How to Remove the Bitterness in Curry

Written by linda harris
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How to Remove the Bitterness in Curry
Curry has a distinctive aroma. (Eising/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Curry is an aromatic Asian dish that contains a variety of spices, vegetables and meat or fish. There are many different varieties particular to different regions of Southeast Asia that differ in terms of spice and creaminess. Curry can become bitter when the garlic is overcooked or the spices are over-roasted. Fenugreek can also make a curry bitter if too much is added. Simply adding other ingredients to your dish can reduce or remove the bitterness. Each of the following steps is a separate method--do not try all of them for the same dish!

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Sugar
  • Lemon juice
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Chilli
  • Pepper
  • Curry powder
  • Paprika
  • Coriander
  • Coconut milk
  • Yoghurt
  • Wooden spoon

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  1. 1

    Add a teaspoon of sugar to your curry dish and stir well. Taste and add more if necessary, but avoid making the curry too sweet. If this does happen, stir in a little lemon juice.

  2. 2

    Add more water, or in the case of a creamy, coconut-based curry add more coconut milk. Taste the curry and add lemon juice, salt and pepper, and if bitterness remains, increase the quantities of the spices you used in the first place (excluding the ingredients that made it bitter, e.g., fenugreek or overcooked garlic), such as paprika, coriander, chilli and curry powder.

  3. 3

    Sprinkle salt and stir well. Taste and sprinkle more if needed. Saltiness counteracts bitterness, but be careful to not make it too salty.

  4. 4

    Add more chilli to make the curry spicier and cover up the bitterness.

  5. 5

    Add a couple of teaspoons of yoghurt, stir well and taste. Add more if necessary, but ensure you add small teaspoons one at a time to prevent curdling.

Tips and warnings

  • Use castor sugar rather than white sugar.

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