In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Why does my curry taste bland?”, and list down reasons for a bland curry. We will also give you tips on how to make a flavorful curry.
Why does my curry taste bland?
Your curry tastes bland because of one of the following reasons.
You are not using enough aromatics
Aromatics used in curry are ginger, garlic, tomatoes, onions and chilies. They infuse flavor and aroma into the curry. If you are not using enough of any of these, then it is possible that your curry will taste bland.
The aromatics are not cooked properly
The aromatics need to be cooked properly in order for them to be able to release their flavors and aroma. They need to be cooked in hot oil with the spices first before other ingredients can be added.
The spices are very old
If the curry spices that you are using were sitting in the pantry for a long time, it is possible that they have lost their flavors and aroma. Spices need to be stored properly for them to retain their flavors.
You should buy new spices or just fry the old ones in oil first until they release their flavors before adding other ingredients.
You are adding a lot of water
Adding water to curry dilutes it and also makes it runny. Always add water little by little so that you only add the required amount and not extra.
You are adding too much coconut milk
Coconut milk is an essential ingredient used in a lot of curries. While it gives a rich and smooth texture to the curry, it also dilutes it. Make sure you only use the required amount and not more than that.
Your cooking method is incorrect
You should not add all the ingredients in the recipe together. As explained above, spices and aromatics need to be cooked in hot oil before adding other ingredients.
How to make a perfect well balanced curry?
Refer to the following list of tips to make a flavorful curry.
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.
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.
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.
Look for more tips on fixing a bland curry here.
Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “Why does my curry taste bland?”, and listed down reasons for a bland curry. We also gave you tips on how to make a flavorful curry.