How do you get rid of grainy Curry? (7+ tips)

In this brief article, we will answer the question “How do you get rid of grainy Curry?” and discuss why curry becomes grainy and how to store curry to prevent it from becoming grainy.

How do you get rid of grainy Curry?

To get rid of grainy curry, you can (1,2,3,4,5):

  • Dry the curry in the conventional oven: grainy curry is a result of the moisture increase of the powder. You can dry the curry in the conventional oven at a low temperature till it feels dry and unclumps
  • Dry the curry in the microwave oven: using a microwave oven is an effective method to dry herbs and spices. Layer the curry in a paper towel on a microwavable dish and place it in the microwave. Heat at low power for a few seconds. Stir and repeat till it dries out
  • Add cornstarch: Cornstarch is highly hygroscopic and can partially absorb the moisture of the grainy curry. Cornstarch or other starchy food or foods containing cellulose, such as rice husks, can bind to water molecules due to the presence of a great number of -OH side chains in their structure

Why does the curry become grainy?

The curry becomes grainy because it absorbs moisture from the environment. Curry is in the amorphous state (not organized, in contrast to crystalline structures) that is able to plasticise with the increase of moisture.

During incorrect or long storage, powdered foods absorb the water from the air, which makes them more fluid in a soft state, as if they were supercooled liquids (2,3).

The amorphous material tends to adhere to each other, agglomerate and clump together and form a unique mass of curry.  

Is it safe to eat grainy curry?

It is not totally safe to eat grainy curry. The curry becomes grainy because it absorbs water and increases in moisture. At a high moisture level, powders are susceptible to microbial development (6). 

Fungal growth is possible in powders at moisture above 13%. Although curry contains many spices that have antifungal properties, fungi such as Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium were reported to grow in spices in several studies (6), as the antifungal properties are limited.

Mycotoxins produced by fungi in spices are toxic to humans and represent a health risk when ingested. Because it is difficult to know by sensory assessment (appearance, odor, color, flavor) if the curry contains mycotoxins, it is recommended to not use grainy curry.

How to store curry and prevent it from becoming grainy?

To store curry and prevent it from becoming grainy, you should keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dark, dry location. 

Keeping the curry protected from moisture is essential to prevent clumping and improve its shelf life, as well as reduce the risks of fungal growth (6).

Choose a packaging that ensures a good moisture barrier, such as glass or  low density polyethylene (2). Low temperatures of storage also favors the improved shelf life of curry, as long as it is protected from moisture. 

What is the shelf life of curry?

The shelf life of powdered curry is about 2 to 3 years when stored at room temperature, independently of whether the package has been opened or not (7).

If the curry powder is not correctly stored, it can go bad soon and be contaminated by fungi, as well as become grainy. Keep the curry powder protected from humidity.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How do you thicken curry? 

Is Curry Thai or Indian?

Is Curry supposed to be watery?


In this brief article, we answered the question “How do you get rid of grainy Curry?” and discussed why curry becomes grainy and how to store curry to prevent it from becoming grainy.


  1. Voelker, Adrienne L., Abigail A. Sommer, and Lisa J. Mauer. Moisture sorption behaviors, water activity-temperature relationships, and physical stability traits of spices, herbs, and seasoning blends containing crystalline and amorphous ingredients. Food Res Int, 2020, 136,  109608.
  2. Madhu, B., Mudgal, V.D. & Champawat, P.S. Influence of the packaging material and storage temperature on the shelf life of garlic powder. J Food Sci Technol, 2021, 58, 4333–4343.
  3. Han, Jiawei, et al. Mechanistic insight into gel-induced aggregation of amorphous curcumin during dissolution process. Euro J Pharmac Sci, 2022, 170, 106083. 
  4. Warsiki, E., et al. Isotherm moisture sorption of composite desiccant made from rice husk biomass. IOP Conf. Ser. Earth Environ. Sci., 2021, 749. 
  5. Safety & Preservation: Drying Herbs. Oregon State University. 
  6. Syamilah, N., et al. Mycotoxins and mycotoxigenic fungi in spices and mixed spices: a review. Food Res, 2022, 6, 30-46.
  7. Food Keeper. Food Safety and Inspection Service – USDA

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