17 Substitutes for Coconut Milk in Curry (Perfect Alternatives)

Curry is a delicious, savory dish that often contains coconut milk as an ingredient.

However, what do you do if you’re allergic to coconut or just don’t have any on hand?

Don’t worry – we’ve got you covered!

In this article, we’ll provide a list of substitutes for coconut milk in curry that will give you the same (or very similar) taste. We’ll also provide the ratios for each substitute so that your curry will turn out perfect every time.

So let’s get started!

Substitutes for Coconut Milk in Curry

  1. Coconut milk powder
  2. Coconut cream
  3. Greek yogurt
  4. Natural yogurt
  5. Regular cream
  6. Sour cream
  7. Heavy cream
  8. Cashew cream
  9. Regular milk
  10. Oat milk
  11. Soy milk
  12. Almond milk
  13. Evaporated milk
  14. Powdered milk
  15. Half-and-half
  16. Homemade coconut milk
  17. Silken tofu

Coconut milk powder

The powder is similar in consistency and taste to coconut milk and can be reconstituted with warm water.

The benefits of using the powder as a substitute include convenience and longer shelf life. However, it may not provide the same level of flavor or creaminess as fresh coconut milk.

When using the powder as a substitute, it is important to add it slowly and taste the curry regularly to ensure that you achieve the desired flavor.

Coconut cream

Coconut cream is made by mixing equal parts of water and coconut pulp and then straining the mixture. This results in a thicker, richer product that can add a great depth of flavor to your dish.

In addition, coconut cream is a great way to add extra calories and fat to your diet. However, it is important to remember that it should be used sparingly, as it can quickly overwhelm the other flavors in your dish.

When substituting coconut milk for coconut cream in curry, mix 2 tablespoons of cream with 3/4 cup of water. Then adjust to taste.

Greek yogurt

One common substitute for coconut milk in curry is thick yogurt, preferably Greek yogurt.

The thick consistency of the yogurt gives it a similar mouthfeel to coconut milk, and the slightly tangy flavor complements the spices in the curry nicely.

Additionally, Greek yogurt has a higher protein content than coconut milk, which can make for a heartier dish.

You should use the yogurt in a one-to-one ratio. If you find that the curry is too thick after adding the yogurt, simply add a little water until you reach the desired consistency.

Natural yogurt

There are several reasons you might want to substitute natural yogurt for coconut milk in curry.

Firstly, they have a similar consistency and creaminess, so the curry will still have that rich, decadent texture.

Secondly, natural yogurt is much easier to find than coconut milk, so if you’re in a pinch, it’s a good option.

Finally, you can mix natural yogurt with water to thin it out and get the same consistency as coconut milk. This is especially useful if you’re making a lighter curry or want to cut down on the fat content.

Regular cream

While coconut milk is the traditional choice for curry, regular cream is a rich and very creamy substitute that is easily available and less expensive, too.

The similar consistency of regular cream makes it a good choice for those who are looking for a coconut milk alternative.

However, note that regular cream contains lactose, so it may not be suitable for those with dairy sensitivities.

Still, regular cream is a good option for those who want to make a rich and creamy curry without using coconut milk.

Sour cream

There are many reasons why you might want to use sour cream as a substitute for coconut milk in curry.

For one, it is a moderate amount of tangy, which can help to balance out the flavors in a dish. It is also easy to dilute with water if the curry is too thick. Plus, it has a distinct flavor that can help to enhance the overall taste of the dish.

However, it can make the curry really thick. So, you may need to add some water to your recipe to achieve the desired consistency.

Heavy cream

There are many reasons you might want to use heavy cream as a substitute for coconut milk in curry.

First, coconut milk is actually quite thin and watery, whereas heavy cream is much thicker and richer. This means that if you’re looking for a curry that is creamy and rich, heavy cream is a great option.

However, since heavy cream is so thick, you will need to dilute it with water before adding it to your curry. Otherwise, the dish will be too thick and flavorless.

When substituting heavy cream for coconut milk, you should use a 1:1 ratio. And since heavy cream is flavorless, you will have to add in some coconut water to get the same taste.

Cashew cream

One of my favorite substitutes for coconut milk in curry is cashew cream.

To make it, simply soaked cashews in water for a few hours, then blend them into a thick, creamy paste.

This dairy-free alternative has a milder flavor than coconut milk, making it a great choice for those who are sensitive to the taste of coconut.

Additionally, the cashew cream will not separate when heated, so it can be used in dishes that require simmering or boiling.

Best of all, it’s easy to make yourself at home! So next time you’re looking for a delicious and dairy-free curry, give cashew cream a try!

Regular milk

While whole milk may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of curry, it can actually be a great substitute for coconut milk.

One of the benefits of using whole milk is its high-fat content. This means that it can help to create a rich and creamy consistency, without the need for additional cream.

