How To Thicken A Curry Sauce That is Too Runny – Quickly

Have you ever found yourself cooking up a curry and then realized that the sauce is going to end up way too runny?

For years I have been thickening my curries by adding cornflour. To do this I normally add a couple of teaspoons of cornflour into a small bowl on the side. Then I mix it up with water and add the mixture to the curry. Instant fix!

The other day however, I had a problem.

I was out of cornflour.

Luckily , there is more than one way to thicken a curry sauce and here are some other methods:

Image: flickr
Image: flickr

Thickening curry with tomato paste or a puree

There are many vegetables, that can be pureed into a sauce that can be used to help thicken the consistency of your curry. Some examples that you could use:

  • Onions
  • Lentils
  • tomatoes

How To thicken a curry sauce with yoghurt

Heres the thing.. sometimes you just need a fix in a real hurry, and one super quick method is just to add some plain yoghurt.

You don’t want it to curdle though so make sure you:

  • Don’t have the heat up too much
  • Use whole milk/high fat yoghurt
  • Add it last after the curry is already cooked and cooled down a bit

Flour to make sauce less runny

Not everyone has cornflour in their cupboard, but most people do have plain old flour. You can whip up a bit of flour and water, maybe add some butter if you like, and before you know it your curry will have the consistency of a thick soup.

Image: flickr
Image: flickr

Mash up that potato

If you mash up potato enough it becomes like mush when mixed with liquid. If you are planning on having some spud in your curry anyway you might as well use it to it’s best advantage and kill two birds with one stone.

Simmer it off

The final technique I am going to share with you is one of the simplest. This is approaching the problem from a different angle.

If you don’t want to add a thickener to increase the thickness, what you can do is remove some of the runniness in the sauce and to do this just remove the lid and let it simmer for a while.

What if my curry is now too thick?

Unfortunately some of these methods can occasionally work too well.

More than once I have been stuck in a loop of thicken, thin, thicken, thin until finally I have managed to get it to the perfect consistency.

To thin it out a bit is really simple – just add a little bit of water.

Do you have any other methods that you use to thicken a curry that you would like to share? Let us know.

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2 Comments

  1. We share the very same ‘how to salvage’ something determination – I never waste a meal unless it is completely sabotaged by lack of care and attention!. My trick for thickening sauces is to add (thickening granules) I buy from the supermarket, yet typically have plenty of pulses like Lentils, chickpeas and frozen veg in stock in the event I run out of the granules. Sometimes however, and maybe because I like to make all of my meals Sauce-luscious, find it very difficult to condense them, no matter what puree substances I have at hand!. Many times I have used up the entire cupboard of whatever coagulating essentials in a desperate bid to rescue a Tikka-Masala or Bolognese from slushy-sloop. Need to work out (water quantities) more precisely in order to change this overzealous pattern of making cuisines less Cruise-Nile!

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