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Authentic Thai Yellow Curry Paste, แกงกะหรี่


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  • Author: Suwanee
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Diet: Low Calorie

Description

Making authentic Thai yellow curry paste is more simple than it sounds. The bright yellow color with the bold taste of the curry paste requires a few aromatic spices, fragrant herbs, and Thai seasonings to give your homemade paste the most delicious and fresh for your Thai curry recipes.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 5-10 long dried chilis, deseeded & stems removed (wear gloves when handling hot chilis).
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon whole white peppercorn
  • 2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 3 tablespoon fresh turmeric or 1 1/2 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon galangal, chopped small
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoon garlic, chopped small
  • 1/3 cup shallot, diced small
  • 1 tsp kaffir lime zest or *substitute* 1/2 tsp regular lime zest + 1 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste
  • 1/2 -2 teaspoon water *as needed only

Instructions

Using a food processor

  1. Remove the stems and seeds of the chilis, then soak all the chilis in warm water for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Or microwave the chilis with water on high for 3 minutes. Carefully drain the hot liquid, pat dries the chilis, and use kitchen scissors to cut the soaked chilis into 1-inch pieces and place them in the mortar.
  2. On a small skillet, toast white peppercorn, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds on medium heat until fragrant. Once you hear a few seeds popping from the pan, turn the heat off, remove them, and let them cool. Once cooled, use a spice grinder to turn it into powder. Set aside for pounding in a minute. 
  3. Add all the ingredients into a small food processor and blend until a smooth paste forms.  Add a very tiny amount of water if your paste is too dry. You shouldn't need to but don't use more than two tablespoons for the recipe.
  4. Remove the paste for use. Done! Store unused paste in a glass jar, in the fridge for up to 10 days, and in the freezer for 4-6 months. 

Using a food mortar and pestle

  1. Remove the stems and seeds of the chilis, then soak all the chilis in warm water for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Or microwave the chilis with water on high for 3 minutes. Carefully drain the hot liquid, pat dries the chilis, and use kitchen scissors to cut the soaked chilis into 1-inch pieces and place them in the mortar. 
  2. On a small skillet, toast white peppercorn, coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds on medium heat until fragrant. Once you hear a few seeds popping from the pan, turn the heat off, remove them, and let them cool. Once cooled, use a spice grinder to turn it into powder. Set aside for pounding in a minute. 
  3. Add the chilis and salt into a mortar and pestle and pound into a paste.
  4. Add galangal and lemongrass, and keep pounding until you have a smooth paste.
  5. Add garlic and shallot, and kaffir lime zest; you guess it, pound away into a paste. (;
  6. Add turmeric and the ground toasted spices. Keep going. You're building your biceps and forearm muscles! (; Almost done!
  7. Finally, add the shrimp paste and pound everything well until nice paste forms. Remove the paste and use it immediately for a curry. Refrigerate for up to 10 days. Refrigerate for up to 10 days. You can freeze the paste for up to 4-6 months. 

Notes

  • When handling chilis and removing the seeds, kitchen gloves are a must, or you can hurt yourself with the hot oils of the chilis burning your skin. It’s a very unpleasant experience. 
  • Don’t let the seeds get too burnt, or your paste will have an unpleasant bitter taste. Once a few seeds start to pop, shake the pan a few times, turn the heat off and let it sit to cool. 
  • Use a solid, strong mortar and pestle to pound away the ingredients. It’s an arm workout to make curry paste the traditional way. Make sure you don’t use clay, marble, wooden or decorative mortar and pestle for this job. 
  • Best not to pound more than three ingredients at a time as it gets tiresome to pound in large quantities. Also, you may have big chunks of uncrushed ingredients if adding too many items. 
  • Always pound the toughest and most fibrous ingredients first, as listed in the steps above and in the recipe card. 
  • Add the shrimp paste last. It’s the softest ingredient for the paste, and if added too soon, I find it more difficult to pound the ingredients into a paste because it's too wet and slippery.
  • Shrimp paste is a must for the traditional umami flavors that ties all the strong spices and herbs together. Don’t skip out if you can help it! 
  • Using a smaller mortar and pestle, you can break up your paste into smaller 2-3 batches to ease pounding the ingredients together. Add them all together in a bowl for the final finished paste. 
  • You can turn a Thai yellow curry paste recipe vegetarian or vegan by vomiting the shrimp paste and instead using vegemite or marmite.

** Thank you so much for visiting my blog! This is truly a passion for me. If you have enjoyed these recipes and appreciate the hard work I put into them, I would love it if you would share them with your friends! Your recommendation is the highest review I could hope for, and I’d so appreciate it! **

  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Category: Curries
  • Method: Food processor
  • Cuisine: Thai