Thai Red Curry


All my life I have been a lover of curry mainly i admit Indian and the odd Chinese.  I have mad my own curries from scratch for many years but have never ventured  into the world of Thai curry or come that Thai food in general.  Growing up there was an abundance of Indian and Chinese restaurants where I lived but no Thai maybe this was the reason I never ventured in to the world of lemon grass, galangal, fish pastes and sauces.  So after 30 years of cooking I thought it was time I had a go.  The start of the journey was the purchase of  David Thompson Thai Food, this book adds to my main vice in life cook books, it is a fantastic addition to my growing collection.

Armed with the ultimate shopping list I ventured out to collect the making’s of a Thai Red curry.  Two hours later and a lighter wallet all except a kaffir lime was purchased.  Back to the kitchen and the preparation work started, first put on suitable cooking music today’s choice was Kings of Leon.

First task was to slice and dice the various ingredients for the red paste.

Thai Red Curry Paste
Recipe type: Curry Paste
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 2 tbsp lemon grass finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp galangal cut finely
  • 1 tbsp lime rind cut finely
  • 2 tbsp red shallot diced
  • 1 tbsp roasted red shallot
  • 2 tbsp garlic purée
  • 1 tsp shrimp paste
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • ¼ grated nutmeg
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 long dry red chillies
  • 1.5 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 star anise


red curry paste spices


Starting in the pestle and mortar with the driest and hardest begin to make your paste, I started with a good pinch of sea salt, galangal, and the seeds which had been lightly roasted to release their oils, pound until the ingredients are well combined then add the finely sliced lemongrass and repeat the process, continue adding the ingredients from driest to wettest.  The long red chillies had been soaked in a little boiling water for 20 minutes before starting, keep the liquid as it can be added if the paste is a little dry.

This is a time and labour intensive method of making the paste but the result is far better than just chucking it all in a processor or blender.  With the amount of ingredients in the recipe it took me around 40-45 minutes to produce a smooth paste with no lumps or strands of dry ingredients still in the paste.

This is how my paste came out.

thai red curry paste


This paste is more than enough for the curry I intend to make so a large part will be frozen in table-spoon portions ready for the next foray into Thai food be it soups or curries.