Authentic Thai Curry Recipes

Thai green curry

Thai curries are very different to Indian curries; They are more aromatic and often very hot. Here are some authentic Thai curry recipes for you to try at home.

You may have tried various Indian curries in the past, but I want to introduce you to Thai curries. Thai curries are very different to Indian curries; Thai cooks use lots of red and green chillies in their food, plus aromatic ingredients like coconut milk, Kaffir lime leaves, galangal, lemongrass, and fish sauce. Chillies are a staple ingredient of Thai curry pastes. Red, green or yellow, Thai curries are a feast for all of your senses.

I will share with you some recipes for red, yellow and green Thai curries which I’m sure you’ll love. Also, for Massaman and Panang curries. All are different in flavour – and all are delicious.

Thai Green Curry

I have used a ready-made curry paste for this recipe (Thai Taste make very good, authentic-tasting curry pastes) but if you want to make your own green curry paste I have added the ingredients and method below this recipe.) Serves 4.

600g boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 5cm pieces
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 shallots, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons Thai green curry paste
300 ml tinned coconut milk
4 teaspoons Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon palm sugar or soft brown sugar
3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced into shreds
1 green chilli, thinly sliced
Thai basil and red chilli to garnish

Heat the oil in a large, non-stick pan or a wok and fry the chicken and shallots for 8 – 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the shallots have softened. Add the curry paste, fish sauce, sugar, lime leaves and green chilli. Stir to coat the chicken in the curry paste then add the coconut milk. Simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve the curry with Thai sticky rice or Jasmine rice and garnish with sliced chilli and some basil.

Thai Green Curry Paste

1 stalk of lemongrass
6 green chillies, chopped
5cm piece of galangal or fresh root ginger
Juice of 1 lime
Half a bunch of fresh coriander
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 shallots, peeled and diced
3 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
1 teaspoon shrimp paste
2 – 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Put all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz to a paste. You may need more oil if the paste looks too thick. This paste will keep for 2 – 3 weeks in the fridge. Or you can freeze it if you prefer.

Thai Red Beef Curry

Red beef curryRed curries are not quite as hot as green curries but they still pack a punch. The red colour comes from the number of red chillies used in the paste. As before, I’m using a ready-made curry paste but there’s a recipe below if you want to make your own. Serves 4.

*Please be aware that the following recipe contains peanuts*

3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
Half a teaspoon of ground coriander
Half a teaspoon of ground cumin
4 Kaffir lime leaves, finely sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced
500g rump steak, diced
400 ml tinned coconut milk
2 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter
2 teaspoons fish sauce (nam pla)
1 tablespoon soft brown sugar
2 whole star anise
Fresh basil to garnish

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large, non-stick pan and when hot, fry the pieces of beef until browned. Remove onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the remaining oil and fry the curry paste, tomatoes, coriander and cumin, peanut butter, brown sugar, lime leaves, star anise and fish sauce until the curry paste smells fragrant. Return the beef to the pan and pour in the coconut milk.

Simmer for 5 minutes to finish cooking the beef. The sauce should have thickened slightly.

Garnish with basil leaves and serve with Thai jasmine rice.

Thai Red Curry Paste

4 – 6 red chillies
4 teaspoons coriander seeds, crushed
2 teaspoons cumin seeds, crushed
4 stems lemongrass, tough outer skin removed, sliced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
4 shallots, peeled and diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
Zest and juice of 2 limes
2 teaspoons hot paprika
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and whizz to a paste. You may need a little more oil if the paste looks too thick. Any surplus curry paste can be kept in the fridge or freezer and will keep for around 2 months once frozen.

Beef Massaman Curry

This curry is influenced by the cuisine of northern India. It contains potatoes so it’s quite substantial. This curry can also be made with chicken – substitute 4 large chicken legs for the beef. Serves 4.

750g diced stewing beef
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
350 ml canned coconut milk
2 tablespoons massaman curry paste
6 new potatoes, cleaned and cut into large chunks
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
Juice of half a lime
1 teaspoon palm sugar
25g roasted peanuts, chopped

Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large pan and brown the cubes of meat – you may have to do this in batches as you don’t want to overcrowd the pan. Remove the beef from the pan onto a plate and set it aside.

Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and fry the onion over a medium heat for 7 – 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the crushed garlic and fry for 2 minutes. Stir in the curry paste and coconut milk, bring to the boil then lower the heat and cook for 2 hours.

