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Follow this 4 simple steps for making the perfect curry every time

May 09, 2021

 Base -> Masala ->  Main -> Simmering (BMMS)

There are a lot of ingredients that go into a curry and adding the right ingredients at the right time can take your curry making skills to the next level.

With years of experience in growing up with and making curry we have narrowed down the curry making process to these 4 simple steps. People can argue every curry is different and has its own way of making. But for the most part these steps are enough for you to make a simple delicious curry at home.

Here at pestle and pods we want to encourage home cooking hence we want to keep it as simple as possible. Try it out yourself and you will be amazed how simple and easy the process of making a good curry with our BMMS steps.

Detailed version of the steps:


In case you want a short version then skip this section and scroll down to conclusion.

Step 1(B): BASE

This is the foundation of any good curry. And almost all curries have these spices as their base that is fried in oil. Heat up the pot on a medium flame with oil and follow the steps

  1. Spices (Usually cardamom, cloves, Chilli, cinnamon, bayleaf and curry leaves)
  2. Chopped Onion (Should be fried till golden brown)
  3. Crushed or mashed ginger
  4. Crushed or mashed Garlic
  5. Tomato
  6. Cashews (depends on the recipe)

The most crucial part is the ginger and garlic. Try to grate/crush/blend fresh ginger and garlic instead of a store bought paste or powder that makes a huge difference

Our "The One Curry" already has all these spices you need for #1 so you can replace # 1 with a 1/2 tea spoon of it in in case you don't have the these handy.

Step 2(M): MASALA

Technically this step is also part of the base but let's keep it separate for ease. Masala is the soul of any good curry. Every state in India make their masala in their own way. The north Indian masalas are more mellow, milder and use herbs like Fenugreek leaves. Whereas south Indian masalas are bit more punchier and lean towards the hotter side with different herbs such as Curry Leaves. Our 'One Curry' is a south Indian masala blend so it is a bit more punchier.

But if you look closely both north and south Indian masalas have common ingredients and they are slow roasted and grinned together as below for our spice blend

  1. Turmeric 
  2. Coriander seeds 
  3. Red Chilli 
  4. Fennel seeds 
  5. Cumin seeds 
  6. Garam masala  (cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bayleaf) 
  7. Salt 

This is where you add blend of the above spices and add it in the mixture.

If you like a smoother curry then you need to cool it down and whip this mixture using a hand or a regular blender(make sure it is cool down to avoid painting your wall)

Not everyone has access to all these spice handy and this is where "The One Curry" comes into the picture. It is a perfect blend of all these essentials spices(except for salt) slow roasted with curry leaves and ground together in small batches in a proportion that gives you best tasting curry.

Step 3(M): MAIN 

As the name suggest once you have the base and masalas in now you add your main ingredient of your liking be it  Meat or Vegetables or mix of both and sauté it well to get all that masalas now absorbed with a little bit of water to avoid burning. 


Once you have added the main ingredient you need to add water. Usually the amount of water you add should be an in level with all of the ingredients in your pot at that point.

Heat and Salt Test: This is where you need to do a final salt and spice level test. Don't worry about the taste just check for salt and the heat. If less then add salt or pepper or chili powder accordingly. Add some lemon if you want bit more sourness.

Now cover the pot or bring to a boil in a high flame. Once everything comes to a boil you and see the steam seeping out through the lid turn the gas to simmer in low flame for a good 20 mins( this timing is good for chicken and veggies and 50 mins for tougher meats like beef or goat)

After 20 mins take the lid off and let it boil for another 5 mins in a medium flame until you see that the water has reduced to 65% of its initial level. You could play with this time based on how thick/runny you want the sauce

Traditionally the cooking ends here with some chopped coriander. But in the west table cream is added to give that creamy texture.

Add 2 tbsp table cream or coconut cream or cashew cream(literally soak and grind cashews) to the mixture and let it boil for 5 more mins.

Finally add some chopped coriander or Fenugreek leaves and Enjoy!!!


Heat up a pot and add below ingredients with constant sautéing.


  • Oil
  • Garam spices (add a tsp of the one curry if you don't have them)
  • Onion(sauté till it turns brown)
  • Ginger & garlic(sauté till you get rid of the raw smell usually about 2 mins)
  • Tomato


The one curry masala(turmeric + garam masala +coriander + fennel powder + cumin powder + pepper powder + curry leaves + chili powder) blend and tiny bit of water to avoid burning. Boil till the mixture turns soft.


Add meat or veggie and water till 1 cm above the mix


Turn up the heat bring it to a boil.

Turn the heat down and let the mixture to simmer for 20 -30 mins and end it with some cream(optional).

How to scale the curry

This is more of a general ratio for making a simple curry and this might vary for some specific curries so take it with a grain of salt.

Traditionally here is how you would choose the ratio of all the base ingredients based on your main.

Start with choosing your main and work your way down. This ratio varies between a vegetarian vs a non vegetarian(meat based) dish. Eg.

For Meat based dishes:

If you are cooking 500 gms of chicken then here is the ratio ( 500 gms of any main in this method serves 4 people)

Chicken - 500 gms


Onion should be 1/2 of the meat - 250 gms (usually about 2 medium onions)

Tomato should be 1/2 of onions - 125 gms  (usually about 1 tomato )

Ginger and garlic should be 1/2 tomatoes - 60gms ( 30 gms ginger and 30 gms garlic). If you like it less spicy then reduce this by half

And the masala blend should be 2 tbsps

For vegetable or vegan dishes:

But for Vegetarian dishes the tomato should be in the same level as onions if not a bit more. Rest remains the same. Eg. tomato heavy dishes like butter chicken and tikka masala would have more tomato than onion.(Add twice the amount of tomato than onions )

So if you take the above example

Vegetable of your choice - 500 gms


Onion should be 1/2 of the meat - 250 gms

Tomato should be 1/2 of onions - 250gms

Ginger and garlic should be 1/2 tomatoes - 60gms (30 gms ginger and 30 gms garlic)

And the masala blend should be 2 tbsps

Hopefully following our BMMS method helps to ramp your curry skills.



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