How Do I Thicken Curry?

Thin or runny curry is often the result of using unthawed frozen vegetables or adding too much cooking liquid. Attempts to tone down a too-spicy taste with coconut milk can remove some of its heat, but also cause the sauce to become thin. While thin curry is undesirable, it is not a reason to panic. There is more than one way to thicken curry and in the process restore its thick, saucy texture.

Step 1

Turn your stove burner to medium high, remove the cover from the saucepan and let the liquid simmer just below boiling point for about 5 minutes without stirring. Simmering curry without additional thickening ingredients allows excess liquid to evaporate into the atmosphere and is a good choice for sauce that is only slightly thin. Watch the sauce closely during this time and, if necessary, adjust the heat to ensure the sauce does not boil.

Step 2

Stir 1 tbsp. of arrowroot into the saucepan for each cup of liquid. Arrowroot is a flavor-neutral thickener that works much like cornstarch. Turn your stove burner to medium-high and stir constantly until the sauce starts to thicken. This method is a good choice for sauce that is thin but not runny.

Step 3

Heat a thickening paste consisting of 2 tbsp. of flour and 2 tbsp. of melted, unsalted butter for each cup of curry sauce in a separate saucepan until the butter just starts to turn brown. Pour in 1 cup of the thin curry sauce and mix well. Add this mixture to the curry sauce, bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the burner heat and simmer for 4 to 5 minutes. Use this method if your sauce is thin to the point of being runny.

Things You'll Need

  • Spoon

  • Arrowroot

  • Flour

  • Butter, unsalted

  • Saucepan

Tips

Your goal is to thicken the sauce without changing its flavor. While you can use cornstarch as a substitute for arrowroot, it has an aftertaste you may find unacceptable.

You can also thicken curry by stirring in 1 to 2 tbsp. of tomato puree. Keep in mind that unless your curry already includes tomatoes, using tomato puree will change its taste.

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