Many Indian recipes give the requirement of simmering the gravy, covered until reduced. I'm wondering if this advice is flawed as one would presume the pan would need to be uncovered in order to reduce the liquid.

  • 3
    Is it possible they mean loosely covered? I sometimes use a very gently simmer with the lid propped open by a wooden spoon, because it avoids splashing
    – Chris H
    May 20, 2018 at 16:12

2 Answers 2


It depends on how long the recipe calls for, and how much reduction is required. Most Indian recipes I make don't require much reduction, they are relatively thick to begin with. Lids don't seal perfectly, you will lose moisture even with the lid on. If you have a long, slow cook it may reduce enough for some recipes.


Some recipes do call for a slow reduction of a sauce, especially if the sauce contains something that requires slow, gentle cooking (usually stewing meat of one kind or another). as Chris H has commented, that would be with the lid cocked, or not perfectly sealed. It saves the trouble / utensils taken in separating whatever has cooked in the sauce, reducing the sauce rapidly, and recombining for service.

  • That would make sense. Although a number of recipes do make it clear when to cover and when to partially cover. For greater clarity, I hope most recipes differentiate between the two even for the most amateur of cooks.
    – Howeitzer
    May 22, 2018 at 6:36
  • Maybe it's that a lot some customary ways of cooking at home actually depend on a 'common sense' not explicitly taught, but learned nonetheless. Those ways become too rigid when they are forced into written recipes for strangers who might not have that same sense, working in different kitchens. Granny would have known what that pot was like, with that tin plate on top of it. She would have said something like: "Oh, and by the way, while you're passing, add a splash of water if that's getting too dry".. without even thinking about how dry, or when. May 22, 2018 at 8:00

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