Curry is not just an Indian dish; it is also made in other cultures. Curry sauces can range from mild to hot, from bland to spicy and everything in between. Making your own homemade curry sauce allows you the luxury of making it just the way you like it and know exactly what ingredients are in it.
Common ingredients in curry sauce include yoghurt, ginger, garlic, turmeric, garam masala, pepper and cumin, and you can add ground chickpeas, tomato paste, hot peppers, mushrooms and chilli powder. You can also use prepared curry powder to make homemade curry sauce. Fruits, such as apples and dates; nuts, such as almonds; and vegetables, such as carrots, are sometimes added. American versions will sometimes use mayonnaise as a base instead of yoghurt. Asian versions of curry often call for milk or coconut milk instead of yoghurt.
Cookware and Utensils
Spice grinders, or old coffee grinders, are essential for grinding the spices for curry because most recipes call for the use of whole peppercorns and other spices. You will also need a large spoon and a large bowl for mixing the ingredients. A blender is helpful if you like a smooth curry sauce. If the recipe is for a cooked curry sauce, a large heavy saucepan is needed to cook the curry sauce, and if you are using a recipe that includes the meat, you may need a pan as large as a Dutch oven.
Making the Sauce
Gather the ingredients you have chosen for your curry sauce. For sauces that require no cooking, blend the spices with the remaining ingredients, such as coconut milk, in a blender until smooth and refrigerate until needed. For curry sauces that are cooked as part of the meat dish, combine the curry sauce ingredients in a large bowl. Add the chosen meat and mix thoroughly. Cook as directed in the recipe.
There are dozens of curry sauce recipes to be found in cookbooks specialising in Thai, Indian and other Asian cooking. "The Curry Book: Memorable Flavors and Irresistible Recipes From Around the World" by Nancie McDermott is a great book to get you started. Likewise, there are many recipes available online. As you begin making your own homemade curry sauces, feel free to experiment with different spice combinations and different bases to find the curry sauce that best suits your taste.