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thai curry paste

Thai Red Curry Paste

This Thai red curry paste recipe is so easy to make. It's full of aromatic flavours and serves as a versatile base for delicious curry dishes, Thai fish cakes, or even fried noodles or fried rice. I'd never go back to store-bought curry paste again.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course sauce
Cuisine asian, southeast asian, thai
Servings 4 persons
Calories 100 kcal


  • 20-25 dry chilli
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 6 shallots
  • 3 fresh coriander roots
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 3-4 kaffir leaves
  • ½ tsp cumin powder or cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp coriander powder or coriander seeds
  • 2 stalks lemongrass


  • Soak dry chillies in hot water for about 10 minutes to soften it. Keep the chilli water for blending later.
  • Peel and cut garlic, shallots, galangal into smaller pieces. The smaller the better.
  • Remove stem from kaffir lime leaves, stack all the leaves together and roll them like a cigar. Slice the leaves thinly.
  • Remove both ends and the outer layers of lemongrass. Bruise the lemongrass by hitting it with the back of the knife. Slice the lemongrass thinly.
  • Cut the softened dry chillies into smaller pieces.
  • Grind the cumin seeds and coriander seeds in the blender. If you are using cumin powder and coriander powder, you can skip this step and just add the powder to the ingredients for blending.
  • Add all ingredients into the blender - chilli, garlic, shallots, galangal, lemongrass, cumin powder (or ground cumin seeds), coriander powder (or ground coriander seeds), shrimp paste.
  • Add about 3-4 tbsp of the chilli water.
  • Start blending at high speed.
  • Add more chilli water according to the dryness of the paste to make it easier to blend, if necessary.
  • Once paste is consistently blended and quite smooth, the paste is ready.
    curry paste ready



You can add kaffir lime skin (zest) if available.
You can opt to use the dry shrimp paste if available. Toast the belacan before pounding it into the curry paste. 
This recipe yields about 400g of curry paste.
If you cannot take too much spiciness, you can also opt to use bell pepper which is much milder.
Keyword chilli, cumin, curry, galangal, hot, paste, rempah, spicy