Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai cuisine is near and dear to our hearts! If you have some of the prep work done, like having homemade Thai Red Curry Paste ready and on hand, Thai cooking can be fast, super easy and absolutely heavenly. Since, we are getting ready to start our Thai cooking series, we thought we’d share this Red Curry Paste recipe with you. Ready, get set…Thai!

Prep Time: 30 minutes (included soaking time)
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Makes approx 3-4 servings of 4


Dried Thai Red Chilies – 20 or to taste (de-seeded)
Hot Water – 1/3 cup
Galangal – 1 heaping Tbsp (Ginger can be substituted but use galangal for authentic Thai flavor)
Shallots – 1/2 cup, chopped
Lemon Grass – 2 Tbsp, chopped
Cilantro Stems – 2 Tbsp
Garlic – 1/4 cup, chopped
Thai Red Chilies – to taste (optional)
Lime Leaves – 4 to 5 (Lime peel can be substituted)
Whole White Peppercorns – 1 tsp (black can be substituted)
Salt – 1 tsp or to taste
Paprika – as needed and optional for red color
Oil – 3 Tbsp


1. Soak de-seeded Dried Red Chilies in 1/3 cup hot water for approx 1/2 hour.
2. Remove the soaked chilies from the water and place them along with all of the remaining ingredients (except Oil) in a blender or spice grinder. Reserve the soaking water and use it instead of plain water to help the grinding process.
3. Grind all of the ingredients into a smooth paste.
4. Heat Oil in a skillet.
5. Add the paste and cook it until the oil starts to separate and the paste starts to clump together (3-5 mins).
6. Remove from the heat and allow the paste to cool down before storing it in a clean airtight jar. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 month or freeze for up to 6 months.

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0 thoughts on “Thai Red Curry Paste

  1. Hi Hetal and Anuja,
    Looking forward to trying out the thai curry paste – just wanted a few clarifications. I stay in Mysore, and here Thai red chillies are not available, though we get a variety of chillies, ranging from the less pungent ones to the real pungent ones – Which category does Thai red chilli come under? Bedgi which is less pungent, or Salem which is quite hot? Also since I have a lemon(the Indian lemon – small ones,no the big lime size ones you get in the US) tree in my backyard, can I use those leaves. Lemon grass grows at home, so no problem there. Looking forward to your reply

  2. Hi,
    Can lemon leaves be substituted for the lime leaves? I have a lemon tree in my backyard, so I was wondering if can use them for this recipe?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      We have not tried lemon leaves but even regular lime leaves don’t provide the authentic flavor of Kaffir Lime Leaves. Guess you could try it…it can’t hurt.

  3. Dear Hetal & Anuja,

    I love your cooking videos! I am wondering through which brand blender/ grinder you use for making the thai curry. My blender (even the smallest insert) doesn’t provide the ‘thick’, pasty result. I would love to purchase such a blender,


  4. Hey

    I just wanted to ask which blender you have used? My blender doesn’t make that good a paste. Can this blender grind spices too?


      1. You said, “We use an Indian style mixie grinder that has a small attachment for grinding wet ingredients.”

        Can this blender be purchased in the US? Can you give me the brand name so I can search for it on the internet?


  5. I tried the red curry last night and absolutely loved it!! yes… it is great to get a version without the fish sauce in it. my husband loved it so much.. he said he doesnt wanna eat red curry from a restaurant again !!! 🙂

    Thanks guys!!

  6. Loved your video. Thank you! I do use shrimp paste and fish sauce in mine. I find it isn’t the same without them. I have also found that using a mortar and pestle instead of the food processor adds a whole new dimension to the final taste but it also adds a lot more work. It wouldn’t do to see you pounding out a paste on video. It isn’t pretty!

    Thanks for your awesome recipes.

    1. Hi Rick,

      Yes, Thai cuisine is not the same without the shrimp paste and fish sauce…we agree. However, we cater to a lot of vegetarians who cannot enjoy the beautiful flavos of Thai food because of them :).

  7. I made both the paste and curry.
    Note: when frying the paste for the first time, OPEN A WINDOW!!!
    By far the best red curry i’ve ever had, that includes in a resturant.
    You ladies know how to cook.
    Many many thanks.

  8. Hi ladies,
    I must tell u red curry paste and tha ired curry was a hittoday..I got all the ingredients which you mentioned from an asian store….even galangal…

    i loved the taste….my fmly loved it as well…

    I shared some to my neighbor….

