How to thicken curry gravy?
How to extend curry gravy?


How to thicken curry gravy?
Ground onions and coriander powder are key

In Chinese cooking a slurry of corn starch and water is used as a thickener. In American cooking,  flour is the most common item used as a thickener. The secret of thick curry gravy in India is ground onions and the dried coriander seed powder. Coriander powder acts like an emulsifier keeping the onion particles suspended in gravy. In tomato based curries, ground tomatoes add to the body. In Korma, ground almonds and cashews make creamy thick sauces. For other creamed sauces, whipping cream, yogurt, and milk of coconut are added.
 
  • Corn Starch
You can make the slurry (thin paste) of corn starch (1 Tablespoon corn starch to 4 Tablespoon of water) and add to curry after the cooking is near complete. The curry must again come to a full boil to properly thicken. Making a slurry prevents the formation of lumps.
Citric acid such as lime juice in a gravy will require twice as much corn starch.
Over-cooking the gravy will reduce the thickness  and for this reason the  slurry should always be added near the end of cooking.
The corn starch does add to after taste (and should be tested prior to a dinner party), and is not stable for leftovers when re-heated.
  1. 1 Tablespoon of corn starch will thicken 1 Cup of curry liquid.
 
  • All purpose flour (Maida)
  1. Blend 2 Tablespoons of Maida with 2 Table spoons of cooking fat (Ghee, oil, or butter). Blending will prevent formation of lumps.
  2. Heat a pan to low, add the blended Maida. Cook till it starts to turn brown.
  3. Add a cup of broth from the curry. Mix well. Return to curry. Bring it to a boil and simmer for 4 to five minutes.
  4. 2 Tablespoons of Maida will thicken 1 Cup of curry liquid.
 
  • Arrowroot
Arrowroot is used in the same fashion as corn starch. It is more stable than corn starch without any after taste.
  1. 1 Tablespoon of arrowroot will thicken 1 Cup of curry liquid.


How to extend curry gravy?

If there is just not enough gravy in the curry you need a curry extender. There are two curry extenders used in Indian cuisine: Tomato, and Creamy. Tomato Curry extender is a general purpose extender and not just for Tomato based curries. Curry extenders add additional amount of gravy to an existing curry. After the extender is added, the curry should be stirred and simmered for about 5 minutes to allow all the flavours to blend in. All the recipes here will make one cup of extender.
 

Tomato Curry Gravy Extender


Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour (Maida): 2 Tablespoons
  • Ghee: 2 Tablespoons
  • Water: 1 Cup
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/8th teaspoon
  • Salt: ¼ teaspoon or to taste
  • Ground Cayenne: 1/8th teaspoon or to taste
  • Degi Mirch (Paprika): ¼ teaspoon

Method
:
  1. Combine Maida, Ghee to form a paste.
  2. Cook Maida paste in a heavy bottom pan on low to medium heat till it starts to bubble stirring constantly cooking about 3 minutes.
  3. At this point, you may add a standard curry powder of your choice. Or simply Turmeric powder, salt and cayenne. Cook stirring constantly for about two minutes.
  4. This is the time to add sweet aromatic spices such as Garam Masala .
  5. Gradually add water, stirring constantly. Bring it to a boil.
  6. Simmer for about five minutes till it thickens.
 

Creamy Curry Gravy Extender


Ingredients:

  • All Purpose Flour (Maida): 2 Tablespoons
  • Ghee: 2 Tablespoons
  • Milk: 1 Cup
  • Salt: ¼ teaspoon or to taste
  • White ground pepper: 1/8th teaspoon or to taste

Method
:
  1. Combine Maida and Ghee to form a paste.
  2. Cook Maida and Ghee in a heavy bottom pan on low to medium heat till it starts to turn brown. Stir constantly  during this process to eliminate scorching. It will take about five minutes.