What Can You Do to Tone Down Curry Flavor?


Curry has a distinct flavor that combines sweet, savory and heat. Curry itself isn’t a seasoning; instead, it is a blend of Indian and Asian spices that include cumin, turmeric, pepper, mustard, ginger, and coriander. This combination of spice yields a pungent flavor that can quickly take over a dish and saturate your palate so that you taste nothing else. Even though you taste nothing but curry, there are ways to tone down the spices and save the dish.

A Coconut Milk Solution

  • Coconut milk and curry spices go well together and are a common pairing in curried dishes. If your dish already calls for coconut milk, add more to help cut down the curry flavor. Coconut milk has a strong flavor on its own, but it is also rich enough to overpower curry spices. Add enough coconut milk until you’re satisfied with the taste.

More Ingredients, Less Curry Flavor

  • Depending on your dish you might be able to add in more ingredients to help tone down the curry flavor. For example, tone down a curry soup that has too much curry flavor with extra broth or stock. If your dish has a starch, such as potato or rice, add extra to absorb some of the flavor and calm down the curry

A Dollop Will Do

  • Dairy products cut through heat, so if the curry spice is overwhelming your palate or the heat is too much, add a dollop of yogurt to the dish. Yogurt also pairs nicely with curry spices -- especially if your curry dish is from Indian cuisine. Since yogurt is naturally tangy, add in small amounts to tone down the curry flavor, but not overwhelm the dish with yogurt’s natural flavor.

A Creamy Cutting Agent

  • If peanut butter is right for your dish and pairs with the curry recipe, add a few tablespoons of smooth peanut butter to it. Peanut butters are naturally fatty and rich; therefore, they can cut through the curry flavor. Don’t add too much peanut butter, however, because your dish might take on a peanut taste.

Add an Acid

  • Acids help if your curry is making the dish too spicy. Some blends of curry contain red pepper or cayenne, which can quickly overwhelm the palate -- especially if you’re not accustomed to spicy dishes. Add an acid that won’t alter the recipe and change the other flavors, such as vinegar, lemon or lime juice. Most Thai curries pair well with a splash of lime juice

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