Balti Sauce Home made

Try impressing your friends by making a curry using this  home made Balti sauce.


Balti curry is one of the most popular curries in UK.  This curry is served in lots of different vegetarian and non vegetarian variations but the basic sauce recipe remains the same. Balti means a bucket.   The origins of this Balti Sauce Home made is  Birmingham where the chefs used to make a large batch of this Balti Sauce Home made in a karahi  (Flat bottomed wok) or a bucket. This sauce was then added to whatever curry was ordered. The Balti Sauce Home made is spicy and thick but can be made mild by adding water or cream to it.

Ingredients to make Home Made Balti Sauce

( This will make enough sauce for making curry for 4 people twice. So any left over sauce can be frozen).

  • 1 tbls cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbls ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder (or fresh green chillies)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 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 or passata
  • 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. P1150936

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.

P1150939 P1150938

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 Balti Sauce Home made.  You will find the Balti Sauce quite spicy but it’s taste can be adjusted by adding water or cream to it  once you use it in a curry.  This sauce can be made in advance and frozen to use in curries when needed.


Watch out for my recipes for making a curry and pasta using the Balti sauce.

  • Paul Graham

    Very appetizing Balti recipe. Always well worthwhile to toast the dry spices. I lived briefly in Coventry and enjoyed the fine Balti Houses there and in Birmingham but never realized the term originated there. A bucketful of good information !

  • Jacqueline Gum

    Great information, and as usual a fantastic recipe!

  • Pat Amsden

    The recipe looks fantastic! I don’t usually do Indian cooking but this looks relatively simple.

  • I love Balti sauce, and didn’t have it until I visited my brother in Stoke. Nothing better, than sopping it up with a delicious fresh Nan. You make it look both delicious and possible to do. Thanks so much Mina:-)

  • I wish I could eat curry, but my inability to taste anything that contains even a little bit of spicy “heat” makes it impossible. I tried going to an Indian restaurant here in Honolulu last week. I asked if a dish was spicy before ordering —“No. Not spicy AT ALL.” Obviously “spicy” is in the taste buds of the eater. 🙁

    • Suzanne – So sorry to know that you are not able to eat anything with “heat”. I think in that case – you should try making one of my less spicy curries and leave out the chili

  • Donna Janke

    Another recipe for me to try. I love the flavour (not to mention the aroma) you get when toasting dry spices.

  • Meredith Wouters

    Your pictures always make me want to try the recipes! I love that this is one I could feed to my kids, who have lots of food allergies. I imagine you could also make it less spicy by decreasing the chili?

    • Meredith – You can make this with no chili or substitute it with pepper if you like.

  • Oh my goodness, This looks amazing. this is something I really need to try. I don’t always like all things curry but is this would something I know would really enjoy.

  • Beth –

    Yum! I love curry but haven’t had Balti before. Very inviting.

  • Debra Yearwood

    This recipe looks so delicious, I can’t wait to try it. We are all curry fans in my family. Mina, I wonder if you would consider adding a Pinterest button to your site if it’s possible. It would make adding your recipes to my online collection easier and would give other folks a chance to find you. Just a thought!

    • Debra – Thank you for your comments. I will add Pinterest button this weekend. Thank you for the suggestion.

  • That looks super tasty- I will have to try it out. I’ve never heard of Balti before. – New things learned every day.

  • Jeri Walker-Bickett

    Looks wonderful. Your recipes tempt me more and more each time you share one.

  • Catarina Alexon

    Sounds delicious and tasty. Love curry.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    This looks and sounds delicious Mina.

  • Nayna Kanabar

    I am loving the sound of this spicy balti sauce, I often make a similar sauce for my daughter who is at uni so she can add veg of her choice. Your sauce looks so rich and delicious.

  • Ben

    I’d like to say a big thank you for posting this recipie. When cooking new dishes it’s hard to know where to start sometimes with so many recipes available in books and online. Many times I’ve cooked or baked something only to find out after all that effort that the recipie was flawed and the bin now full.
    Fortunately for my first attempt at cooking a Balti I came across this recipie. It’s soo soo good that I’ve actually made it every night for a week. I just cannot get enough of eating what has to be the best curry ever made. I’ve always been a Balti fan since eating my first one at a restaurant in Birmingham when I was twelve. Never did I imagine I’d ever be able to cook it myself.
    I’m good at baking, and making confectionary, I’ve even become a dab hand at making fresh pasta, yet curries have always held an air of mystery. Something I’ve only had at a restaurant or as a takeaway, never something I thought I’d create in my kitchen until now. I can honestly say that this sauce makes my favourite meal, the only problem is I can’t stop eating it!

%d bloggers like this: