Why is my curry sour?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “Why is my curry sour?” by listing down all the possible reasons. We will also give you tips on how to fix a sour curry.

Why is my curry sour?

There may be many reasons contributing to the sourness 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 sour 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 sour 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 sour taste and adding too much of it will obviously make the curry very sour.

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

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 sour, then it has been too overcooked to be fixed. 

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

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

  • Add salt: Adding salt to curry balances out the sourness of the curry.
  • Add sugar: You can also add sugar to the curry to increase its sweetness and to balance out the sourness. Keep adding the sugar and keep tasting it until the sourness 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 sour 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 sourness. 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 sourness 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 sourness.
  • 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 sourness. 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.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How do you preserve fresh curry leaves?

How do you make restaurant style Thai curry?

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


In this brief guide, we answered the question “Why is my curry sour?” by listing down all the possible reasons. We also gave you tips on how to fix a sour curry.



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