BIR Base Gravy Recipe

Difficulty: Easy
Total: 2 hrs 15 mins
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 2 hrs

Base gravy is used by British Indian Restaurants (BIR) as a key ingredient when cooking curries. If you want to recreate the BIR taste at home, then base gravy is essential. Don’t have the time to make your own base gravy? Then order our pre-made, genuine BIR base gravy.

Our base gravy recipe is intentionally simple, we use the base gravy as a basic foundation to the curry. The base gravy won’t taste particularly good on its own, it will be like a weak onion soup.

The magic happens when you combine the base gravy with additional ingredients, spices and heat which add the layers of flavour and intensity that you find in a good curry.

This recipe makes around 2.2kg of base gravy (enough for around 10-12 curries)


  • 2kg Peeled Onions (roughly chopped)
  • 1 & ½ Chef’s spoon (60ml) Vegetable oil
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (20g) Garlic paste
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (20g) Ginger paste
  • 1 & ½ teaspoon (10g) Salt
  • ½ teaspoon (3g) Turmeric powder
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (20g) Tomato puree
  • ½ tin (200g) Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 heaped teaspoons (15g) BIR Mix Powder
  • 1200ml Water


  1. Peel and roughly chop the onion

  2. Heat a pan on a medium high heat and add the vegetable oil

  3. Add the garlic and ginger paste, salt, turmeric powder, tomato puree and the plum tomatoes. Stir well and cook for 1 min.

  4. Add the chopped onions and stir.

  5. Add the water and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer on a low to medium heat for 60 mins stirring occasionally to ensure the onions don’t stick to the pan.

  6. Once the onions start to break down, add the BIR Mix Powder and stir in well. Simmer for another 30 mins without the pan lid.

  7. When the oil starts rising to the surface, use a stick blender or food processor to blend the onions until they become smooth and a milk like consistency.

  8. Once cooled, store the gravy in containers or bags. The gravy will last around 3 days in a fridge or upto a month in a freezer.

How to reheat the base gravy

  1. Empty the base gravy into a pan

  2. Add an equal amount of water to the pan (one part water to one part gravy)

  3. Bring to a boil whilst stirring frequently

  4. After around 5 minutes the gravy should have reached a milk like consistency, it is now ready to use

  5. Add the gravy as per your BIR curry recipe. Ensure the gravy is hot when you add it.

Or let us make it for you

  • BIR Base Gravy
    BIR Base Gravy

    BIR Base Gravy

    (784 reviews)

    A base sauce for cooking British Indian Restaurant style curries at home