1.Heat the oil in a heavy pan then add the chopped onion and stir
for a few minutes with the heat on high.
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil or oil/margarine (clarified butter)
- 1 medium onion - finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic - peeled and sliced
- 1.5 inch piece root ginger - peeled and thinly sliced (it
should look about the same volume as the garlic)
- (optional) 2 mild fleshy green chillies - de-seeded and veined
- half teaspoon turmeric powder
- half teaspoon ground cumin seed
- half teaspoon ground coriander seed
- 5 tablespoons plain passata (smooth, thick, sieved tomatoes,
US - puree) or 1 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree (US -
paste) mixed with 4 tablespoons water
2.Add the ginger, garlic and green chilli (if using). Stir for
30 seconds then put the heat down to very low.
3.Cook for 15 minutes stirring from time to time making sure
nothing browns or burns.
4.Add the turmeric, cumin and coriander and cook, still very
gently, for a further 5 minutes. Don't burn the spices or the
sauce will taste horrid - sprinkle on a few drops of water if
5.Take off the heat and cool a little. Put 4 fl oz cold water
in a blender, add the contents of the pan and whizz until very
smooth. Add the passata and stir.
6.Put the pureed mixture back into the pan and cook for 20 -
30 minutes (the longer the better) over very low heat stirring
occasionally. You can add a little hot water if it starts to catch
on the pan but the idea is to gently "fry" the sauce which will
darken in colour to an orangy brown. The final texture should
be something like good tomato ketchup. Warning - it WILL gloop
occasionally and splatter over your cooker, it's the price you
have to pay!