I have really been enjoying Thai curries ever since I discovered them about a year ago. At first I started with simple curries using store bought curry paste. I have been slowly adding more authentic ingredients as I have been finding sources for them. A while ago I made my first curry paste, a penang curry . Though I had been planning to make the classic red curry paste I was distracted by the peanuts in penang curry and I made that instead. I had been craving some curry lately and now was the time to try making the red curry paste. One of the things that I like about Thai curry pastes is that they contain a lot of fresh ingredients. You should be able to find all of the ingredients at your local Asian grocery store. Thai curry pastes are pretty easy to make; You just mash everything in a mortar and pestle or you could make it even easier and use a food processor. This time I soaked the dried red chili peppers in some lime juice to soften them up a bit so that they could be ground into smaller pieces more easier. The curry paste keeps well in the freezer for a couple of months so you can freeze the extra paste in single serving amounts (one or two tablespoons) for easy use later on.
Thai curries are pretty simple as well; You just need some curry paste, coconut milk, meat and/or vegetables, fish sauce, palm sugar and possibly some fresh herbs and chilies. To bring out the full flavour of the curry paste you are going to want to saute it a bit before adding the other ingredients. You can saute it in some oil or you could use the thicker part of the coconut milk from the top of the can. Saute it until it is nice and fragrant, about a minute or two, before adding the rest of the coconut milk and the other ingredients.
Red Curry Paste
- 10 dried red chilies (toasted)
- 1 kaffir lime (or lime, juice and zest)
- 4 tablespoons shallots (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons garlic (chopped)
- 2 tablespoons galangal (or ginger, chopped)
- 2 tablespoons lemongrass (peeled, lower 2 inches)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro root
- 1 teaspoon white peppercorns (toasted and ground)
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds (toasted and ground)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
- 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
- Soak the dried red chilies in the lime juice for 30 minutes.
- Mash everything with a mortar and pestle or puree everything in a food processor.
Thai Peanut Chicken Noodle Soup
Thai Spicy Peanut Sauce
Thai Pumpkin Soup
Apricot Chicken Curry
Prawn and Pineapple Curry
Tod Mun Pla (Thai Fish Cakes)
Thai Curried Zucchini Fritters with Spicy Peanut Sauce
Thai Peanut Pumpkin Turkey Curry
Thai Style Corn Fritters with Sweet Chilli Sauce
Thai Peanut Chicken Saute
Creamy Curried Coconut Carrot Soup
Thai Style Sweet Chili Ribs
Cauliflower and Butternut Quinoa Curry
Thai Meatballs in Curry
Penang Curry Paste
Thai Green Curry Paste
Massaman Curry Paste
Whoa. Good on you for finding lemongrass! I’m looking forward to your use of it 🙂
Oooh, enticing flavors!
[eatingclub] vancouver || js says
Looking forward to applicaitons of your red curry paste.
cant wait to see what you will incorporate this into!
noble pig says
This is very exotic.
Wow! I’m impressed! I make Thai curries a lot, but I never made paste from scratch! Well done!
Yum! We’ve had to cook a lot more Thai food at home this year now that we are in a smaller city. Thanks for the great recipe.
i’ve awarded you the Hard Working Food Blogger Award! come and pick it up!
Mrs Ergül says
You are really becoming Asian, Kevin!
I love Thai curries but have never bothered to make my own paste – I will have to give it a go!
Wow I would of never of thought to make my own curry! amazing!
curry paste looks great, Kevin. I buy mine from a little old lady at the market who whizzes them up from scratch. Her nyonya (Straits-born Chinese) style pastes are amazing.
Great looking chili paste! I really would like to try making my own sometime as well. It’s so available in the stores here that I am just lazy. I bet homemade is infinitely better though!
I’ve only had Thai curry at a restaurant, your paste looks so simple Kevin, that I may just have to give this a go.
Kevin, your curry pastelook so yummy! Gloria
This is a good recipe but I’m just wondering where you got it? From a book? From a friend? From your mom? From another blog? It’s discourteous to post recipes that you clearly did not develop without citing a source. In fact, it can be called plagiarism.
wow, making your own curry paste requires some serious skill! great job!
Well done Kevin, this sounds fantastic! Very exotic.
Well done Kevin, what a taleted cook you are.
Nice recipe Kevin 🙂
Unfortunately my curry paste comes out of a jar, but I have bookmarked this in case I ever get motivated!
Your Thai food must have tasted amazing with the homemade curry paste!!!
Sweet Bird says
wow Kevin, that looks great
I can’t wait to see what recipes you use this in. YUM!
Wow….this looks spicy and good 🙂 It seems very simple to make too.
Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet says
I’ve been craving asian like a madwoman lately, so this is a really welcome post. I’ve not seen fresh lemongrass around here, but we can usually find quasi-fresh stuff in a little tube at the grocers. And my husband is a super fan of panang curries, so hopefully I can convince him to give this a try.
Looks good. I still have some of my Malaysian curry to go through. Then, I’d like to give this one a try.
I love curry – any curry but I love thai and malayasian curries the best!!!
Thanks for the great recipe…think I’ll pick up the stuff today! 🙂
It all looks so wonderful and fragrant. It’s so much fun to see how much you experiment.
You can find all the spices, and herbs! Good for you!
Proud Italian Cook says
Kevin You are so diverse in your cooking, I admire your enthusiasim!
Hi Kevin, I’ve just discovered your blog and am so happy. I am a great Thai food lover and am enjoying reading your Thai recipes. Great posts!
Great recipe! I tried making my own curry paste once but had trouble finding cilantro root. Where were you able to buy it in Toronto? I’d love to try making it again.
Thanks for your help!
cutehinano: I find that Food Basics often has the roots still attached to the cilantro that they sell. If you cannot find some with the roots, just using the leaves and stems of the cilantro should be fine.
Well done you, doing the treasure hunt to get all that stuff together! Have never heard of or seen coriander root – only seeds and leaves. I love Thai curries too but must confess that I buy my paste [hangs head in shame]!
wow i’m so impressed you made your own curry paste!! i can never find all the ingredients….
Jaimie now a days you easily find all the exotic ingredients online http://www.templeofthai.com including fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, and all that; coriander root is a lot bigger in Thailand compared to the tiny root that you can find in the USA if you are lucky; the only time you can get your hands on it is from a farmers market, but it is not critical to have that ingredient anyways. In fact many Thais do not even use it (ask a Souther Thai person, home of the coconut!).
Hi Kevin, I just made this and followed the directions you gave to a T. I am wondering if you can suggest a reason why mine isn't as red as yours is. Will this effect the taste?
Anonymous: The red colour comes from the chilies in this recipe so it will depend on how red you chilies were and how large they were. The colour will not affect the flavor though.
Love Thai food, especially red curry, can't wait to try this recipe.