Monday, February 26, 2007


Nothing's more gratifying and fulfilling than to make your own "Curry Paste"! It is always a real pleasure as well as a pride to cook with something that you have made entirely yourself and to realize that it is in fact not so difficult to make at home...

In Thailand, there are three major kinds of curry pastes: "Yellow Curry Paste/Nam Prik kaeng Kari", "Green Curry Paste/Nam Prik kaeng Kiow Wan" and "Red Curry Paste/Nam Prik Kung kaeng Ped". They were named so according to their color. But, there also exists other (more regional) curries such as "Massaman Curry/Kaeng Massaman" (see recipe and infos) or "Muslim Curry" from the very Southern part of Thailand, "Panang Curry/Kaeng Phanaeng" which is a drier curry paste cooked with less coconut milk and "Jungle Curry/"Kaeng Pah", a country style red curry paste...

Thai curry pastes are wet and use ground spices (cumin, curcuma, corian
der, cinnamon, etc...) as well as fresh roots or vegetables (galangal, ginger, shallots, chillies, garlic, lemon grass, etc...), herbs (coriander, kaffir lime leaves, and condiments (shrimp paste, tamarind, etc...). They are never dry like Indian curry powders. With those pastes, two categories of curry dishes can be prepared: either milk-based or water-based ("Sour Curry" often made with fish). The most popular curries are red and green curries. Curries are the most important dishes in Thailand, especially in the south. There, the people greet you with a "Gin gang ry wahnee?", which means "Which kind of curry are you having today?"! The curries that will be made always depend on the ingredients which the people have at home and generally the whole meal is planned around them...

Compared to the other curries, especially the "Red Curry Paste", this "Yellow Curry Paste" is very mild, but it is, at the same time, the most fragrant of them all. It is very versatile and can be made with any combination of meat, poultry, ve
getable, fish, seafood or noodles. This "Thai Yellow Curry Paste" is very aromatic, well-balanced and extremely flavorful! It is a bit as if the taste of paradise could be kept in a container and used to spread happiness, well-being and enlightenment via the table... A real treat that all Thai food lovers should try at least once in their lives!!!

~ Krabi, Thailand. ~

This "Thai Yellow Curry Paste" recipes was partly invented by myself after a few experimentations and inspired by diverse sources such as The Women's Weekly "Easy Thai-Style Cookery" book.

It's my favorite curry paste, so I hope that you'll enjoy it's taste and will find many interesting uses for it!...

~Thai Yellow Curry Paste ~
Recipe by Rosa @ Rosa's Yummy Yums

Makes 1 medium bowl or enough for two curries.

3 Tsps Cumin powder
1 Tsp Coriander powder
3 Fresh yellow (or red) chillies, chopped
1/4 Tsp Flaked red chillies
1/2 Tsps Ground cinnamon
1 Tsp Turmeric/curcuma powder (see infos)
1 Tsp Paprika powder
1/2 Tsp Ground cloves
2 Tbs Fresh coriander root, chopped (see infos)
2 Tbs Fresh lemon grass, chopped (see infos)
2 Tbs Shallots, chopped
4 Tbs Garlic, chopped
2 Tbs Fresh galangal, chopped (see infos)
4 Kaffir lime leaves, thinly shredded and chopped (see infos)
1 1/2 Tsps Shrimp paste/Kapi (see infos) *
1 Tsp Palm sugar (see infos)
1 Tsp Fish sauce
2 Tsp Peanut oil
A pinch of salt to use when grinding (it helps)

1. With the help of a mortar and pestle, pound the ingredients in batches of two (transfer every batch into a clean bowl) until a smooth paste is formed, about 10 minutes per batch.
2. At the end, add the shrimp paste, palm sugar, fish sauce and peanut oil. Pound until well blended, about 2 minutes.

Instead of using galangal, you can use the same quantity of fresh ginger.
If you don't find any kaffir lime leaves, then replace them by 1 1/2 teaspoon lime rind.
You can also blend or process this paste in a mixer, but the mortar and pestle way will give better results (more authentic). Important tips and methods can be found here (see link).
This pastes keeps up to a few months in the refrigerator.
* If you eat only Kosher food, then I recommend you to replace the 1 1/2 teaspoons shrimp paste by 1/3 teaspoon brown sugar, 2/3 teaspoon anchovy paste and 1/2 teaspoon crumbled chicken stock powder.

Serving suggestions:
Use this curry paste to make "Thai Yellow Curries", "Thai Yellow Curry Soup" or "Thai Dry Curry" served with "Jasmine Rice" or rice noodles...

Here are some interesting links to recipes:

Crushed Sesame Scallops With Yellow Curry (see recipe)
Hot Fish Curry (see recipe)
Kin Jay Curry (see recipe)
Thai Yellow Curry Chicken (see recipe)
Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry By Nigella Lawson (see recipe)

~ Patong Beach Food Vendor, Phuket, Thailand. ~

(Krabi -Pic by Gee Hoo
(Thai Curry -Pic by
(Patong Vendor -Pic by Dan Walsh


  1. i love making my own also; i just wish there was a substitute for the shrimp paste that is in everything :((

  2. Quel beau voyage gastronomique je viens de faire grace à toi! :-)

  3. BUREKABOY: Check out the "remark" section of this recipe. I have added hints for those who can't eat shrimp paste. I hope it will help you...

    ELVIRA: Merci beaucoup, Elvira ;-P!...

  4. Sounds really really good.... I will go shopping this weekend with this in mind.

    We visited Thailand last year, and LOVED it so anything that brings the memories back is great to me.

  5. even in a vegetarian way, it might be delicious ( I do not ask you any tip in order to turn fish sauce and shrimp paste into veggies)

  6. Très intéressante cette recette.

  7. Thanks for sharing this recipe, good to see you made your own paste, did you find it tasted better? I usually use pasted, but use a brand i know i like, i find that each brand tastes different so maybe you should experiement. Thanks, Cherry @

  8. THAI RECIPES: I love making my paste as it is so much fragrant compared to the bought ones! Yes, I'v seen that certain brands taste better than others... Aroy D is my favorite. Mae Ploy is has a flat taste.



  9. Nice curry recipe. Mae Ply does have a flat taste sometimes its a bit to spicy.

    Thai Green Curry

  10. JENNY: Thanks for passing by and for the kind comment! You are right about Mae Ploy (quite hot, but lacking flavor)...

  11. This is a wonderful collection of curry tips and recipes. I agree, though I am often to lazy to make it at all at home, the self made curries are still the best!