A time-accurate algorithm is proposed for low-Mach number, variable density flows on curvilinear grids. Spatial discretization is performed on collocated grid that offers computational simplicity in curvilinear coordinates. The flux interpolation technique is used to avoid the pressure odd–even decoupling of the collocated grid arrangement. To increase the stability of the method, a two-step predictor–corrector time integration scheme is employed. At each step, the projection method is used to calculate the hydrodynamic pressure and to satisfy the continuity equation. The robustness and accuracy of the method is illustrated with a series of numerical experiments including thermally driven cavity, polar cavity, three-dimensional cavity, and direct numerical simulation of non-isothermal turbulent channel flow. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.