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The 7 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Curry

Creamy, tangy yogurt is a staple ingredient in many curry recipes, adding depth of flavor and a luxurious texture to these deliciously spiced dishes.

But what if you’ve run out of yogurt, or you’re looking for a dairy-free or vegan alternative?

What are the best substitutes for yogurt in curry? The best substitutes for yogurt in curry include coconut milk, cashew cream, almond milk yogurt, soy yogurt, silken tofu, sour cream, or buttermilk.

Whether you’re out of yogurt or catering to specific dietary restrictions, these alternatives will ensure your curry remains rich, creamy, and full of flavor.

Ready to explore these substitutes and give your curry a new twist?

Let’s dive in!

Why Use Yogurt in Curry?


Yogurt is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and is used in curries for a variety of reasons.

Here are some reasons why yogurt is used in curry:

  1. Souring agent: Yogurt is used as a souring agent in Indian cooking. It adds a tangy flavor to the dish, which complements the other spices used in the curry. Yogurt can also be used to replace tamarind or lemon juice, which are other souring agents commonly used in Indian cuisine.
  2. Tenderizing agent: Yogurt contains lactic acid, which helps to tenderize meat. When used in a marinade, the lactic acid in the yogurt breaks down the proteins in the meat, making it more tender. (source: Iupilon)
  3. Basis for softly textured curries: Yogurt is used as a base for softly textured curries. When combined with spices and other ingredients, yogurt creates a creamy and smooth consistency that is characteristic of many Indian curries.
  4. Nutritious: Yogurt is a nutritious food that is high in protein and calcium. Protein is needed to build muscles and bones, while calcium is needed for strong bones.
  5. Preventing curdling: When adding yogurt to curry, it is important to do so slowly and on low heat to prevent curdling. The high-temperature cooking process can cause the yogurt to curdle, but adding acidic components such as lemon juice or vinegar at the end can help prevent this.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Curry

Yogurt is a classic ingredient in curries, but if you’re looking for an alternative, there are plenty of delicious substitutes.

Here are seven great options that will give your curry the same creamy texture and flavor without yogurt:

1. Coconut Milk

Coconut Milk

Coconut milk, a creamy and aromatic liquid derived from the grated flesh of ripe coconuts, is a fantastic alternative to yogurt in curry recipes.

Its naturally sweet and rich flavor pairs perfectly with the spicy and savory notes of curry dishes, creating a well-rounded taste profile.

Coconut milk also adds a velvety texture to curries, making them smooth and luxurious.

To replace yogurt in your curry, simply use an equal amount of coconut milk, ensuring an easy and delicious swap.

Not only does this substitution cater to those with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies, but it also provides a delicious tropical twist to your favorite curry recipes.

2. Cashew Cream

Cashew Cream

Cashew cream, a sumptuous and dairy-free alternative to yogurt, is made by blending soaked cashews with water until smooth.

This versatile cream boasts a neutral flavor that readily absorbs the spices and seasonings of curry dishes.

Its rich and velvety texture closely resembles that of yogurt, making it an ideal choice for thickening and adding creaminess to your curry.

To make cashew cream, simply blend equal parts of soaked cashews and water, adjusting the consistency to your liking.

Replace the yogurt in your curry recipe with an equal amount of cashew cream, and enjoy a delicious, dairy-free alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste or texture.

3. Almond Milk Yogurt

Almond milk yogurt, a plant-based alternative to traditional yogurt, is made by fermenting almond milk with live cultures.

This dairy-free option offers a similar tangy flavor and creamy consistency to yogurt, making it an excellent substitute in curry recipes.

Almond milk yogurt is available in various flavors and thicknesses, so be sure to choose an unsweetened, plain variety for your curry.

Simply replace the yogurt in your recipe with an equal amount of almond milk yogurt, and you’ll achieve a delicious, dairy-free curry with a rich and creamy texture.

This excellent alternative caters to dietary restrictions while maintaining the integrity of your favorite curry dishes.

4. Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt, made from soy milk and live cultures, offers a plant-based alternative to traditional dairy yogurt.

Its tangy taste and creamy texture make it an excellent addition to curry recipes, providing a similar mouthfeel and flavor profile as regular yogurt.

Ideal for those following a vegan or lactose-free diet, soy yogurt imparts a rich, velvety consistency to curries, complementing the dish’s spices and flavors.

Incorporating soy yogurt into your curry not only caters to different dietary needs but also delivers a satisfying, well-rounded taste that will leave your taste buds craving more.

5. Silken Tofu

Silken Tofu

Silken tofu, with its smooth, custard-like texture, serves as an exceptional alternative to yogurt in curry dishes.

Its mild flavor allows it to seamlessly blend with the vibrant spices and flavors in curry, while its creamy consistency adds depth and richness to the dish.

To use silken tofu as a yogurt replacement, blend it until smooth and creamy, then stir it into your curry during the cooking process.

This versatile ingredient not only provides a satisfying mouthfeel but also offers an excellent source of plant-based protein, making it a healthy and delicious addition to your culinary creations.

6. Sour Cream

Sour Cream

Sour cream, a thick and tangy dairy product, is another noteworthy substitute for yogurt in curry recipes.

Its rich creaminess imparts a luscious texture to your curry, while its tangy flavor complements the dish’s bold spices and herbs.

Simply stir sour cream into your curry during the cooking process, adjusting the amount to achieve the desired consistency and taste.

This simple swap not only provides a creamy, indulgent mouthfeel but also adds a delightful tang that beautifully balances the flavors in your curry dish.

7. Buttermilk


Buttermilk, a tangy, slightly acidic milk product, can serve as a viable alternative to yogurt in curry dishes.

Its unique combination of creaminess and tanginess enhances the flavors of the spices while adding a velvety texture to the dish.

To use buttermilk in your curry, simply replace the yogurt with an equal amount of buttermilk, stirring it in during the cooking process.

This flavorful addition not only imparts a pleasant tanginess but also adds a smooth, velvety consistency to your curry, resulting in a delectable, satisfying meal for all to enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I use milk instead of yogurt in a curry?

Yes, you can use milk instead of yogurt in a curry. However, milk will not provide the same tangy flavor and creamy texture that yogurt does.

What can I use instead of yogurt in Indian food?

You can use sour cream, buttermilk, coconut milk, or cashew cream as a substitute for yogurt in Indian food. These substitutes will provide a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor to the dish.

What can I use instead of yogurt in masala?

You can use coconut cream, sour cream, buttermilk, or cashew cream as a substitute for yogurt in masala. These substitutes will provide a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor to the dish.

Do you need yogurt in curry?

No, yogurt is not a necessary ingredient in curry. However, it is a common ingredient in Indian cuisine and is used for its tangy flavor, creamy texture, and tenderizing properties.


In conclusion, there are several great substitutes for yogurt in curry that can be used to achieve a similar creamy texture and tangy flavor.

Sour cream, coconut milk, buttermilk, cashew cream, and heavy cream are some of the most popular alternatives to yogurt in curry. Soy and rice yogurt or sour cream can also be used as non-dairy options.

These substitutes not only provide a similar texture and flavor to yogurt but also offer their unique taste that can enhance the overall flavor profile of the dish.

Whether you are vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply out of yogurt, these alternatives are great options to try in your next curry recipe.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Curry

The 7 Best Substitutes for Yogurt in Curry

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 people


  • Coconut Milk
  • Cashew Cream
  • Almond Milk Yogurt
  • Soy Yogurt
  • Silken Tofu
  • Sour Cream
  • Buttermilk


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.