Getting the texture right of the curry can be as tricky as the flavors. Watery or runny curry can be caused due to number of reasons.
Just like there are spices to enhance the flavors there are different tips and tricks to keep in mind for getting a perfect texture and flavor curry.
Here are some of the possible reasons why your curry is turning out to be watery or runny:
1. Overcooking Vegetables with High Water Content:
There are certain vegetables like zucchini and bell pepper that have a very high water content. These need to be cooked for very less duration else they immediately lose their shape and form. These vegetables change into a gooey mush releasing a lot of water in the curry and make it watery and runny. Some of the vegetables with high water content are-
- Green Bell Pepper
When cooking these, make sure you don’t overcook.
2. Using unthawed vegetables:
Whenever cooking with frozen vegetables, always unthaw them to get rid of excess water content. It’s usually present in between the vegetables as ice.
On being added to curry, this ice present in the frozen vegetables melts and makes the curry runny.
3. Adding too much liquid
Always add less liquid than what’s needed and check the consistency before you add more. Adding too much water or cooking stock will make your curries runny.
4. Not cooking the curry long enough
Curries are always left to simmer for sometime before they are considered done. This simmering is needed to cook the ingredients well and it also thickens the curry. After adding water, always let the curry simmer for sometime to cook all the ingredients and also to thicken the curry.
5. Cooking the curry covered
In the simmering step of the curries, they should be cooked uncovered. If you cover them all the evaporated water will get collected in the lid and get added back into the curry.
Thus, always simmer the curry uncovered to make sure the curry does not turn out to be watery.
6. Adding unbeaten yogurt at high temperature
Whenever adding yogurt to the curry make sure it is beaten well and lower the gas heat before adding it. If we add unbeaten yogurt at a high temperature then the yogurt fat will separate from the water it’s suspended in. This will cause the yogurt to break down into fat chunks and water, making the curry watery. This is true for coconut milk as well.
7. Not using the right ingredients for making the curry
Onion, tomato, ginger and garlic form the base of most of Indian curries if not all. These need to be cooked well in oil with spices first before adding any other ingredient.
If these are not used and one simply add spices, water and vegetables/meat to the curry the curry will not thicken up.
The curry texture will not be right if these magic 4 ingredients are not cooked and fried well.
8. Skipping the sauté step for the curry base
Before adding any liquid or water into the curry the curry base ingredients i.e. onion, tomato, ginger and garlic need to be well cooked.
The aromatics and spices should all be cooked well so that they lose form and become mushy and dry.
This mushy ginger, garlic, onion and tomato paste is what thickens the curry and forms the base.
If you miss the sauté step, then the curry will just be boiled soup with pieces of veggies
9. Not mashing the ingredients well
Most of the Indian curries need to be thickened by mashing the ingredients. Curries like rajma, chole etc. also have this step of mashing to thicken the curry.
This mashing of ingredients thickens the curry and if skipped it can result in runny and watery curry base.
Here are some tips and tricks that you can use to thicken your curry.
Which one these do you think might be the reason for you? Let me know in the comments below.