Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking

Curry. Just typing it makes me miraculously hungry and happy at the same time. Coconut curry was one of the many flavorful dishes I learned in Thai cooking school, and, very unsurprisingly, it was my absolute favorite one. Something about curry has always had a strong appeal to me; maybe it’s the soothing coconut combined with the spicy flavor profile, or the way it manages to be rich and refreshing at the same time, or maybe it’s simply the rainbow of colors it comes in. But from the moment the first Thai curry touched my lips, (the pumpkin red curry from the Thai restaurant down the street from my parents’ house in Oregon, to be exact), there’s been a long and loving relationship between us.

Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking

Red curry has always been my favorite of the three general varieties, but while in Thailand I came to appreciate the other two much, much more, and so I decided to share a recipe for a basic curry that will work with a red, green, or yellow curry paste, and of course recipes for each of the pastes. The key to making curry paste easily is to use a rough stone mortar and pestle. The rough surface of the stone provides enough traction and grit to grind down the ingredients, whereas the smooth mortar and pestles will take much longer and more effort to grind everything down.

Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking
I suppose you could also use a food processor, but I really enjoyed doing it the old fashioned way and found the smashing of the mortar to be strangely exhilarating. Just pummeling away any excess stress or anxiety into a fragrant, creamy, delicious curry. And since you’re going through the effort of making it from scratch, I’d recommend doubling or tripling the batch, then scooping it out in little tablespoon heaps on a baking sheet and freezing it, then dumping the little frozen tablespoon servings into a freezer-safe ziplock bag and keeping it in the freezer so you have pre-measured it on an as-needed basis.
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking

Red Curry Paste

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Keyword red curry paste
Calories 52 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2-3 dried red chile peppers soaked in water for at least 30 minutes with seeds removed (more peppers = more spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin
  • 1 teaspoon toasted coriander
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or dried galangal root
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemongrass
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

Instructions

  1. Crush all the curry paste ingredients together with a rough stone mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms, or blend all the ingredients together in a food processor. Cover and set aside.

Recipe Notes

I recommend doubling or tripling the curry paste recipes, then scooping the paste out in little tablespoon heaps on a baking sheet and freezing it, then dumping the little frozen tablespoon servings into a freezer-safe ziplock bag and keeping the bag in the freezer so you have it on hand in pre-measured tablespoon servings for a good long while. Also, to toast the coriander and cumin, place them in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 1 minute until fragrant, then remove from heat.

Nutrition Facts
Red Curry Paste
Amount Per Serving
Calories 52
% Daily Value*
Sodium 9mg 0%
Potassium 210mg 6%
Total Carbohydrates 11g 4%
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 5.3%
Vitamin C 5.3%
Calcium 3.5%
Iron 13.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Green Curry Paste

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Keyword green curry paste
Calories 79 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 small fresh green chile peppers
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or dried galangal root
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped cilantro stems
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted coriander
  • 2 cloves minced garlic

Instructions

  1. Crush all the curry paste ingredients together with a rough stone mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms, or blend all the ingredients together in a food processor. Cover and set aside.

Recipe Notes

I recommend doubling or tripling the curry paste recipes, then scooping the paste out in little tablespoon heaps on a baking sheet and freezing it, then dumping the little frozen tablespoon servings into a freezer-safe ziplock bag and keeping the bag in the freezer so you have it on hand in pre-measured tablespoon servings for a good long while. Also, to toast the coriander and cumin, place them in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 1 minute until fragrant, then remove from heat.

Nutrition Facts
Green Curry Paste
Amount Per Serving
Calories 79
% Daily Value*
Sodium 13mg 1%
Potassium 497mg 14%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 6g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 18.8%
Vitamin C 243.2%
Calcium 4.7%
Iron 12.8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

Yellow Curry Paste

Course Side Dish
Cuisine Thai
Keyword yellow curry paste
Calories 27 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 dried red chile pepper soaked in water for at least 30 minutes with seeds removed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons tumeric
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh or dried galangal root
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped lemongrass
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon toasted cumin
  • 1 teaspoon toasted coriander

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the curry paste. Crush all the curry paste ingredients together with a rough stone mortar and pestle until a smooth paste forms, or blend all the ingredients together in a food processor. Cover and set aside.

Recipe Notes

I recommend doubling or tripling the curry paste recipes, then scooping the paste out in little tablespoon heaps on a baking sheet and freezing it, then dumping the little frozen tablespoon servings into a freezer-safe ziplock bag and keeping the bag in the freezer so you have it on hand in pre-measured tablespoon servings for a good long while. Also, to toast the coriander and cumin, place them in a small frying pan over medium heat for about 1 minute until fragrant, then remove from heat.

Nutrition Facts
Yellow Curry Paste
Amount Per Serving
Calories 27
% Daily Value*
Sodium 7mg 0%
Potassium 71mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 5g 2%
Calcium 1.9%
Iron 13.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Thai Curry

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword Thai curry
Servings 2 people
Calories 995 kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 2-3 tablespoons desired curry paste (see above recipes)
  • 2-3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetables cut into 1-inch pieces or cubes such as potatoes, squash, mushrooms, or eggplant
  • 1/2 of a medium yellow onion cut into slices
  • meat cut into 1/2 inch thick slices optional
  • 1- inch piece of lemongrass
  • fresh thai basil can substitute fresh italian basil
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 4 cups cooked jasmine rice for serving

Instructions

  1. Smmer the meat in boiling water until nearly cooked through, remove from water and set aside. In a medium-sized pot, bring the coconut milk and curry paste to a simmer over medium low heat.

  2. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, stirring every minute. Add the fish sauce, brown sugar, water, vegetables, and onion and simmer until the vegetables are nearly done, (length of time depends on type of vegetable, i.e. potatoes take longer to cook through than mushrooms).

  3. Add the meat, lemongrass, basil and kaffir lime leaf and simmer for about 5 minutes or until the meat is completely cooked through. Remove from heat and serve immediately alongside the cooked jasmine rice.
Nutrition Facts
Thai Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 995 Calories from Fat 450
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 50g 77%
Saturated Fat 43g 215%
Sodium 528mg 22%
Potassium 1099mg 31%
Total Carbohydrates 124g 41%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 14g
Protein 16g 32%
Vitamin A 47.3%
Vitamin C 21.2%
Calcium 14.7%
Iron 67.1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking
Thai Curry | Adventures in Cooking

 

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