Different types of Gravies || Indian Gravies and Regional Gravies

Types of indian Gravy

There are basically four different types of Indian Gravy that are commonly used to prepare many dishes and curries around the country. However, there are some regional curries that are specific only to certain regions of India.

The four main gravies used in Indian cooking are White gravy, Hariyali gravy, Makhni gravy and Brown onion gravy.

Let’s we will discuss this four different types of indian Gravy-

Indian Gravies

White Gravy

This gravy is white to blonde in colour. The base of this gravy is boiled onion paste and the gravy is thickened by nut pastes.


The oil or ghee is heated and boiled onion paste, ginger and garlic are sauted until the ghee comes out.


Now the pastes such as cashew nuts, char magaz paste added to provide the thickness to this gravy.

Green chilli paste is used or slit green chillies are used for spicing and can be removed after cooking.


Hariyali Gravy

Hariyali means  in Hindi green and hence the name.


This gravy is made by adding cooked spinach puree into the brown gravy.

The green paste used in North can be spinach, while in South India this paste could be of curry leaves and coariander leaves.


In Kashmir this green paste could be made by fresh Fenugreek leaves to create methi tsaman. Saag Gosht from North India is also made by combining hariyali gravy with lamb.

Hariyali gravy can be made instantly if the basic mise en place such as brown onion gravy and spinach is ready.


  • Hariyali Gravy is used in many dishes around India.

Makhni Gravy

This is a types of gravy from North India it’s very popular. Makhni Gravy is paired with light-flavoured foods such as chicken, fish and cottage cheese.


This gravy is made by boiling tomatoes with ginger and garlic and then pureed. The puree is now allowed to simmer with green cardamom and peppercorns, red chilli powder and butter rises to surface.

The gravy is thickened with cashewnut paste or char magaz paste. The gravy is strained and finished with kasoori methi, cream and honey.


  • Used in many preparation such as Murgh makhni and paneer makhni.
  • It is also added along with onion tomato masala to produce many other curries.
  • Makhni gravy is used in North Indian cooking and forms the base for many curries and dishes.
  • Also used in conjunction with onion tomato masala to make curries.

Onion tomato gravy

This is also known as tomato gravy.



Onion tomato gravy is prepared by tempering the oil with whole spices such as cumin, green cardamom and cinnamon.

And then onions are sauteed until brown. Chopped tomatoes are added along with ginger and garlic pastes and gravy is spiced with red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder.

The gravy is cooked until the oil floats on top and is stored until further use.

You can Read also  Types of Mother Sauces and their Derivatives

Regional Gravies

At with all cuisine the regional produce forms  the base of the cooking. For example, The Malabar coast of Kerala uses liberal amounts of pepper and garam masala spices due to the abundance in which these ingredients are grown here.

The influence of religion and caste is also important. Religions like Jainism advocate a strict code vegetarianism. Geography also play important role. And also History

The climatic conditions of that region too play an important part in regional gravies and curries. The hot and humid climates will have hot and chilly food that would aid in perspiration thus cooling the body.


Let’s discuss few of the famous different example of Regional curries –

Kadhai Gravy

As the name suggests this gravy is made in a karahi.


This gravy is similar to the brown tomato gravy the only difference is that there is no onion in this.


  • It is used mostly for the vegetarian dishes such as kadhai paneer and kadhai vegetables.
  • Kadhai gravy gravy is used in. North Indian cooking and forms base for many stir-fried dishes such as kadhai paneer and vegetables such as kadhai aloo and kadhai gobhi.

Achari Gravy

This is regional gravy from Punjab and is used for many vegetarian and meat dishes. It gets its name from the achari masala used in it. Achari masala contains seeds such as mustard, fennel, fenugreek, kalonji and cumin.


  • Achari gravy used in North Indian cooking and forms base for many curries and dishes.
  • Achari gravy is curd and Tomato based and hence should be made fresh once in two days or preferably everyday.

Malai kofta Gravy

Malai Kofta gravy is popular in North India and is used for making malai kofta.


Prepare the boiled onion paste and keep aside. Make the tomato puree and cook it with small with amount of oil for at least an hour.

To prepare this gravy heat oil in the chosen utensil and cook for another minute.  the paste of spices and cook for another 30 seconds. And then cooked tomato puree and cook the gravy for few minutes.

Add cashew nuts paste adjust seasoning lastly add cream to this and use as required.



  • Gravy is used in North Indian cooking to make a dish called malai kofta. Malai kofta consist of deep fried cottage cheese dumplings that are often stuffed with dry fruits such as raisins and nuts.

Yakhni Gravy

This is regional gravy from Kashmir.



To prepare this gravy heat ghee in the chosen utensils and temper with Shahi jeera. Add chilly paste, GG paste and cook for 30 seconds.

Take the spice powder except (saunth and cinnamon) made into a paste with little and cook for a minute. Add cashew nut paste and cook for another 2 minutes on a slow flame.

For boiling take  some water and bring. Now add the whisked curd and brown onion paste  mixture and let the gravy cook on dum until ghee floats on top.

Season the gravy and add the saunth powder and cinnamon powder along with mint and saffron.

Korma Gravy

This is a regional gravy from the Mughal gharanas of Uttar Pradesh. Most of the Mughal rules settled around Delhi, Lucknow and Agra and hence it is very common to see the influence of white gravies in Uttar Pradesh.


To prepare this gravy heat oil and butter in the chosen utensils and temper with khada masala. When it crackles add ginger-garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds.

coriander and cumin powder add and turmeric powder made into paste and cook for 30 seconds. Then take and mix coriander and cummin powder and turmeric powder made into paste with some water and cook the gravy for two minutes.


Tomato puree and green chilli paste and cook until oil floats on top. Add the cooked curd brown  onion, paste and some water  and cook the gravy on dum for 20 minutes.

Finish the gravy with with mace, cardamom and kewda powder.

Salan Gravy

This is a regional gravy from Hyderabad. It is commonly served as an accompaniment with biryani and usually it is made of long banana peppers also known as salan mirch.


Heat oil in the chosen utensils and add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 30 seconds.

Now add powdered spices made into a paste with little amount of water and add salan paste.

Cook on a slow flame until the oil comes to the surface. This will take time and be careful as this gravy will splutter a lot while being cooked. When done add the tamarind pulp and season the gravy.

The tamarind is added last as the acid will increase the time of cooking if added in the initial stages.

Now heat some more oil and add mustard seeds whole red chillies, fenugreek seeds to the gravy. This is called tempering.

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