Why does my curry taste like soap?

In this brief guide, we will address the query, “Why does my curry taste like soap?” We will also discuss how you can make your curry so it doesn’t taste like soap. Moreover, we will also answer if the curry actually tastes like soap and why coriander tastes like soap to some people.

Why does my curry taste like soap?

Your curry tastes like soap due to the taste of coriander or cilantro. If you have sprinkled some fresh coriander leaves on your curries, there is a high chance that’s where the soapy taste is coming from. Remove the garnish and you’ll notice that the soap-like taste is gone as well. 

Some people find it citrusy while some find it soapy, with coriander, there’s no such thing as in-between. Genes and genetics also play a vital role in how you perceive the taste of coriander to be. 

That is the reason why half the people get that strong soap like taste when they eat coriander while the other half have no idea how and where all these people are getting the soapy feeling from.

How can I make my curry so that it doesn’t taste like soap?

Since the soapy taste in your curries comes from coriander leaves used as a garnish, you can simply avoid the use of coriander, or use other aromatic herbs in place of coriander. Here’s what you can use as a substitute for coriander or cilantro if you don’t want your curries to taste like soap:


Parsley is a leafy herb that comes from the plant Petroselinum crispum from the same family as coriander. The leaves are bright green and are used as a spice in the preparation of different cuisines. Parsley is widely used as a garnish, condiment, food, and flavoring herb in numerous dishes. 

Due to its strong resemblance to coriander, people often confuse them with each other. It’s slightly bitter than coriander but brings similar fresh and flavorful notes to cilantro. Parsley doesn’t have citrusy undertones like cilantro but you can add lemon juice to get that perfect flavor.


Basil has a similar citrusy taste to fresh coriander, so it works well when you’re replacing it with fresh coriander. There are different types of basil you can choose from. You can add thai basil for similar flavors. It can also be chopped finely and used as a garnish to make your dish pop up even more.

Does curry actually taste like soap?

As we discussed above, it’s not that the soaplike taste is coming from your curry, but it’s coming from the coriander used in your dish. Even coriander doesn’t exactly have the soaplike flavors, it’s how your brain works and how it perceives the taste of coriander. 

So, basically the genes of people who love the taste of coriander work differently from the genes of people who find it soapy.

Why does coriander taste like soap to some people?

When there’s a debate about why coriander tastes like soap to some people while the others don’t even get why there’s a debate in the first place, it always comes down to genetics. Coriander contains a lot of compounds called aldehydes which are responsible for determining how the food tastes. 

These compounds are present in all kinds of food items but it’s a little different in the case of coriander. The aldehydes present in coriander can be perceived by people in different ways. This largely depends on your ancestral background and how your brain processes flavors.

There is a strong variation in the group of olfactory-receptor genes due to which, some people strongly perceive the soapy-flavored aldehydes in coriander leaves, while some don’t.

The active gene that is responsible for detecting the soapy-flavored aldehydes is called OR6A2. This gene is what actually allows some people to detect aldehydes that others can’t. So, basically, if you can’t detect the soapy taste of coriander, it is highly likely that this gene isn’t switched on in your genetic makeup.

For more details, please click the link here.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

Can you eat curry without rice?

Can you eat curry when pregnant?

Does Thai curry have fish sauce?


In this brief guide, we have addressed the query, “Why does my curry taste like soap?” We have also discussed how you can make your curry so it doesn’t taste like soap. Moreover, we have also answered if the curry actually tastes like soap and why coriander tastes like soap to some people.


https://curryspy.com/why-does-curry-taste-like-soap/#:~:text=The%20’soapy’%20taste%20in%20curry,others%2C%20it%20 tastes%20like%20 soap

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