Whole milk has a relatively watery consistency, which can help to thin out a thick curry sauce. But this also means you should use less than what the recipe calls for.

Also, be sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly, as whole milk can make your curry mildly sweeter.

Oat milk

Oat milk is a decent, non-dairy substitute for coconut milk that is easily available in most grocery stores.

While it has a similar runny texture, oat milk lacks the richness of coconut milk. To fix this problem, I often mix oat milk with cornstarch to thicken it up and then add it to the curry.

Soy milk

While coconut milk is a traditional ingredient in many curries, it can be replaced with soy milk for a plant-based, non-dairy option.

Soy milk is a nutritional powerhouse, providing 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fat per cup. It is also lower in calories than coconut milk, making it a good choice for those watching their waistline.

When substituting soy milk for coconut milk, use a 1:1 ratio. Soy milk is runnier than coconut milk, so you may need to add a thickener such as cornstarch to your curry. You can also add a bit of coconut oil to get a more coconut-y taste.

Overall, soy milk makes a delicious and healthy substitute for coconut milk in curry. Plus, it’s easy to find at most grocery stores!

Almond milk

Unsweetened almond milk is a great substitute for coconut milk in curry. It has a thinner consistency, so it won’t make the curry as rich, but it will still have plenty of flavor.

Plus, it’s a one-to-one replacement, so you don’t need to worry about adjusting the recipe.

There are some benefits to using almond milk as well. It’s lower in calories and fat than coconut milk, and it’s also a good source of calcium and vitamin E.

Just be sure to use unsweetened almond milk; otherwise, the curry will be too sweet.

Evaporated milk

Evaporated or unsweetened condensed milk is mildly sweet and gives the curry a creamier texture. But it lacks the taste of coconut so you’ll have to add in a bit of coconut extract or oil.

This substitute works well in curries that are not too spicy or salty. If your curry is very spicy, the sweetness of the condensed milk may be overwhelmed by the spices.

Powdered milk

Powdered milk can be used to create a coconut milk-like consistency, and it can also add a subtle sweetness to the dish.

To use powdered milk as a coconut milk substitute, simply mix two tablespoons of powder with one cup of water. And to get the taste of coconut, add in some coconut water or coconut oil.


This dairy product is a mixture of equal parts heavy cream and whole milk, so it’s richer and sweeter than coconut milk.

It also has a slightly thicker consistency, which can help to give your curry a more creamy texture.

While you can buy pre-made half-and-half at the store, it’s also easy to make at home.

When using half-and-half in place of coconut milk, just use a 1:1 ratio.

Homemade coconut milk

If you don’t have ready-made coconut milk, you can use shredded coconut flakes to create a homemade version.

To do that, simply blend the flakes with water and strain the mixture. The resulting liquid will have a consistency similar to coconut milk, making it an ideal replacement in curries and other dishes.

While it will not have the same rich flavor as coconut milk, shredded coconut flakes are a good way to add creaminess and body to a dish.

In addition, they are an excellent source of fiber and nutrients, making them a healthier option than traditional coconut milk.

Silken tofu

Silken tofu, which is made of condensed soy milk, makes an excellent substitute.

Its smooth, creamy texture pairs well with the spices in curry, and it can be used in a 1:1 ratio with no need for additional adjustments.

Plus, it is a good source of plant-based protein, making it a healthy choice for those looking to limit their meat intake.


What is the difference between soy milk and coconut milk?

Soy milk and coconut milk are two different types of milk. Soy milk is made from soybeans, while coconut milk is made from the meat of coconuts. Soy milk is a good substitute for coconut milk because it has a similar consistency and can be used in a one-to-one ratio. Coconut milk is higher in fat and calories than soy milk, but it also has a richer flavor.

Is coconut milk necessary to add to curry?

No, coconut milk is not necessary to add to the curry, but it can enhance the flavor and richness of the dish. If you are looking for a substitute, you can try almond milk, evaporated milk, or silken tofu. Each of these options will give the curry a different flavor, so you may need to experiment to find the one that you like best.

What is the best substitute for coconut milk in curry?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best substitute for coconut milk in curry will depend on your personal preferences. Some good substitutes include almond milk, evaporated milk, or silken tofu. If you are looking for a substitute that is lower in fat and calories, you can try soy milk.

How can I thicken curry without using coconut milk?

One way to thicken curry without using coconut milk is to add in some powdered milk. Another option is to use silken tofu, which has a similar consistency to coconut milk. You can also try adding some shredded coconut flakes to the curry. This will give it a more creamy texture and also add some nutritional value.


There are a number of coconut milk substitutes that can be used in curry. Soy milk, almond milk, evaporated milk, powdered milk, and half-and-half all work well as replacements.

Each substitute has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that will best fit your needs.

No matter which replacement you choose, be sure to adjust the recipe as needed to ensure that the final dish is flavorful and delicious. Thanks for reading!