To reduce the sour taste in curry add sugar, fat or dilute the curry with stock or water. Sweetness will balance the flavor can be added by adding white sugar, rock sugar, palm sugar or even honey a teaspoon at a time to the curry. Sourness can also be masked by ingredients that contain fat such as plain yogurt, sour cream, coconut cream or regular cream.
This article will explore the top 10 ways to reduce the sour taste in curry.
10 Ways to reduce the sour taste in curry
Sourness in curries is usually caused by the addition of too much tamarind, overcooking the spices or garlic or the addition of too many sour spices such as carraway, fenugreek or mustard seeds.
1. White sugar or rock sugar
The addition of regular white or rock sugar is a simple way to balance a curry that tastes too sour. It is important to only add a small amount of sugar at a time, stir and then taste. Start by adding 1 teaspoon of sugar to a full curry dish and stir it in.
Allow the sugar to dissolve for 1-2 minutes and then taste. Keep adding sugar 1 teaspoon at a time and then testing until the sourness has decreased.
2. Palm sugar
Palm sugar is another great way to reduce the sourness of a curry. Palm sugar is made from the sap of the coconut palm and has a mild caramel flavor. This can deepen the flavors in your curry and work well in Thai curry bases.
Palm sugar is sold in solid pieces that can be added whole or in granules. It is best to start with the equivalent of a teaspoon full first and then stir it through.
Honey is a simple sweetener that can be added to curries to reduce their sourness. Honey works well in rich Indian curries such as Tikka Masala or Rogan Josh. Honey is a concentrated sweetener so only add small amounts at a time.
I would start with ½ a teaspoon and mix it through. Taste the curry and add more honey until the sourness has decreased.
4. Plain yogurt
Adding plain yogurt is a great way to mask the sour taste of a curry. Look for a natural or Greek yogurt without added sugar or flavor.
Turn the curry down to a very gentle simmer to avoid splitting the yogurt. You can also turn the heat off completely and add the yogurt. Make sure the curry is no longer boiling as this can also split the yogurt.
Add yogurt 1 tablespoon at a time and taste. In most cases it will take around 4-6 tablespoons to reduce the sourness of the curry but taste the curry as you go.
5. Sour cream
Adding sour cream to your curry is a great way to reduce the sourness. Sour cream can be added at the end after the curry has cooked through or as you are cooking. Make sure the curry does not heat past a gentle simmer as the sour cream may split.
6. Coconut cream or milk
Adding coconut cream or milk to Thai curries is a great way to reduce the sourness. I cook a Thai green curry every week and add a can of coconut milk to the recipe. This helps to tone down the sourness of the curry paste and gives it a delicious creaminess.
If your curry is still too sour, pour in 1-2 tablespoons of coconut cream. This will quickly reduce the sourness of the curry.
7. Regular cream
Regular dairy based cream is another great way to reduce the sourness of your curry. I find it is best to wait until your curry has cooked through and to add the cream after.
Take the curry off the heat and mix through a tablespoon of cream. Make sure the curry is no longer bubbling or boiling and you can avoid splitting the cream.
8. Clarified butter (Ghee)
Adding clarified butter or ghee is another great way to reduce the sourness of curry. This will help to mask the sour taste. Ghee can be bought in most large grocery stores or specialty Indian grocers.
Clarified butter has had the milk solids removed so it won’t split when heated. Add ½ a tablespoon to your dish and mix through. Taste and add more if needed.
Adding a mild stock is another great way to reduce the sourness of your curry. This will avoid adding extra fat for sugar. Choose a vegetable or chicken stock as they are mild and can be added without reducing the delicious taste of the curry.
Adding stock works well for strong flavored Indian curries as they will still carry their flavor. Start by adding 3-4 tablespoons of stock and taste. Add more stock until the sourness has decreased.
If the curry has become too thin you can continue to simmer it to intensify the flavors.
Adding water is another way to dilute the sour flavor of the curry. If your curry has thickened too much it is also a great way to loosen the mix and make it the correct consistency.
Adding water is a great method if the curry is only slightly sour.
How to Reduce the Sour Taste in Curry | Summary
The sourness in curry can be reduced with sweetness, fat or dilution. Add stock or water if you don’t want to reduce the spice level of the curry but reach for a fat like yogurt, coconut milk or sour cream if the sourness is very intense.
Curries are delicious and my family favorites are Thai green curry and butter chicken. Try out a curry paste if you are cooking curry for the first time to make it easy.
To know if your curry paste in the fridge is still good to eat, check out my article: Does Thai Curry Paste Go Bad?
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.