Yogurt is a very popular curry additive. Not only does it create a beautiful silky texture and thickens the sauce, it also adds a wonderful amount of texture to the meats and vegetables being cooked in the curry. Yogurt isn’t super flavorful so it’s easy to create any flavor you’d like while also adding yogurt to your dish. Yogurt curry dishes are extremely popular in India, and they include dishes like tomato-yogurt curry, murgh kari, dahiwali chicken curry, and punjabi kadhi.
While yogurt is its own special addition to curry, don’t worry there are plenty of other options you have if you need to substitute the yogurt. Sour cream, heavy cream, buttermilk, coconut milk, soy yogurt, cashew yogurt, are all great replacements for yogurt in curry. In some cases, you can even just leave it out!
Can Yogurt Be Substituted in Curry?
Luckily, yogurt can easily be substituted in curry. Although the way it works while it’s being cooked is perfect for some dishes, there are other things that can achieve that same goal. If you don’t have any replacements, you can even just leave the yogurt out and have a thinner curry sauce, which in many cases is totally fine.
Naan is a popular bread often eaten with curry that is almost always made with yogurt as well, however there are many substitutes for that as well.
Substitutes For Yogurt in Curry
1. Sour Cream
Sour cream is one of the most popular yogurt substitutes in curry. This is because it is the same texture and consistency, and it will give the dish the same mild tang flavor that yogurt provides. Sour cream also goes well with other flavors and spices, making it a great replacement!
- For every 1 cup of yogurt, use 1 cup of sour cream instead
- Follow the 1:1 ratio
2. Heavy Cream
Heavy cream is another great option because the flavors will remain the same. Heavy cream is thick and will bind to the other ingredients being cooked in the curry, while also giving the curry some layers and thickness. Heavy cream does boil down after so long, and you may just want to keep an eye on it and add more if desired.
- At first, for every 1 cup of yogurt, use 1 cup of heavy cream
- Following the 1:1 ratio in the beginning, keep an eye on your curry and add another ½-1 cup to achieve desired texture
Buttermilk works perfectly in substituting yogurt because the flavors are extremely similar. Buttermilk provides that mellow tang that yogurt does, while also going along with other flavors. Buttermilk also pairs very well with certain meats, making it great for chicken curries. The texture won’t be as thick as yogurt, so keep this in mind while you are cooking.
- Follow the same rules as you would for adding heavy cream
- Follow the 1:1 ratio, or add more as you go
4. Coconut Milk
Coconut milk may seem like a funny substitute because coconut curries are their own entity, However, they work perfectly for replacing yogurt as they provide the same consistency and texture and they are a great dairy free option. Coconut milk has a very strong coconut flavor, so if you are choosing to use coconut milk, perhaps veer in the coconut curry direction.
- For every 1 cup of yogurt, use 1 can of coconut milk
5. Soy Yogurt
Soy yogurt is another great non-dairy option to replace yogurt in curry. The soy has a very mild flavor and binds well with the other flavors in the dish.
- Before putting the soy yogurt in the pan, put the soy yogurt in a separate bowl and mix it with a spoon to get out any lumps, then add to your pan and continue with the recipe
- For every 1 cup of regular yogurt, use 1 cup of soy yogurt, follow the 1:1 ratio
6. Cashew Yogurt
Cashew yogurt is yet another dairy free option for your curry dishes. Cashew yogurt has an amazing texture and people often say it tastes like cheese, which brings a unique flavor to your curry dish.
- For every 1 cup of regular yogurt, use 1 cup of cashew yogurt
- Follow the 1:1 ratio
7. Omit the Yogurt Completely
If you have nothing else to use, you can oftentimes just simply get rid of the yogurt all together. Your curry definitely won’t have the same texture or creaminess, but use splashes of water or stock if you have it to add a little bit of moisture to the dish and help the flavors muddle.
Replacing yogurt in curry is a breeze and there are so many different options you have to explore with in your cooking. From sour cream, to non dairy yogurts, there are a bunch of things you can try and each one brings its own unique flavor.