Monday, April 13, 2009

Gravies Tips

Gravies Tips
Gravies form a significant and intense part of Indian Cooking, no matter which part of the country you travel.
Among the veggies, you will find innumerable numbers of vegetables and a equal number of gravies to match.
Some are bland or mild, others are so spicy you could actually smoke through!!!!
The gravies are eaten with chappatis and rotis of all sorts, as also with hot steamed or other rices.
Gravies add the much needed body to the food in general and vegetables in particular. They are an inherent part of the indian kitchen for hundreds of bygone years, as also the ones to come.
Though usual basic ingredients and spices do not change very much, the additional ingredients and the veggies etc. used to make the base turn them out to be very different from each other.
Veggies and other additives like paneer must be added just when the gravy is thick enouh, and cooked further for 2-3 minutes in the gravy to simmer.
Always pre-boil hard vegetables like potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, etc. and if desired fry paneer and stir fry vegetables where possible.
Use same extra oil to finish off the gravy. Though there are innumerable ways of making the same or similar gravies, they can be broadly classified keeping their colour in mind.
Red Tomato Gravy

2 large juicy ripe tomatoes
1 large onion
1 small capsicum
1 tbsp. coriander leaves finely chopped
1 tbsp. cashews or peanuts
1 tsp. each ginger & garlic grated or crushed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon-clove powder
1/2 tsp. garam masala powder
3/4 tsp. red chilli powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt to taste
2 tbsp. oil or ghee


Dry roast peanuts or cashews lightly. Dry grind coarsely.
Semi puree tomatoes and capsicum together.
This should be done in a food chopper or grated.
Chop onions very fine or run in a chopper.
Heat oil or ghee in a heavy pan.
Add ginger garlic and stir for a moment.
Add onions and stir fry till light pink.
Add tomato capsicum puree, stir bring to boil.
Add all other masalas, salt, sugar and crushed nuts. Stir.
Add veggies at this stage. Mix.
Cover and simmer till gravy is thick and fat starts separating.
Garnish with coriander before serving.
Goes with: Vegetables like brinjals, baby corn, potato, stuffed baked capsicum, or cauliflower.
Makes: 2 cups
Making time: 20 minutes
Shelflife: 2 days refrigerated
Green Gravy

4 cups spinach chopped, washed and drained
1 cup bottle gourd grated
1 small onion finely chopped
1/2 tsp. ginger grated
2 tsp. wheat or millet flour
3 green chillies
1 tbsp. cheese grated (optional)
salt to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 pinch soda bicarb
1/2 tsp. cinnamon-clove powder
3 tbsp. oil


Take spinach in a large vessel, add gourd and soda.
Toss to mix. Sprinkle 2 tbsp. water all over it.
Cover and put to boil on high, for 3 minutes.
Cool in a plate or run under tap water to cool.
Put in a mixie, add chillies, flour and a few pinches salt.
Run till semi-smooth.
Heat oil in a pan, add ginger, stir.
Add cinnamon clove powder, and stir.
Add onions, stir fry till light pink.
Add blended spinach mixture, all other ingredients except cheese
Stir and allow to cook till thick or 3-4 minutes.
Add prepared vegetable at this stage. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes more.
Garnish with grated cheese before serving.
Goes well with: Veggies like peas, baby corn, french beans, potato chunks, etc.
Makes: 2 cups gravy (approx.)
Making time: 20 minutes
Shelflife: 2 days refrigerated

White Gravy

1 cup fresh curds
1/2 cup fresh cream
1 tsp. grated cheese or paneer
3/4 cup milk
1 tbsp. cashewnuts broken
1 tbsp. peanuts husked & lightly roasted
1 tsp. khuskhus seeds soaked in 2 tbsp. milk for 1 hour
3 green chillies
1 piece ginger
1 tsp. coriander finely chopped
1 slice dayold bread white
1 tsp. sugar
3-4 glazed or canned cherries (optional)
salt to taste
1/5 tsp. cinnamon-clove powder
3 tbsp. ghee or oil


Grind together in a dry mixie, cashew, peanuts and bread.
Grind together in a wet mixie, onion, ginger, chillies, khuskhus with milk.
Heat fat in a heavy pan, add onion mixture, saute for 3-4 minutes.
Add curds and cook, stirring continuously till whiteness of curds disappears.
Add milk, bring to a boil, add sugar, salt, dry mixture, spice powder, cream.
Stir gently till boil resumes. Add vegetables, etc. at this stage.
Cook covered for few minutes till thickened.
Garnish with grated cheese, coriander and cherries.
Goes well with: Paneer chunks, mixed vegetables with a few pineapples bits, potato and peas, etc.
Making time: 30 minutes
Makes: 3 -3 1/2 cups
Shelflife: Best fresh (curd and cream content do not allow this gravy to keep for very long of for freezing).
Brown Gravy

1 tomato grated or finely chopped
1 large onion cut in slivers
1 capsicum cut in thin lengths
1 tsp. garlic grated
1 tsp. ginger grated
1 tbsp. coriander leaves finely chopped
2 tbsp. tamarind water
1 tsp. wheat flour
1/2 tsp. red chilli powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/2 tsp. dhania (coriander seed) powder
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
3 pinches asafoetida
salt to taste
3 tbsp. oil

Roast together and dry grind:
2 cardamoms
2 cloves
2 peppercorns
1/2 cinnamon stick broken
1 bayleaf
2 whole red chillies dry


Dry roast wheat flour to a light pink, stirring continuously. Keep aside.
Heat oil, add onions, fry till well browned.
Drain well by pressing, putting back oil in pan.
Cool onions a bit. Grind in mixie. Keep aside.
In remaining hot oil, add cumin seeds allow to splutter.
Add asafoetida, capsicum, ginger, garlic stir fry for a minute.
Add all dry and ground masalas, flour, stir well.
Add tomatoes, tamarind water, salt, stir.
Simmer till gravy is thick and oil starts to separate.
Add prepared veggies and stir, keep cooking for 2 minutes.
Garnish with chopped coriander, serve with parathas, rotis, etc.
Goes well with: Chunky veggies like boiled baby potatoes with skin, boiled peas, chopped stirfried brinjal pieces. (For this, fry brinjals pieces in oil, drain, keep aside, adjust quantity of oil required, and continue by frying the onions.)
Making time: 30 minutes Makes: 2 1/2 to 3 cups
Shelflife: Refrigerated 2 days

Curd Gravy

1 curds fresh, thick
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1/2 tsp. dhania powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
2-3 pinches asafoetida
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. each cumin & mustard seeds
1 stalk curry leaves
1 tsp. wheat flour
2 tbsp. oil
1 cup water


Beat curds with a spoon till well broken. Keep aside.
Mix all dry masalas in 2 tbsp. water, dissolve. Keep aside.
Heat oil, add seeds, allow to splutter.
Add asafoetida, curry leavesand dissolved masala. Stir.
When oil separates, add curds, stir continuously till whiteness of curds vanishes. Dissolve flour in remaining water, add and stir till boil resumes.
Add veggies at this stage.
Simmer till gravy thicken a bit.
Garnish with coriander, serve hot with rice, roti, or paratha.
Goes well with: Boiled poatoes, peas, beans.
Making time: 20 minutes
Makes: 2 cups
Shelfllife: 2 days refrigerated


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