Home made Balti sauce (classic)

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

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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 the Balti sauce is rumoured to be in  Birmingham where the chefs used to make a large batch of Balti sauce in a karahi (flat bottomed wok) or a bucket. This sauce was then added to whatever curry was ordered. This Balti Sauce is is spicy and thick but can be made milder by adding water or cream to it.

Ingredients to make Home Made Balti Sauce

(This will make enough sauce for 8 servings, so you only need half for a standard curry of 4 people. Left-over and additional sauce can be 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

Method:

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.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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Home made Balti sauce

This recipe will make enough sauce for 8 servings, so you only need half for a standard curry of 4 people. Left-over and additional sauce can be can be frozen.
Course: curry, Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: curry
Servings: 8
Author: Mina Joshi

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder or fresh green chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2-4 tbsp oil flavourless like sunflower or vegetable
  • 1 large onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 3-4 fresh tomatoes or half a can of tinned tomatoes or passata
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 curry leaves
  • ¼ tsp ground cardamom powder
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Instructions

  • 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.
  • In a separate hot griddle or frying pan, lightly toast the spices: cinnamon, ground coriander, turmeric, paprika, garam masala, ground cumin and chilli powder together. Keep the heat low and keep moving them with a wooden spoon until you get the fragrance of the spices. Remove the mixture in a bowl and allow to cool.
  • Once the onions, garlic and ginger mixture is cooked, add the spice mixture and lower the heat.
  • 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.
  • Once the sauce has thickened and looks rich, take it off the heat and allow to cool.
  • Once cooled, remove the curry leaves and use a hand-blender to make it smooth.

Notes

  • You may find the Balti Sauce quite spicy but the heat 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.