How to Make Curry Thicker

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Learn a few Fixes to your Watery Curry!

how to make curry thicker

Curry is an essential part of many cuisines.

We’ve already done a couple of articles about reheating a curry and cooling down a curry, but what happens when your curry is too watery? We are here to learn: how to make curry thicker. 

A decent curry always needs the right blend of sauces or spices. But it’s not just the sauces and spices that always matter; the consistency and thickness need our attention too.

Let’s learn how to make curry thicker, but before landing on this mantra, you need to know a few things that make the curry too watery.

3 Common Mistakes of a Watery Curry

watery curry

Remember making a curry blended and thick enough to make you drool; it needs to be thick.
Here are a few common mistakes you can make.

1. Onions and Tomatoes Are Cut In Big Chunks

In curry, the thickening agents are onion and tomatoes. If they are chopped into big chunks, curry will be watery. So, you need to cut them into smaller pieces or finely chopped them to make thicker curry.

2. Not Enough Cooking for Onion Chopped, Tomato Puree, or Garlic Ginger Paste

If you add all these ingredients to your cooking but are not cooking them enough to make a good blend, you should learn how to make a curry thicker. A blend should be cooked until it separates from oil.

In an Indian recipe, where you use more tomato puree, make sure it’s cooked well; otherwise, you will end up making curry too watery.

thickening a curry

3. Cooking Curry very Fast

If you want to know how to make the sauce thicker, you must not cook a curry in a hurry. It spoils the mixture and makes it watery.

9 of the Best Ways of Thickening Curry

Now you will learn how to make curry sauce thicker with these few fixes.

1. Add Yoghurt

Adding thick yoghurt to the curry can make it thicker. Add a small amount of Greek Yoghurt and stir it into the curry. You can add a little more yoghurt to get the desired thickness. It is also used as cream substitutes in Indian-style curries. Moreover, it comes in handy to cool your curry down if it is a little spicier.

prawn curry

2. Use Tomato Puree

It is one of the most common ways of thickening curry. Tomato puree is ideal for Indian cookery. It is thicker than tomato paste and will not affect the flavour too much. Add the tomato puree during the cooking process to get better results. This will speed up the cooking process and help to thicken the curry as well.

3. Use Garlic and Ginger Paste in the Beginning

It is advisable that if your ingredient includes garlic or ginger paste, you add it before onion and tomatoes. Also, make sure that you sauté these and not overcook. This is an excellent approach to how to thicken curry.

4. Use Garam Masala at the End

It is better than adding garam masala at the end or when the cooking curry reaches the middle part. To cook the garam masala well, you should add it in the middle part of cooking a curry.

5. Manage the Speed of Cooking

Different Indian curries need different speeds of cooking. If you are learning how to thicken the curry, keep your speed slow at first. Make sure everything cooks well, starting from your initial veggies to the final stage.

6. Use Medium or High Flame

However, sometimes a curry needs to be cooked on medium or high flame, depending on the need. Once the onion chopped, tomato puree and ginger garlic paste are well blended and cooked; you can speed up your flame.

7. Sauté Vegetables for Chinese and Thai Curry

When we make Chinese or Thai Curry, they become watery when we add vegetables. It is better to stir fry the vegetables before adding them to any curry. Even if you want to add vegetables to an Indian curry, stir fry them.

Vegetables make the curry too watery when these are slightly undercooked. It is better to stir fry them before introducing them at the end of a curry.

8. Use Cream or Butter

Sometimes even slow-cooked curries are hard to make thick. If you find your slow-cooked curry too watery, there is one excellent tip on how to thicken the curry. Add whole fat yoghurt or cream.

You can also add butter at the end to make it thick. Some Indian families also use desi ghee.

9. Let the Curry be at Low Flame in the End

Once you are cooking the dish, be it Indian, Chinese, or Thai, let it cook slowly on a very low flame for 20 minutes. However, meat-based curries, especially beef curry, should be cooked for more than 1 hour. This makes your gravy thick. Especially in an Indian curry, let the oil separates from the mixture and then turn off the flame.

indian curry


Why is your Slow Cooker Curry Watery?

The slow cooking or cooker can make some times curry too watery. Unlike stovetop cooking, the moisture in the slow cooker doesn’t evaporate, which contributes to added liquid and make your slower cooker curry watery.

How Do You Thicken A Slow Cooked Curry?

It is adequate that you let the tomato sauce cook slowly by keeping it at low flame for 4 to 5 hours on high settings and 8 to 10 hours on low settings. Slowly cooking thickens the sauce.

In Indian cuisine, use tomato puree as the main ingredient to thicken your sauce. Make sure you dry it well with some oil before adding more vegetables or meat.

How Do You Thicken A Curry Lid On Or Off?

This is the most crucial part you should manage well. At first, when you sauté ginger-garlic or onion chopped, you need curry lid off. But once you add tomato puree to the blend, keep the lid on.

Let the entire blend simmer on low flame until it separates the oil. Now you can add other things like herbs, spices, chicken, or mutton.

Once you add these ingredients, let the curry cook slowly, and this is a good piece of advice on how to make curry thick.

Why isn’t my Sauce Thickening?

Your sauce might not get thick because you may not be paying enough attention to the details involved in thickening a curry.

Remember: Do not over fry onions; use chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree, and “making curry in a hurry spoils it”.


Here are almost ten ways on how to make curry thicker. Whenever you find curry watery, look into all these ideas on thickening curry. This might take your cuisine consistency to the next level and ensure every curry you make is top notch! 

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Andy Canter


Ever since I started cooking I’ve been fascinated by how different people’s techniques are and how they best utilise the ingredients around them. Even the person living next door will have their own unique way of frying an egg or cooking a salmon fillet.

This fascination led me on a journey across the globe to discover the countless practices and traditions the world of cooking has to offer. I thought you’d enjoy and find value in sharing that journey with me so I created Cooked Best!