How To Thicken Curry Sauce? 11 Best Ways You Should Know

Have you ever wondered why your curry sauce is always so watery and not as thick as what you saw on cooking shows?

The answer is quite simple: Using the wrong quantities of ingredients or not cooking long enough might cause your curry sauce to become a runny mess.

Stop right there if you consider pouring your runny curry down the sink because we will help you solve that issue. Here is how to thicken curry sauce with 11 different methods. Scroll down!

11 Ways To Thicken Your Curry Sauce

How To Thicken Curry Sauce
Curry Sauce

Read on to learn how to make curry less watery with our eleven ultimate methods!

Cook With Less Liquid

How to make thick curry sauce quickly and easily? – Reduce the liquid used to cook your curry. Obviously, by cooking with less liquid, you will end up with less runny curry. Simple as that!

Ingredients such as vegetables add moisture as you cook, so you should consider reducing the vegetables added to your curry if you want a thicker sauce.

Simmer It Down

One of the easiest techniques of curry thickener is to simmer your curry sauce down. In particular, it will evaporate the liquid in the pot and leave behind the solid parts.

Turn the heat down to avoid burning the bottom content, and leave it for around 15 to 30 minutes (ideally without the pot lid).

If you do not want to overcook the vegetables, add them later. Once the sauce has thickened, it should be safe to add the vegetables.

Wait For It To Cool Down

Like most types of sauce, curry sauce will slightly thicken after you let it cool for a while. The sauce thickens due to the protein in the meat soaking up the excess liquid, and the fat turns solid as it cools down.

If you leave it in the fridge overnight, you will see it get even thicker.

So, our advice for you is to let it cool down for about 10 minutes to see if anything changes.

Porée Some Ingredients

You can also try to porée some of the ingredients into thick pastes to solve the curry too watery issue. This technique helps you thicken it faster without using other ingredients that may ruin the flavor.

Depending on the recipe you are using, you can blend some of the meat, carrots, potatoes, or legumes in a food processor. Remember to add those ingredients back into the pot and continue cooking as usual.

Add Ground Nuts

It is possible to put some raw ground nuts such as cashews, peanuts, or almonds into your curry to make it thicker. Note that this method might change your curry flavor slightly (in particular, a slightly more nutty flavor).

So, how do you thicken a curry with ground nuts? If you have decided to try this method, simply put the nuts into a food processor and add them to your curry. In addition, peanut butter works just fine as a substitution if you do not have the ground nuts.

Add Lentils

Lentils, once cooked, absorb some of the liquid from the sauce, making it thicker. If you do not like lentils, adding chickpeas to make curry chickpeas vegan is also a good idea!

Still, this method might work better if you have not finished cooking your curry. What does this mean? – This means that it might not work well if you need a quick fix for your cooked curry in a hurry, as lentils take some time to cook.

Use Flour

A relatively easy way to thicken your curry, as well as other sauces, is using flour. You can use wheat, rice, arrowroot, coconut, or cornstarch to thicken curry for this solution.

Here is how to thicken curry sauce with flour: Add 2 teaspoons of flour and then mix it with some water to create a slurry paste. Then, pour it into your curry pot and stir it constantly.

It is recommended to do this method when your curry is almost ready to avoid burning the bottom of the pot.

If your kitchen does not have flour to apply this technique, continue reading to learn how to thicken curry sauce without flour.

Add Coconut

Whether in milk or grated form, adding coconut is a great way to thicken curry sauce. This ingredient helps you recreate the authentic flavor of Thai and Indian curry.

Additionally, it will make your curry smooth, sweet, and creamy. This is also the answer to “How to thicken Thai curry?’

Coconut milk will work best for this method. Here is how to thicken a curry by adding coconut:

Add 50g of coconut milk into your pot and gently stir it on a low heat setting. Let it simmer for a bit, and after that, it is ready to serve.

