How do you add sweetness to Thai curry?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How do you add sweetness to Thai curry?”, and give you tips on how to make the perfect curry.

How do you add sweetness to Thai curry?

You can add sweetness to Thai curry by following the tips listed below:

Add sugar: Adding sugar will enhance the sweetness of the Thai curry. Keep tasting it as you add more sugar as you do not want it to be extra sweet.

Add fish sauce mixed with sugar: Mix fish sauce and brown sugar together for a balanced sweet and salty flavor, and add this to the curry. Fish sauce enhances the flavor of curry greatly.

Add honey: Alternatively, honey can also be added for sweetness. Because of its silky texture, it also blends in easily and imparts a bunch of sweetness.

Add sweetened cream: If you are going to use cream for your curry or coconut milk, you might as well use store bought sweetened cream. It will add sweetness to the Thai curry in addition to a smooth creamy texture.

Add sweet potatoes or just potatoes: Potatoes and sweet potatoes may not add a lot of sweetness to the Thai curry but they can balance out other spicy flavors because they contain a lot of starch.

How to make the perfect Thai curry?

Follow these tips to make the perfect Thai curry and you will definitely not go back to your old ways. 

Use homemade curry paste

Use homemade curry paste for best results because it will be fresh and will have ingredients according to your own liking. It will also be free of any preservatives. In case you do not have the time or the ingredients to make your own curry paste, then buy one curry paste jar from a store.

Use only fresh ingredients

Store-bought fried or frozen ingredients such as lemongrass or other vegetables are not as fresh and have a worn out flavor. Go down to the farmer’s market and buy fresh, aromatic ingredients.

Toast the spices

Toast the dry spices before adding them to the curry. Toasting them makes them more aromatic and flavorful. It also adds a bit of a smoky flavor to the curry.


If fresh turmeric is easily available to you, then consider using that instead of ground turmeric. Fresh turmeric is more flavorful and adds a vibrant color to the curry.

Use a pestle and mortar

Rather than grinding up the spices in a food processor, use a pestle and mortar to pound them. Now this may be a hectic job but trust me, the end result will be worth it.

Use coconut milk

Take off the top layer of coconut milk and then heat it until it splits up or curdles. Use this instead of oil for frying the paste. It will not only enhance the flavor but also improve the texture of the curry.

Use caramel

Instead of adding sugar directly for sweetness, consider caramelizing it first. You can also caramelize onions for sweetness.

Choose your protein

Chicken goes well with Thai curries but you can also use pork, prawns, beef or salmon. Choose whichever protein works best for you.

A well balanced curry

A well balanced curry is the one in which all flavors are equal. Taste your curry once all the ingredients have been added and then make adjustments.

Garnish it

For the finishing touches, add chopped up chillies, parsley or basil. They are aromatic and also add great flavor. They also add vibrant colors to the final dish.

Learn how to perfect your curry here

What is the difference between curry paste and curry powder?

One main obvious difference between curry paste and curry powder is that curry paste is wet with ingredients such as ground chili peppers and oil while curry powder is a dry blend of whole or ground spices.

Curry paste belongs to Thai cuisine. Thai curry paste consists of red, yellow, and green curry pastes. Each one of these have a distinct flavor and get their names from their color. 

For example the main ingredients in red curry paste are red chillies and paprika. The main ingredient in green curry paste are green chillies. Similarly, yellow curry paste has turmeric as its main ingredient.

These three pastes range from mild to spicy, with red being the most spicy and yellow being the mildest. 

On the other hand, curry powders are a part of Indian cuisine. They are used to make Indian style dishes. There is a significant difference between Thai and Indian cuisines.

Curry pastes tend to be more spicy as they use whole chili peppers. Curry powders are not as spicy as curry pastes because they use ground spices so they tend to be a little mild. 

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How can I make my Thai curry more flavorful?

Thai Curry with a Peanut Allergy. Is It Safe?

Why does my curry taste like soap?


In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How do you add sweetness to Thai curry?”, and give you tips on how to make the perfect curry.


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