Madras mother base gravy

Share Button


Preparation Time   : 15 minutes

Cooking Time        : 20 minutes

Serving                 : 4 servings


Just imagine….With just one gravy you could create around 7 to 8 different gravies.I know, this sounds like a miraculous thing to happen to all of us… The so called” home chefs”. The first thought on all our minds each morning is what to cook for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch ??? This is an universal mind breaking stress that we home chefs go through each day. I can feel all of you reading this go” YES, YES, YES”. Now, this gravy serves a solution to all of us with a magical boon. As it can be used to make 7-8 or more gravies with your imagination taking over. I came across this recipe through a foodie group in face book by mrs Radha nadarajan s and made note of it. Tried it out, made different gravies and chutneys with this mother base  gravy and every time I did… It resulted in eye brows raised by all at home. My gal immediately wanted a huge share to be packed for herself. Every time her stock of this chennai mother base gravy is over, she makes sure to replace them soon enough. Umm the pleasure of having mothers around :-)). I guess this masala base is also called mother base gravy as it lends ease and  warmth to us like all our mothers do..


Tomatoes2 cups chopped
Small onions2 cups
Sambar powder2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder1 teaspoon
Asafetida1/2 teaspoon
Green chillie3 slit
Ground Coconut paste1/2 cup
Coriander powder2 teaspoons
Red chilly powder2 teaspoons
Fried gram / pottu kadalai 1/4 cup powdered
Oil 4 tablespoons
Salt to taste


  1. Heat oil in a non- stick vessel. Add small onions,green chillies and sauté to a golden brown color.
  2. Add tomatoes and sauté until oil floats on top.
  3. Add all the other ingredients one after the other and mix well . Cook , covered for five minutes to get to a thick paste.
  4. Cool completely. The madras mother base gravy is ready.
  5. Divide into portions of your convenience and freeze in zip lock bags.
  6. Thaw before use and use as desired.

Ways to use the madras mother  base gravy

1.serve as it is as a side dish as it is.

2. vegetable masala koottu :
add boiled vegetables,channa or rajma to the madras mother base gravy . Add water to the desired consistency wanted .bring to boil and serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves with idli,dosa or chapathis.

3. hotel style sambar:

Blend the madras mother base gravy to a coarse paste. Add boiled dhal , tamarind pulp little , jaggery little , salt to taste . Mix well bring to boil.Taste and adjust seasoning.Heat oil,add mustard seeds , curry leaves . Once they crackle , add to the sambar . Mix well and Garnish with chopped coriander leaves . serve hot with idli and dosa .

4. tomato chuntney

Grind the chennai mother base gravy to a thick smooth paste . Heat oil , add mustard seeds , curry leaves , torn dry red chillies . Once they crackle , pour over the chuntney and serve .

5. tomato panner / egg bhurji

Heat oil , add 1/2 teaspoon of Ginger and garlic paste . Once crisp , top with 2 teaspoons of pav bajji masala powder . Pour the chennai mother base gravy with little water . Bring to boil , simmer until the raw smell vanishes . Grate panner over with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot . ( I grate boiled eggs at times and on lazy days just serve with whole boiled eggs)

6. dum aloo

Blend the madras mother base gravy to a smooth paste . Grind cashew – 2 teaspoons, cumin powder- 1 teaspoon, cardamom-2 , fennel powder- 1 teaspoon , tomato -2 together to a smooth paste . Deep fry baby potatoes to crisp . Heat oil , add Ginger and garlic paste 1/2 teaspoon . add the ground chennai mother base gravy with the ground cashew paste and bring to boil with enough water for a gravy . Once the raw smell has vanished , add the deep fried baby potatoes with 1/4 cup cream , a few pinches of kasoori methi . Serve hot . ( I do the same with panner , chicken and egg omelet’s made in a panniyaram pan / appe pan )

7.pav bajji masala

Grind the chennai mother base gravy to a smooth paste.Grind mixed boiled veggies to a coarse paste.Heat butter add the madras mother base gravy with the ground veggies . Mix well , bring to boil.Remove,garnish with chopped onions , chopped coriander leaves and lemon wedges . serve with butter toasted buns,chapathis , idlis or Dosas .

8.grind the madras mother base gravy to a smooth paste.Mix with hung thing curd or mayonnaise with no lumps . Taste and adjust seasoning . Serve as a dip with chips , veggie sticks etc …

9.Let your imagination rule and create more wonders with this chennai mother base gravy.