Use Yogurt

Yes, you did not read it wrong! You can actually apply this food for a thickening curry dish!

Here is how to thicken Indian curry:

Yogurt, especially full-fat and Greek yogurt, is a great thickening agent for your curry sauce. It brings a creamy flavor to your curry, effectively serving as a good substitution for cream.

The best thing is, yogurt will not be likely to get curdled in sauces.

Besides, it is best to add a little bit of yogurt and stir it until it completely blends with the sauce. You should do it on the low heat setting; otherwise, the yogurt might curdle in your curry sauce.

Add Tomato Paste

Tomato paste is commonly used for tomato-based sauces, but it can also be a brilliant thickening agent for other sauces like curry.

It does not alter your curry’s general taste and adds a rich flavor of tomato without any additional fat at all.

How to thicken up a curry with tomato paste: Once you are ready to boil up your sauce or simmer it down, you can start stirring in the tomato paste. After that, let the curry simmer for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy your meal!

Use Roux

Roux is a thickening mixture invented by the French. French cooks use this mixture to thicken sauces, including curry.

To make a roux, you need fat and flour. Although you can use other types of fat like lard, cooking oil, or bacon fat for this technique, butter is always the ultimate solution. In addition, roux is also the answer to the question How to thicken Japanese curry?’

Here are the steps to make a roux:

  • Heat a skillet on medium heat.
  • Add ¾ cup of butter (or any other fat of your choosing) into the skillet and wait for it to warm up.
  • Once the fat is heated, pour 1 cup of flour into the skillet and whisk it until it forms a paste.
  • Heat the mixture until it turns brown. A brown mixture would give you a slightly nut-like taste; a lighter-colored mixture would be better if you do not want that nutty flavor.

Here is how to make chicken curry thick with Roux: You can pour the roux mixture into your curry and stir it up. Let the curry simmer for a while, and it will be ready to serve.

Frequently Asked Questions

How To Thicken Curry Sauce With A Slow Cooker?

How to thicken in slow cooker is quite simple: The best thing you can do is remove the lid and let it sit for around 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can also use one of the methods we mentioned in the previous section, like lentils, flour, coconut, tomato paste, etc., to thicken your curry with a slow cooker; they will work just like on normal pots.

Typically, the slow cooking time and the lid are the main culprits that make your curry watery with slow cookers. The ingredients that release liquid will release more liquid in slow cookers (thanks to the lid), making your curry thinner.

What Is The Ideal Thickness Of Curry Sauce?

Generally, the ideal thickness for curry is somewhere between thin and thick. The thickness can coat all the ingredients in the dish and be fluid enough to dip bread into or pour on rice.

But at the end of the day, it depends on your personal preferences – there is no fixed answer to the perfect thickness of the sauce.

How To Fix Over-thickened Curry Sauce?

If your curry is somehow too thick for your taste, you can thin it down by adding more liquid to it. Or else, let’s add vegetables if you have the time (or have not done it already), as they release liquid after cooking for a while.

In case you end up with a way too thin sauce (again), you should retry the 11 methods of the previous section; they should work just fine. Try experimenting with each of them to see which one will match your personal preferences.

Final note: The recipes and the ingredients also affect the ideal thickness of your curry. Vegetable-based recipes tend to produce thinner sauce than other recipes due to the moisture in vegetables, so you should pick other recipes with fewer vegetables if you want a thick curry.


Now you learned how to thicken curry sauce with different ingredients and techniques.

Typically, how thick or thin your curry is depends on the recipes, the vegetables added to your curry, and the amount of stock you use in your dish. 

So, what do you think? Be sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below. If you like what you just read, you should also consider checking out the other cooking articles on our website. Thank you for reading!

Kevin Richard

Hi all! I’m Kevin. I spend plenty of time in the kitchen every day because I love cooking healthy and delicious foods for my family and friends. Cooking gives me a chance to be creative and fun. It’s also one of the most meaningful ways to express my love and take care of my little family.

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