    Its a super hit at my place.cant wait to make i t again for friends and fmly…Thank you again

  9. Hai Hetal&Anuja
    Where did you buy that small hefty spice grinder? I would like to buy one like that.Hope you wouldn’t mind

  10. hi loved the way u explain step by step thanks for being so clear loved ur show tried it out it was heavenly
    pooja advani

  11. Hi Hetal&Anuja

    Yor Thai red curry paste recipe looks yummy. Ipromised my boys I will cook home made thai red curry chicken.the only problem is I can’t find galangal.I am from hudson valley newyork

    1. Hi Jay,

      Galangal is usually available only in Asian markets. Worst case, you can substitute ginger but the flavor of ginger is significantly stronger than galangal.

  12. Dear Anuja and Hetal,

    I just made this paste. Got to say: when I started cooking it I (almost immediately) started coughing. A person that walked in started coughing as well. I’m kinda worried that this is not normal. Or is it just the chillies doing their job in my lungs?

    Will be cooking the curry soon! Hope it’ll taste good!



    1. Hi Alwin,

      It is very normal for chilies to make you cough. The spicier they are, the more potent they are in the air. Any kind of grinding or cooking of hot chilies will give off a strong cough inducing fume.

  13. I love all ur recipes. Thanks for posting such amazing recipes. I was wondering where can I find lemon grass. I tried looking at walmart and Target, but could not find. Guess was looking at the wrong place.

  14. I was wondering can we freeze the paste in an ice cube tray and just use them when we need it…similar to what you guys do with the dhanya chutney?

    and how do you deseed the chili peppers? can you buy them deseeded?

    you guys are awesome and I love cooking now!

  15. I love love love Thai cuisine. I am running to the oriental store this weekend and stock up! I hope you are going to show Thai desserts too…waiting for sticky rice with mango, fried icecream, etc

  16. I love that you are starting Thai series! i love Thai food. i hope you include drunken noodles and pad Thai in your recipes…soo exciting. cannot wait. thank you so much!!!!!

  17. I’m so excited beyond repute – I’m gonna stock my pantry with Thai ingredients! Waiting for your upcoming Thai Recipes!

    <3 <3 <3

  18. Hey,

    Can we use kaffir lime leaves that we get in store. Is it the same?? Let me know at the earliest..cant wait to try this wonderful recipe.


  19. nowadyas most of ur recipes cant able to do by ordinary cooking peoples…in between show the recipes using the ingredients which normally everyone has….

  20. Hey,

    I love Thai food very much. I am a vegetarian and used to have tofu instead of all meat stuff in Thai food. It is really wonderful and can’t wait to see the recipes. And, the best thing about your cooking is that it is always simple, practical and the ingredients can be easily found in one’s kitchen (which makes it effortless). I have tried lots of ur recipes like Methi pulao, Malai kofta, Butter paneer, Eggless chocolate cake, walnut and dates cake, dum aloo, masala mushrooms, vegetable korma etc. They all came out really good. Thanks a lot… waiting for more lovely recipes !!

  21. Hello Hetal & Anuja,
    I have been familiar with Thai Red curry for quite sometime.
    However, this is the first time I have really understood what it really is. You two demonstrated the preparation of red curry paste very lucidly so that even a novice could understand.
    The knack you two have in making complicated manouvers look simple and practical is amazing. Wish you two and your programme all the very best.

  22. Looks great…can’t wait to try – I simply LOVE Thai food. BTW, what bender do you use? Is it from India? Is it available in your cooking store?

  23. Dear Hetal & Anuja!
    I’ve been follwing ur guys’s cooking/recipes for a while now. But this is the first time i’ve actually posted, and this is long over due: YOU LADIES ROCK!!!! 🙂 i cannot tell u how many times i’ve made ur guju daal and felt like i was back in India eatin @ some awesome authentic restaurant! lol
    newayz… Thai food is one of my fav cuisines after Indian of course and so im thrilled to hear ur starting a “Thai series”!!! will be waitin eagerly for some more delicious recipies!!!
    take care!,
    ~Mitul 🙂

  24. I am a huge fan of Thai food! I hope to see your versions of classics: Cashew Chicken, chicken satay, peanut sauce, Pad Thai.
    I am so glad I found your site! I love adding a pinch of spice to my life now! YUM!!!!

  25. Hi Hetal & Anuja..

    Eagerly waiting for this Thai series…i’m a big thai food lover.. 🙂 Thank u both


  26. I avoided making Thai curry only because I can’t stand fish-sauce! Thanks for your version without one:) All eyes for your Thai recipes.

    1. yes yes, quick and yummy oondhiyo pleaaaaaaaase…
      We dont get good one in whole of New Zealand,would rather make it myself at home.please show how!!
      Tks for thai curry paste, i normally use the storebought one and my thai curry comes out just fine.but it has shrimp paste in it and your recipe looks like a good veg option.
      Just wondering if galangel, shallots will be easily available here.i seriously doubt!!
      But tks anyway,

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