After the 2 hours is up, add the potatoes, fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and peanuts. Stir well then cook for a further 30 – 45 minutes, or until the meat and potatoes are soft.

Serve in warmed bowls, accompanied by steamed jasmine rice and garnished with chopped spring onions.

Panang Pork with Green Beans

This is like a Thai red curry but with slightly different ingredients. The addition of green beans adds a nice crunch. Serves 2.

325g pork fillet, diced
50g creamed coconut, dissolved in 200 ml of hot water
2 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
1 teaspoon soft dark brown sugar
125g green beans
1 small red chilli, de-seeded and finely sliced

Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and when sizzling, add the curry paste. Stir fry for 2 minutes then add the diced pork. Cook for 5 – 10 minutes until the pork is browned all over.

Pour in the coconut water, add the sugar and bring to the boil. Add the green beans and simmer the curry for 5 minutes. The beans should still have a nice crunch to them.

Serve with Thai sticky rice and garnish with sliced red chilli.

Thai Yellow Curry with Vegetables

Thai veg curry
Yellow curries tend to be a bit less fiery than the red or green varieties. This one packs in lots of lovely veg in a creamy coconut sauce. It’s absolutely delicious. Serves 4.

350g butternut squash, peeled and diced
100g green beans, trimmed and cut in half
100g carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into thin strips
1 head of broccoli, broken into small florets
100g sugarsnaps or mange tout
6 radishes, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coconut oil
5 cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and grated
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 heaped tablespoons of Thai yellow curry paste
400g can of coconut milk
2 teaspoons soft brown sugar
Juice of a lime
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
150 ml vegetable stock
Half a teaspoon of turmeric

Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan and fry the garlic and ginger for 2 minutes. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Pour in the coconut milk and add the soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, turmeric and stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the vegetables and cook gently for about ten minutes, or until the vegetables have softened; not too much as you want some texture in them.

Serve in warmed bowls accompanied by jasmine or sticky rice.

Do you love a good curry? Visit authentic Indian food recipes and learn how to make them at home.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this introduction to Thai curries. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

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4 thoughts on “Authentic Thai Curry Recipes”

  1. I love curry, especially in winter, but I don’t like it when it is too hot. Which one of these recipes would you say is the mildest for me to try first? I love Thai curry and normally find that that one is not too hot, but am unsure with this recipe as you mention that these are hotter than Indian curries, and I find Indian curries pretty hot.

    • Hi Michel, Thai curries are very spicy. If you don’t like hot curry then I would steer clear! Indian curries aren’t hot unless you go for a madras, jalfrezi or a vindaloo. But there are lots of mild Indian curries that you would enjoy eating, like korma and tikka masala. 

      However, if you made your own Thai curry paste, you could control the amount of heat by adjusting the quantity of chillies used. And if it’s still too hot, adding more coconut milk to the curry would help. I hope that you can try these curries one day, they are delicious!

  2. Thai Cuisine is entirely different than Indian cuisine, although the curry word is used in both. I think curry means spicy gravy. 

    Coconut milk is heavily used in making Thai Curries, not in Indian curries. Some parts of south India use shredded coconut more than the rest of India.

    Both curries are spicey but the fragrance and hotness are distinct in their own way.

    The use of Basil herb is common in Thai ( Italian dishes use them at times).

    Thai and Indian curries both use cumin, coriander, garlic, ginger, red pepper, and paprika, cilantro as spices and herbs.

    The Thai curry does not use turmeric (as far as I know) where Indian dishes invariably use turmeric.

    The peppers used in Thai curries are different and of Thai origin, Indians use their chili peppers.

    The veggies Thai curry uses are bamboo shoots, baby corn etc, similar to Chinese of course cauliflower is common to Indian and Thai.

    No nonvegetarian paste-like shrimp or fish pastes are used in Indian curries but Thai curries do. I am not sure if I read it right, the homemade red curry paste did not use fish or shrimp paste.

    We love curries. Adding varieties to the dinner table is a special pleasure.

    Thank you for helping us enjoy the homemade food. I love your blog and look forward to many more.

    • Thanks Anusuya, you are very knowledgeable! Thai yellow curries use turmeric, it gives the curry paste its colour. I’m glad you liked the recipes, I hope you try them and bring variety to your dinner table 


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