Frequently Asked Questions
Gravy is a sauce which is a blend of various ingredients like onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, spices, yoghurt, cashew paste cream, oil, butter etc.
Different kinds of gravy have different ratio of these ingredients mostly smooth and sometimes coarse. Vegetables, seafood, chicken, meat and paneer are simmered along with these gravies to prepare a final dish in the restaurant.
Gravies help the Chef to prepare most of his dishes without any hassle last minute; He uses different gravies for different dishes, Veg or non-Veg. Sometime makes a blend of 2 or 3 gravies and finishes the dish. He adds spices, seasonings, cream and butter or ghee last minute to enhance the taste of the final dish.
Different kinds of gravies are:
• Makhani gravy
• Tomato gravy
• Onion tomato masala
• Yellow or Veg gravy
• Cashew or white gravy
• Brown onion gravy
• Rogan josh gravy
Different types of gravies you would find in the Indian kitchen are:
• Boiled/ Processed Tomato puree: Tomatoes boiled with spices, pulverized & strained, again boiled to thicken.
• Cashew paste (separate) : Always kept ready, blended last minute as required.
• Cashew paste cooked along with onion: Always kept ready, blended last minute to enrich gravies or used on its own.
• Onion gravy (smooth): Brown Onion, Yellow Gravy, Veg gravy. Main ingredient being onion, which is mostly sautéed / deep fried / boiled and
pureed, and cooked along with ginger garlic, spices, with or without Tomatoes (optional), with or without curds. (Most commonly found).
Most commonly used as a filler for most of the dishes.
• Prepared Makhani Base (Similar to Knorr): Tomato + Cashew paste + Ginger Garlic + Spices + Khoya (milk solids) + Butter
• White Gravy
• Onion Tomato Masala (or Ram Ban masala) (same as Knorr)
• Specialized Gravies:
1. Rogan Josh Gravy
2. Hyderabadi Gravy
3. Mughlai Gravy
History of gravy making: Makhani gravy was invented in Delhi (Moti Mahal Restaurant. It used to be just fresh tomatoes, boiled, pureed and cooked to a gravy consistency with addition of spices. The whole art was how to get the right flavour of tomatoes by cutting its sourness without adding any other ingredient or base.
Then came an era, when chefs started using cashew paste / charmagaj paste to tomato puree to make Makhani, which made it creamier richer and avoided any errors.
Cashew and charmagaj are expensive ingredients. So all the channels or segments cannot use them. So chef /operator started using peanut paste, broken paneer, mava, Kaju kanni / other gravies like onion to blend with tomatoes and prepare Makhani sauce.
That’s how, even today, there are various types of gravies that are still referred as Makhani by the restaurant, even if they look, taste differently.
We have tried to customize our Knorr Gravy to suit most of the channels.
Makhani gravy is made by pulversing fresh boiled tomatoes to a puree and than cooking this puree with cashew paste, spices, Kastoori Methi and than finally finished with cream, khoya and butter.
To make onion tomato gravy you need to sauté chopped onions in oil, till they are brown, and then add ginger garlic paste spices and finally fresh tomato chopped or puree. It is cooked for a long time till all ingredients are cooked and blended and the oil comes on top. No water is added in the entire process.
• Boiling tomatoes, pulverizing and making puree is a cumbersome time consuming process.
• It requires a large quantity of fuel (gas/ coal) which is a costly input.
• Overheads are increasing day by day.
Average portion size of an Indian dish is 250 gm out of which Makhani gravy is about 100 to 120 gm per dish of 250 gm. Rest would be either proteins or vegetables.
Average portion size of Onion Tomato masala gravy is about 50 to 60 gm per dish of 250 gm. Rest would be either proteins or vegetables.
Making gravies is a time consuming & laborious process. It takes approximately 2 hrs to make gravy (approx 10 liters).
You need to be an Indian cook of 5 to 6 years experience with good understanding of Indian cooking and spices.
