Man you've come to the right place, My suggestion is to just buy curry pastes and powder. It's one of those things (like canned tomatoes) which just work ready made. Here are two simple curries I make with Curry Powder. I'm into Ayam powder atm, but Keens make a mean powder too.
1 Red Onion
1 Clove crushed garlic
1 Cup Corn Kernels
500g Diced Chicken (Thighs are great for curry)
500gms small potatoes, cut in half. (About the same size as the chicken)
1 Cup chicken stock
1/2 Cup cocunut milk (Optional)
2 Tbsp Curry Powder
Cook onions and garlic over a medium heat until soft.
Add curry powder and cook until fragrant (This is a must for all currys)
In a seperate pan, brown chicken quickly
Add chicken to onion mix, and rest of the ingrediants.
Reduce the liquid until it's thick and potatoes are cooked. I boil the mixr reasonably hard for about 20 minutes.
As above but, swap chicken for beef, chicken stock for beef stock, replace cocunut milk with 1 Tbspn Tomato Paste. This adds a richness that compliments the darker meat. And add some green beans.
I've made curry paste from scratch, and I must say, the pre packaged stuff is honestly just as good. If using a paste in the above recipes, use a lot more of it, it's less potent than powder in most cases, but you must still toast it, untill fragrant. I can't stress enough how important it is, to release the aromatics in curry.
If your curry is too hot, add less next time, you wont notice less flavour.
That's a great article about curry that might answer some of your questions.