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Thai Yellow Curry Paste

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Making your own authentic Thai Yellow Curry Paste at home is a snap. You’re just a few minutes away from being able to enjoy restaurant-quality Thai Yellow Curry even on the busiest weeknights!

thai yellow curry paste in a jar

Curries are a crucial part of Thai cuisine. Even though there are several types of different Thai curries, each type of curry features a very distinct flavor and aroma.

For example, Thai Red Curry gets its color and flavors from dried red chili, while the star ingredient in Thai Green Curry is green chili that gives it a very fresh, floral flavor.

Thai Yellow Curry gets its bright yellow color and earthy flavor from turmeric. It is so versatile and perfect for vegetables, potatoes, chicken, or fish.

I bet that you will find it quite difficult to go back to using store-bought curry pastes once you have made your own. Thankfully, even though it may seem intimidating, it really is a snap to prepare.

Taking just a few minutes to blend your Yellow Curry Paste at home will yield you several delicious yellow curry dishes that you can easily put together any day of the week!

I’ve included some recommended recipes below, and also some tips on how to store your leftover Yellow Curry Paste.

How to Make Homemade Yellow Curry Paste

The traditional method of making Thai curry paste involves using a mortar and pestle to blend all the ingredients to a smooth paste by hand. Although it will yield authentic flavor and texture, using modern appliances like blenders and food processors are a great way to save lots of time and effort.

If you prefer a very smooth consistency, I highly recommend using a blender over a food processor. Even the Magic Bullet blender works quite well for this task.

ingredients for Thai Yellow Curry paste

Rinse and soak 3 pieces of dried red chili in warm water for about 30 minutes.

After they have soaked, cut the chili into 1/2-inch pieces. As you cut the chili peppers, shake the seeds out of each piece over the kitchen sink (to prevent the seeds from flying everywhere in your kitchen). Removing the seeds will cut down on the spice.

Place the red chili and the following ingredients into a food processor or a blender:

  • 2 inches of fresh turmeric (peeled and sliced) or 1 1/2 tablespoons of turmeric powder
  • 1 inch galangal, grated (or substitute with equal amount of ginger if you don’t have access to galangal)
  • 3 lemongrass stalks (white portion only, thinly sliced)
  • 5 small shallots, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 stalks fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon Thai shrimp paste (optional but recommended)
  • Have approximately 1 cup of water handy, but don’t add it to the mix yet.

Tip: Lightly toast the coriander seeds for a minute over low heat to amp up those flavors!

Pulse the blender or food processor a few times, then slowly stream the water into the mix to blend the ingredients to a paste.

The main purpose of the water is to help the blender or food processor blend the ingredients. As soon as the curry paste is blended evenly, stop adding the water. I typically use between 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup of water for each batch.

This recipe yields approximately 1 cup of Yellow Curry Paste.

Storing Yellow Curry Paste

Your homemade Yellow Curry Paste will keep for a week in the fridge, or in the freezer for about 6 months.

When freezing any curry paste, I recommend freezing them in ice cube trays. Ice cube trays that come with lids are super handy for this purpose as you can easily stack them on top of one another.

Most Thai curry recipes call for about 2 – 3 tablespoons of curry paste. If you pour about 1 tablespoon of curry paste into each section of the ice cube tray, you’ll be able to easily take exactly what you need for each recipe you prepare.

1 cup = 16 tablespoons, so you will get about 16 individual frozen Yellow Curry Paste cubes per batch.

Store these cubes in the ice cube trays (with the lids on, of course), or to save freezer space, place the frozen curry paste cubes into a Ziploc bag.

To defrost the frozen curry paste cubes, simply place them into a small bowl to thaw at room temperature, or melt them in the microwave for 1 minute.

frozen thai curry paste ice cubes

Other Thai Curry Pastes:

Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Green Curry Paste

Yellow Curry Recipes to Try:

Try these Yellow Curry recipes with your new homemade paste!

thai yellow curry paste in a jar

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Char Ferrara
Making your own authentic Thai Yellow Curry Paste at home is a snap. You're just a few minutes away from being able to enjoy restaurant-quality Thai Yellow Curry even on the busiest weeknights!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Soaking time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Cuisine Thai
Servings 1 cup

Ingredients
 
 

Instructions
 

  • 1. Rinse and soak the dried red chili for 30 minutes. After they have soaked, cut the chili into 1/2 inch pieces.
  • 2. Place the red chili in a blender or food processor, followed by the turmeric, galangal, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, cilantro, curry powder, coriander seeds, and Thai shrimp paste (if using)
  • 3. Pulse it a few times, then slowly add about a tablespoon of water at a time to blend the ingredients to a paste. (As soon as you get the consistency you want, stop adding water).

Notes

* Remove the seeds from the dried red chili to reduce the spiciness. As you cut them, shake the seeds out in the kitchen sink.
* Toast the coriander seeds for about a minute to amp up those flavors!
* The main purpose of the water is to help the blender or food processor blend the ingredients. As soon as the curry paste is blended evenly, stop adding water.

Nutrition

Serving: 1tablespoonCalories: 66kcalCarbohydrates: 9gProtein: 3gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 222mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1g
Keyword curry paste, thai curry, yellow curry
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Recipe Rating




Kathi

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

The recipe calls for 3 teaspoons of coriander seeds, which should be the same as one tablespoon? Wasn’t sure if maybe it was supposed to be 3 tablespoons?

Kathi

Sunday 24th of October 2021

One more question. Just made this and it seems bitter by itself. Should it be? Getting ready to add it to my curry stew but afraid I’ve messed something up…?

Char

Saturday 23rd of October 2021

Hi Kathi! Thanks for bringing this up..you are right! It's 1 tablespoon. Sorry for the confusion! I've adjusted the blog post and recipe card accordingly. Thanks again!

Dawn Dauzat

Monday 19th of July 2021

I have never even tried Thai food, but it does sound and looks appealing. I am going to try some. Got my ingredients today and will make some soon.

Char

Monday 19th of July 2021

Thai food is so flavorful. I hope you enjoy it, Dawn! :) Feel free to reach out if you have any questions!

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