Stirring up a Thai curry is not difficult. The star ingredient you’ll discover is making your own curry paste from scratch.
The homemade version trumps the store-bought bottle with its fragrant hit of fresh herbs and essential spices, adding a nuanced medley of flavours to your curry or any other recipe calling for creative uses of a Thai paste!
- 1 tbsp Coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp Black peppercorns
- 1 tbsp Cumin seeds
- 2-3 Cloves of garlic, smashed
- 1 Onion, finely sliced
- 4 – 5 Green chillies, finely sliced
- 2 stalks of Lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 thumb-sized piece of Galangal, cut into small pieces
- 4-5 Kaffir lime leaves (cut into halves)
- Coriander leaves (about half a cup);
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tsp Light soy sauce
Toast the coriander seeds, black peppercorns and cumin seeds in a in a dry skillet (over medium heat) – tossing continuously – until the spices are fragrant. Then add them to a mixer with the remaining ingredients. Be sure to throw in the whole coriander leaves with their stalks for added depth of flavour. Blitz in the mixer until combined into a rough paste with texture. Chill overnight before using.
Note that this recipe doesn’t call for any salt, as salt acts to dehydrate pastes and dressings.
Pro tips for Thai green curry
I’m reluctant to share a specific recipe for a Thai green curry, as to be honest, the veggies (or meats) used depend on personal preference (and what you have easily at hand). Similarly for the exact measurements of coconut milk, jaggery, chillies etc. It really varies depending on taste, desired consistency (and thickness) of the curry and your andaz (personal style) when cooking!
However, here are a few tips and hacks to help you simmer the most authentic rendition of a Thai curry this side of BKK.
- In terms of ingredients, be sure to throw in a few whole pieces of birds eye chillies to infuse a spicy slant. Adding baby brinjals cuts this spiciness to palatable levels, while including pea brinjals releases aromatic flavours.
- Vegetable stock: coconut milk: Use a 1:2 ratio, adding a ladle of vegetable stock for every 2 ladles of coconut milk. You can easily create your veggie stock at home using leftover peels; and make your own coconut milk by blitzing fresh coconut flesh, coconut water and a cup of water in a powerful mixer/ blender.
- Add palm sugar or jaggery to adjust the level of sweetness.
- Add a splash of light soy sauce (not dark), to lend a salty hint of umami, coming as close to fish sauce as possible for vegetarians.
Of course once you’ve made your own green curry paste, there’s a whole lot more you can do with it, apart from just making Thai curries! Why not add it to soups and stir-fries, grilled foods or noodles too?
I’d love to hear from you! Do let me know if you try this recipe – leave a comment below; and tag me in your delicious creations on Instagram @the_foodiediaries.
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