Common Cooking Mistakes when Preparing a Chicken Curry

Published on Tuesday, August 13, 2019 | Category: Blog


If you love cooking, you would know that one single ingredient can easily make or break a dish. Cooking is all about skills, precision, attention to detail and taking time to make any dish perfect, especially if you’re preparing any sort of curry. Packed full of great flavour, curry is one of the best dishes to make as it’s very flexible and Sri Lankan food recipes are full of some of the most amazing curry recipes. The secret to perfect curry is all the right ingredients and the timing to cook it to perfection.

Cooking curry may look easy and straightforward but there are certain cooking errors that can completely ruin your dish. The factors that determine if your curry is cooked to perfection include how you cook your thickening ingredients like onions and tomatoes. The thickness of your curry has a lot to do with the number of ingredients you have added and how big or small you have chopped the ingredients you put in.

These are some factors that may go wrong in your curry dish, making it unappetizing in the end. Here are some common cooking mistakes when cooking curry and tips to make it better:

  • Onion and/or totamotes are slice or cut into chunks that are too big

Onions and tomatoes act as thickening agents in any curry you prepare. The smaller the pieces you chop are, the thicker the gravy is going to be. The ideal way to make curry is to have finely chopped or sliced onions and tomatoes to ensure that you have a thick and rich gravy. If you do want a thinner curry, you could always add water to the curry you prepare.

  • The curry base you prepare is wrong

Most of us, in general, don’t know the right order to prepare the curry base or masala. The right order to prepare the curry base is in this order –  first, the oil needs to be added, followed by whole spices that are fried until fragrant. Then the onions need to be added and mixed well in the oil and cooked until they turn light brown in colour. Finally, the ground spices need to be added, followed by salt, ginger, garlic and green chillies, which should be mixed well and cooked for about 30 seconds to one minute. Make sure you don’t burn the whole spices and always keep the flame on low or medium.

  • Adding garam masala right at the start while the masala or the curry base is still being cooked

Garam masala is one of the most flavourful spice powders. It is a vibrant blend of all the important spices. It should never be added in the beginning or middle stage of cooking your curry, as it will only omit its flavour that it is so famous for. Instead, always make sure that you add garam masala when your tomato puree is fully cooked. This will help give your curry dish a final burst of full-bodied flavour.

  • Rushing into cooking your curry dish

Making curries require lots of time, patience and slow-cooking to ensure that all the flavours from the spices and other ingredients are there in the dish. Saute the spices in oil and then let the curry gently simmer until the chicken or any type of meat or vegetarian dish is cooked. Once cooked, your curry should release some oil on the top.

  • Not smelling the curry while it’s cooking

Curry provides a sensory and aromatic experience, so you must be able to smell it as it cooks. If you cook curry dishes often, you will know that each ingredient adds a hint of aroma and flavour to your curry. While spices tend to become more fragrant when cooking, onions start to smell slightly sweet, indicating that it’s ready to be cooked further along with the other spices and ingredients. So make sure your nose is engaged when cooking any curry dish.

  • Not being able to adjust the level of salt in the curry

A common mistake when cooking curry is that you don’t understand the quantity of salt that needs to go into your curry. In case you put too much salt, never add extra water to the curry. Instead, just add in a peeled, raw potato to the curry and let it cook for a while. The potato will soak up some of the excess salt and you may just save your curry dish from being too salty and ruined.

So if you’re going to try out any amazing Sri Lankan chicken curry recipe or a flavourful Indian fare, avoid these common mistakes and cook your curry to perfection.