Generally the gravies are cooked in the morning shift or night shift.
Gravies are stored in large containers or Vessels (Hundis or Handies) outside at room/ ambient temperature or cooled to room temperature. In case of hotels, prepared gravies are stored in walk in refrigerator.
According to the operator, the shelf life of gravies prepared in house is 2 days and in hotels it is 2 - 3 days as they are stored in chiller. But it has to be heated repeatedly when ever needs to be used. This leads to loss of freshness & taste.
Most of the restaurants and caterers do not have large refrigerators or chilling facilities to store large quantities of cooked gravies. Hence the operator preserves it by heating it & bringing to a boil, two to three times a day. This process leads to loss of flavour, taste and discoloration.
• Inconsistency in quality & Fluctuation in prices of tomato/ onion .
• Peeling & chopping onions is labor intensive and time consuming process. And there is a huge wastage in the process.
• Cashew nuts are expensive and most of the time, does not get the best quality for the price we demand.
• Kitchen space is limited with limited gas stoves. Gravies take a long time processing and cooking and than storage, occupy space.
• To maintain consistency of the gravy is difficult due to availability of ingredients, cost and turnover of labor.
• Large batch or small batch in house production always has 5 to 10% wastage factor (processing loss).
• Operators, who operate from Central kitchen to multiple outlets, always face a challenge to transport gravy at right temperature and packing.
• Caterers and banquets have a seasonal business and operate with limitation of staff; hence during season it is really difficult to manage producing so many different things from scratch.
• Restaurants and caterers always face a last minute order or change in the load/quantity of order where it is difficult to produce base gravy and then the dish, leads to quality problems.
• Generally, Indian cooks do not measure ingredient in their recipe and it is always done as a routine. At times this can leads to variation in the final product.
• There is a lot of Spoilage of the left over as Gravies are always cooked on rough estimates and never on exact demand.
• Due to high turnover of staff/ cooks/, absenteeism, if the recipe is not documented/ standardized or followed, there is a high possibility of change in taste of final dish when cooked by different cook.
The two different variants of Knorr Indian Base Sauce are:
1. Tomato Makhani Onion Tomato Masala
For TOMATO MAKHANI:
Water, Tomato paste (22.4%), Sugar, Edible Vegetable Oil, Dry Fruit & Nuts, Salt, Cereal Products, Milk Solids, Ginger Garlic paste, Spices and Condiments, Acidity Regulator - 330, Thickener - 415
Onions, Water, Tomatoes, Edible Vegetable Oil, Tomato Paste (7.14%), Ginger Garlic paste, Salt, Cereal Products, Spices and Condiments, Acidity Regulator - 330.
Tomato Makhani: Pack Size: 1kg
Tomato Makhani Base sauce gives double yield: So 1 kg gives 2 kg of Makhani sauce (gravy)
Onion Tomato: Pack Size: 1kg
Shelf Life: 9 months from date of packing.
Knorr gravy once opened has to be stored in refrigerated conditions either in the pack itself or emptied out in a food grade container and should be covered.
Shelf life after opening the pack: It should be treated like the fresh gravy made by chef in the kitchen.
Knorr gravy once opened has to be stored in refrigerated conditions either in the pack itself or emptied out in a stainless steel container and should be covered. It remains fresh for 3 days provided it is kept opened in the pack or in an aseptic container under 5° C.
Knorr IBS can be stored at ambient temperature before opening. As Knorr IBS are packed in the retort packing, it doesn’t require being stored in refrigerator.
Prepared exactly the same way (chefs approved recipe-similar spices) as you would be preparing in your kitchen. Ready to use Indian Gravy that cut down the hassles of peeling, chopping, pureeing and storing in the process of making gravy and still allows him to create their popular dishes in the mnu. Available in the patented “Retort packing” that Doesn’t require any preservative. Ambient Temperature storage- save a lot of refrigerator’s space.