We saw above that adding cornflour or rice to curry can cause it to thicken. This is because of the starch. Well, There's something else that is jam-packed full of starch… A potato!
Consider it the big version of rice! It is a massive sponge that will soak up and excess moisture and also release starch, which should thicken your Curry. If you cook a potato long enough, it will break down completely to give you a really thick curry sauce.
#11 Add Grated Onion
I like the idea of this one…
Onion is the key component of base gravy, and I can't see the harm in adding a little more. But that said, it might change the flavour of your dish and make it a little too strong.
Simply grate (or blend) one large onion and add it to the pan.
#12 Allow Your Curry to Cool
Most sauces thicken slightly when left to stand and cool. Curry is no exception. If you've ever put a curry in the fridge overnight, you'll probably notice that it is much thicker the next day.
This is because the proteins in your meat relax and soak up a lot of the excess moisture. The fats also begin to solidify slightly as they lower in temperature.
Read more Japanese Curry Using Roux Cubes (including lots of secret tips)
If your Curry is just slightly on the thin side, and you're wondering how to make your curry sauce thicker, let it stand off the heat for 10 minutes and see if things improve
#13 Gravy Powder
We've already mentioned that gravy powder contains cornflour, which is perfect for thickening sauces. After all, that's what gravy is, thick sauce!
If you haven't got cornflour, then you can use gravy at a push. Try and match the gravy powder to your curry flavour. So for beef, use beef gravy, and for chicken curries, use chicken gravy powder.
Ok, so it isn't the most authentic use of gravy (or making Curry), but it adds quite a pleasant savoury note to your now thick curry sauce!
How to Thicken Curry | FAQ
Here are a few questions I get asked all the time.
Why is My Curry So Watery?
Curry turns watery when you introduce too much liquid. This can happen for several reasons.
You might have added too much gravy
You might have added too much stock
If you use any liquid type vegetables such as tomatoes and courgettes, you may find that your Curry is a little looser.
Why Does Simmering Thicken Sauce?
Simmering boils away the liquid element of your sauce while letting the more solid elements remain.
Further to this, by simmering, you are adding sustained heat to your dish. If there are ingredients within that contain gluten, this will be released as the dish's heat increases. Gluten is a great thickening agent.
Read more Rich Pasta for the Poor Kitchen
Do you Simmer with the Lid On or Off?
If you are simmering to make your sauce thicker, it is always best to do this with the lid off. This maximises the amount of steam, and therefore excess moisture, that can escape.
Further to this, you'll often find that curry sauce tends to develop a skin on the top and around the edges with the prolonged simmering. If you stir this skin in, you should find that it starts to thicken your sauce.
Does Curry Thicken in a Slow Cooker?
Yes and no.
Slow cookers normally add heat to a curry slowly and rely on the ingredients stewing in their own juices to cook.
You'll normally leave the lid on, so moisture tends not to escape.
That said, if you cook dishes with vegetables for a long period, such as potatoes, you'll find that they naturally break down into a thick sauce. If you're making a curry in a slow cooker and realise early on that there is too much liquid, adding some cubes of potato can ensure that your sauce isn't too thick.
Can You Use Plain Flour to Thicken Sauce?
You have to be careful just using flour to thicken a sauce. Generally, it tends to go one way…
That is, lumpy.
A better way to use flour is by combining it with butter or another fat and making a roux before adding it to your curry sauce. This way, you end up with fewer lumps and should find that you thicken up your curry sauce a little quicker.
Read more How to Thicken Sauce Without Flour: Low Carb, Keto, and Gluten Free Sauce Thickeners
Knowing how to make curry sauce thicker is a fine art, and the technique you choose will depend on a few things. How watery the Curry is, why your Curry is watery, and the recipe itself. You'll often find some curries thicken on their own naturally. Dhansak already has lentils added. It will thicken up with cooking, vindaloo often has potato added as part of the recipe, and Korma makes great use of coconut flour. Have I missed any off my list? Why not drop me a message, and I'll add it to my list!