How do you get rid of the bitter taste in curry?

In this brief article, we will answer the question “How do you get rid of the bitter taste in curry?”, provide you with tips to counter the bitterness in curry, and list down possible reasons for why curry gets bitter.

How do you get rid of the bitter taste in curry?

If your curry tastes bitter, follow one of the following tips to balance it out.

  • Add salt: Adding salt to curry balances out the bitterness of the curry.
  • Add sugar: You can also add sugar to the curry to increase its sweetness and to balance out the bitterness. Keep adding the sugar and keep tasting it until the bitterness is no longer present in the curry.
  • Add sugar and salt both: For a more balanced flavor profile, consider adding sugar and salt together to bitter curry.
  • Add dairy: Add more cream or yogurt if you have made a cream-based curry. Remember to add the cream or yogurt once you have taken the curry off the heat or add it in small portions at a time while stirring so that it does not curdle.
  • Add coconut milk: Alternatively, add more coconut milk if you have made a coconut milk based curry. Like yogurt, add coconut milk once you have taken the curry of the heat to prevent curdling. If the curry gets too runny, you can always heat it at low flame with the lid off until it gets thicker.
  • Add more spices: Add some ground coriander and fennel seeds to counteract the bitterness. Remember to keep tasting the curry while you are adding these ingredients.
  • Make it spicier: You can add more chili powder or cayenne powder to increase the heat of the curry and subsequently, balance out the bitterness of the curry.
  • Add lime juice: You can add some lime or lemon juice to the curry. This juice is acidic in nature which will help in balancing out the bitterness.
  • Add more water: you can also add more water if that is what you used to make the base of the curry. If the curry becomes too runny, let it boil for some time until it gets thicker. Alternatively, you can also add lentils to soak up the excess moisture.
  • Add onions: Adding onions can increase the sweetness of the curry and reduce the bitterness. Caramelize the onion before adding, fry them in oil for a couple of minutes and then add them to the curry.

Read more about making a balanced curry here.

Why does my curry taste bitter? 

There may be many reasons contributing to the bitterness of your curry. While you may think you are doing everything right and following the recipe as it is, there is a small mistake that you may be making which is going unnoticed. We will help you in figuring out what that mistake might be.

You might be overcooking the spice mix. Whether you bought it from a grocery store or you made it at home, overcooking it will lead to a bitter tasting curry. Do not let your spice mix turn completely black and if it smells burnt, it has burnt!

Consider re-cooking a new batch of spice mix as the burnt one will ruin the taste of the curry.

You are overcooking the vegetables. Overcooking vegetables like ginger and garlic will give you a bitter taste as they already have a very potent flavor.

Ingredients like fenugreek are essential for almost all types of Thai curries. It should be added in moderation because it has a bitter taste and adding too much of it will obviously make the curry very bitter.

If you added vegetables like bitter gourd in your curry, it is possible that you did not remove the seeds beforehand. Removing the seeds helps reduce the bitterness. In addition, use ingredients like garlic, ginger and chilis to counteract its bitterness.

Also, do not use a lot of spice mix when making curry, only use the amount required or as stated in the recipe.

If, even after trying all the tips and tricks provided above, your curry still tastes bitter, then it has been too overcooked to be fixed. 

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How do you keep curry and coriander fresh?

Can I add curry powder at the end?

Can I defrost chicken curry in the microwave?


In this brief article, we answered the question “How do you get rid of the bitter taste in curry?”, provided you with tips to counter the bitterness in curry, and listed down possible reasons for why the curry gets bitter.


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!