So, I've worked with Thai curry before and reviewed the post about "When to prefer yogurt, cream, and coconut milk in an Indian vegetarian dish to make it creamy?" but these seem to be concerned with ingredients, not cooking methods.

While working with Thai curry, the best way to keep the milk from curling when it is cooked with the curry paste is to heat the separated coconut cream as you would with butter and then cook the curry paste in the cream until dark grease lines form in the mixture. I'm not sure what the process is called officially (any help here would be appreciated), but it seems to bond the curry paste to the fat of the cream and makes for a smoother dish, and it also allows the thinner part of the coconut milk to mix in smoothly without any separation.

Now that I've explained the method I'm used to, I was wondering how one might prepare traditional Indian curry in a similar fashion. I can see how cream might be prepared in the same way, but does this hold true with yogurt? I read that whole milk yogurt is usually used in Indian cuisine, and maybe that has the appropriate fat content to prepare curry with a similar consistency. Any insight would be appreciated.

  • I am slightly confused with what you are trying to achieve here. Milk and cream are added to give a smooth slightly sweeter texture to the curry(So basically curry becomes milder). On the other hand Yogurt is added to make curry sour. I use yogurt(whole milk as you mentioned) when i do not want lemony sourness but creamy sourness. But yogurt is much stronger in flavor than milk so i add it little by little and taste the curry as i go. As for curdling, Yogurt is already in curdled form unlike milk, so there is not much you can do to change it.
    – User56756
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 3:43
  • 1
    Coconut milk is not a dairy product, it's little use comparing how you cook coconut cream with how you cook dairy cream and yogurt.
    – GdD
    Commented Jun 16, 2015 at 9:27
  • What exactly is the question? What do you mean by 'similar fashion'?
    – Kaushik
    Commented Jul 20, 2015 at 1:11

4 Answers 4


Whisking some cornstarch into the yoghurt before adding it is an effective method to limit curdling and is also often found in recipes (caveat: can thicken the sauce more than intended). In other cases, some gram flour (besan) is added (caveat here: needs to get cooked in the dish for a couple minutes, or roasted beforehand, raw besan tastes vile).


It depends on what you are cooking. Yogurt is used as marinade for a few barbeque dishes like tandoori chicken, paneer tikka, and it's used in making curries in many dishes as Srilekha mentioned.

Yogurt is added at the end and is cooked no more than 2-5 mins for the simple reason it separates water when cooked at high temperature, which reduces its sourness and creaminess to some extent.


Yoghurt is indeed used in some Indian curries. After preparing the curry paste just add yoghurt and stir. Stirring is important. Stir well till the yoghurt blends in with the curry paste into a smooth curry or it will separate.

Yoghurt is not suitable for all curries in general. Add it for a little sour flavour in the curry.


Yogurt is used as the base of the marinade for the meat (chicken, goat, etc). The masala, which is the base of the curry, is comprised of spices, onions, tomatoes, and ginger/garlic paste. To get the rich, thick, lucious curry you need to slow cook the onions (30-40 min). The onions are what give the curry the consistency you are after.

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