Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

4.5 of 2 votes
Prep time: 10 minutes
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Here is a very simple recipe to make his Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste. Making your homemade curry paste brings a lot of flavour to this dish!

How to make your Homemade Red Thai Curry Paste?

For some time now, I have started to make my own homemade curry paste. Contrary to what you might think, homemade curry paste is very easy to make!

In order to prepare your homemade curry paste, it is strongly advised to have a mortar and a pestle. It is possible to put all the ingredients in a blender, but the mortar and pestle will give a pasty and homogeneous consistency. When using a blender, oil must be added to obtain this consistency, while this recipe has no added oil.

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste
Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

There is no special technique for using the mortar and pestle. All you have to do is crush the ingredients with vigor until you obtain a paste.

The curry paste can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for a week. You can also freeze it. Ideally, prepare a large quantity, divide it into small portions and freeze it. You can use an ice cube mould and each ice cube corresponds to one very spicy portion or two milder portions.

The essential ingredients

The only thing that’s important is to choose your ingredients carefully. For this recipe Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Red chilies, dried
  • Red chilies fresh
  • Lemongrass
  • Garlic
  • Galangal
  • Cumin seeds
  • Coriander seeds
  • Peppercorns
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Shrimp paste
  • Salt

Some ingredients are a little hard to find. But here are some tips below. The exact quatities can be found on the recipe at the end of the article.

Dried chillies

Before using dried chillies for your curry paste, I advise you to soak them in water for at least 15 minutes before preparing the curry paste.

I usually soak the dried chillies at first, then I prepare the other ingredients, which gives the chillies time to soak. If you don’t have any dried chillies, replace them with one or two fresh chillies. Otherwise it is possible to buy them online.

Red chilies

I advise you to really choose Thai chilies. They are small, long and thin peppers. You can find them in Asian grocery stores. For green curry paste, you should choose green chilies.

Green chillies are simply less ripe than red chillies. So another little tip from me: if you don’t have access to green chilies, Thai red chilies work very well too. The color will just be less green!

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste
Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste


Lemongrass as the name suggests gives a delicious citrusy aroma. It is found in many dishes of Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine. Note that it can be easily frozen! When I buy lemongrass, I immediately take several stems and freeze the ones I don’t use.

Kaffir lime leaves

The kaffir lime is a small lemon that originally comes from Indonesia and is found in many Thai dishes. Personally, it is one of my favourite flavours!

Kaffir lime leaves can be found in Asian grocery stores. They can be fresh, frozen or dried. I always have some in my freezer! If you have a green thumb, you can buy a small indoor kaffir lime.


Galangal is a root that resembles ginger. It is also found in Asian grocery stores. Like lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, you can buy it frozen. If you find it fresh, I advise you to buy some more and freeze the rest.

Shrimp paste

Shrimp paste consists of fermented shrimp paste. Not very appetizing, right? Indeed, this paste has an awful smell and can absolutely not be eaten pure. Be careful not to put too much into it to start with. Once used, personally, I keep it in the refrigerator in a sealed bag.

Mortar and pestle

As explained above, I would recommend using a mortar and pestle.

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

Feel free to leave me a comment if you liked this recipe or if you have any questions.

Print Recipe

Homemade Thai Red Curry Paste

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4.5 of 2 votes
Préparation 10 minutes
Course Plat principal
Cuisine Asiatique
Servings 4


  • Mortar
  • Pestle


  • 4 dried chillies
  • 6 red chillies
  • 1/2 lemon grass stalk chopped
  • 5 garlic clove chopped
  • 1 tbsp galangal chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1/2 tsp schrimp paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt


  • Place all the ingredients in a mortar and use a pestle to grind everything together until you get a homogeneous texture.
  • If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, use a blender and add 2. tablespoons of neutral olive oil to make mixing easier.
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