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to swap coconut milk for tahini in a curry recipe?

(26 Posts)
bitofafunnyquestion Sun 17-May-20 13:02:34

Hi all,

I'm sure I wouldn't be unreasonable in the true sense of the word but would it ruin the curry?

i need to make dinner and don't really want to go out for a non essential item.

I use a chickpea and spinach curry recipe and have everything except the coconut milk. I have tahini and low fat yogurt. I think the yogurt might split but do you think tahini and maybe a bit of honey would be an ok substitute for the creamy coconut milk or the flavour be too strong?

I was planning to drop some round on foot to a not very well friend hence asking around first rather than just giving it a go!


YANBU= try the tahini
YABU = it won't be very nice

OP’s posts: |
CinnabarRed Sun 17-May-20 13:03:22


MitziK Sun 17-May-20 13:05:02

Either will be fine. With the yoghurt, take the pan off the heat before stirring it in.

Both would benefit from the sweetness.

BarbeDeMaman Sun 17-May-20 13:05:22

Add the yoghurt once it starts to cool down then it shouldn't split. I would try think but not go overboard with it.

Panticus Sun 17-May-20 13:07:20

Oooh I don't think that would work sorry OP - it's a very different texture and won't give it that nice aromatic creaminess that coconut milk will. Have you got any desiccated coconut? I think that plus the yoghurt stirred in at the end would work better.

SmileEachDay Sun 17-May-20 13:08:20

Yogurt is great in curries - add a bit at a time and don’t take the heat too highly.

I think tahini would be very odd - might be lovely but it’s a very strong, distinctive flavour! Maybe try a spoonful of curry with a tiny drop of tahini first?

NannyR Sun 17-May-20 13:09:55

I would just leave out the coconut milk and serve it with a dollop of yoghurt at the side for a bit of creaminess. The tahini might taste ok, but I don't think it tastes or has a texture anything like coconut milk, so while it might be a nice addition I don't think it would be a good substitute.

AgentJohnson Sun 17-May-20 13:12:15

Take the curry off the heat and let it cool a little and the yoghurt should the last thing you add. Also mixing a little cornstarch into the yoghurt helps in keeping it together.

Yoghurt and heat do not mix well.

magimedi Sun 17-May-20 13:13:23

Add a teaspoon of cornflour to the yogurt & whisk well before adding to the curry & it will not split.

Durgasarrow Sun 17-May-20 13:13:58

tahini sounds a bit disgusting

Weedsnseeds1 Sun 17-May-20 13:15:12

I think it would be fine. Whisk the tahini with some water. It goes white and becomes the thickness of single cream. Then chuck it in.
Peanuts and almonds are used a lot in Indian cooking, sesame has a similar vibe.

lidoshuffle Sun 17-May-20 13:16:42

Tahini's quite bitter and has a distinctive taste, nothing like coconut. I'd stick to just the yoghurt and a little cornflour.

bitofafunnyquestion Sun 17-May-20 13:17:15

thanks all! unfortunately I don't have any dessicated coconut. I have through MN now learned that it's the heat that makes yogurt split though, I assumed it was to do with having a lower fat content! while I'm waiting for the curry to cool, I might try a small amount of tahini to see how it tastes, probably a bit unorthodox but might work. otherwise yogurt when it is cool. smile

OP’s posts: |
MitziK Sun 17-May-20 13:31:31

Spicy meals aren't just confined to 'curry'.

Chickpeas, spinach and spices are ingredients that are perfectly complemented by yoghurt and tahini. More middle Eastern than 'Indian' but just as authentic.

As an aside, you could also use a big blob of peanut butter. Or some crumbled feta. Or cream cheese.

postbreakup Sun 17-May-20 13:31:32

Tahini is nothing like coconut milk, that won't work at all. I would just look for a different recipe like this one
Uses no coconut milk and adding spinach to that would be fine (it's a good recipe, I've used it)

TheFuckingDogs Sun 17-May-20 13:40:21

Tahini is a completely different ingredient, probably best to add a spoonful of sugar to a drop (tablespoon) boiling water then mix with the yogurt to sweeten and thin it then add this to the curry as a substitute for coconut milk

bitofafunnyquestion Sun 17-May-20 13:45:55

Thank you Mitzi for clarifying that there are other spicy foodstuffs than Indian curry.

As it happens it is a recipe I want to make and the ill friend I refer to is Indian so I thought it might cheer him up to have a home made version of one of his favourites hence asking whether tahini would detract a lot from the flavours. I use it in middle eastern and Sichuan-origin dishes mostly.

I know it is not the same as coconut milk but it is smooth and creamy with a high fat content so seemed a reasonably sensible potential substitute given current restrictions.

OP’s posts: |
TheHighestSardine Sun 17-May-20 14:10:35

Higher fat content yoghurt survives more heat without splitting, I'd definitely choose that.

Tahini does weird things to textures, taste might be odd too but depends on the rest of the curry. Definitely try it on a spoonful first.

MitziK Sun 17-May-20 14:32:31

Wasn't having a dig at you, OP.

More at the people going EWWWW, no, that would be disgusting in curry.

I think your friend will be happy that you've made an effort to cook him a meal whether it's authentically Southern in character or not.

antipodalpizza Sun 17-May-20 14:36:08

I often use low fat natural yoghurt in curry and it works fine. I add it during cooking without any problems, have done for years.

Scarlettpixie Sun 17-May-20 14:47:56

No to the tahini.

Stir in yogurt at the end or a splash of cream or milk.
Or just leave it out.

bitofafunnyquestion Sun 17-May-20 14:52:06

Ah gotcha Mitzi!

it's tasting pretty nice without any so far, fingers crossed, maybe just a bit of yogurt at the end. I've used chickpeas which I soaked, boiled and then froze and they've fallen apart a lot more than non- frozen ones do so it's quite a nice thick daal like sauce rather than separate 'bits' in a gravy which wouldn't have been as nice so i might get away with not using anything to bring it together.

OP’s posts: |
GrumpyHoonMain Sun 17-May-20 14:55:35

It’s the first time I’ve heard of coconut milk in a chickpea curry recipe. It’s usually a tomato or dry based sauce!

bitofafunnyquestion Sun 17-May-20 15:06:00

yeah, this one is a bit richer and creamier. perhaps it more of an adaptation of a meat based dish than a simple veggie one but it is very tasty.

OP’s posts: |
Purpleartichoke Sun 17-May-20 17:13:34

I would just stir in the yogurt at the end. No tahini.

You could also use cows milk

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