmer at a low heat until the vegetables are cooked.  Serve this hot with rice or any Indian bread like parathas or chappatis.


Here’s pictures of my class making Balti curry.   They really enjoyed making the curry and I was pleased to hear that they all loved the taste of the curry.  We learnt that it was better to use tinned tomatoes or pasatta to get the red colour of the curry.  Learners who had used fresh tomatoes needed to use tomato puri to get the rich colour.


What vegetables do you add to your Balti curry?