The Chicken Korma recipe that I've been making always seems to separate near the end of preparation. This ranges from small lumps forming too yellow water raising to the surface. I read through the advice at How do I prevent coconut milk from separating in Thai curry? and was careful to keep a low simmer.

The recipe is basically:

  1. Fry butter, onions & spices in stages
  2. Add cubed chicken breasts and let fry
  3. Add 1 cup tap water (perhaps the culprit?) and plain yogurt (not low fat) let fry
  4. Add 1 can 2% Condensed Milk reduce heat and simmer

I'm using a coated steel wok on a large element. For steps 1-3 I use just over medium heat and switch to medium-low, low for 4. After 2-3 minutes, the sauce starts to break.

3 Answers 3


Try 1. adding the milk after the curry cools down or 2. Adding milk before adding salt

  • 1
    The first I can understand, but why would adding before salt help, if you're going to cook it long enough to break anyway?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 1:19
  • I am not sure how it works, but when I make another dish with milk and salt (hot pongal), I have noticed that adding salt in the end after adding milk and other ingredients prevents the milk from curdling.
    – user36431
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 1:59
  • You can also try adding a teaspoon of any starchy substance like corn flour or rice flour. It won't change the flavour or consistency, and the milk/yogurt is less likely to curdle.
    – user36431
    Commented Jun 26, 2015 at 5:21

I really the dont think its milk or yogurt more like its the butter separating out. When you've added all the spices it should look more like a thick paste. Then once your done searing the chicken you add the liquids to make the sauce.

Every time I get lil heavy handed with the oil I'll notice towards the end it'll separate out some. Not a big deal you can always skim it off the top?


I discovered that 2% Evaporated Milk isn't the default (this is all that my local store stocks most of the time). When I made the curry with regular fat (not skimmed?) Evaporated Milk, almost no separation occurred.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.