Easy Thai Green Curry Paste

Authentic Thai green curry paste can be easily made at home if you have the right ingredients. This curry paste is the base for the popular Thai green chicken curry and fish curry. Once you learn how to make this paste, cooking Thai curries will be a breeze.

Thai green curry paste in a white bowl.

About The Recipe

Thai green curry paste requires a couple of specific Thai ingredients like lemongrass, Thai basil, lime leaves and galangal. (I’ve given the closest substitutes in the ingredient list.) Once you’re able to get them, you can make this Thai curry paste that is as versatile as my Indian curry paste.

Make a huge batch of these curry pastes and store them. They help you cook curries in less than 30 minutes, saving time and effort. One of those quick and easy dinner recipes that you desperately want to make on a busy weeknight.

They also save the day when you get surprise guests! Make vegetarian or meat-based curries with whatever you have in the fridge. Vegetables, chicken, fish, mushrooms or even tofu work.

Video

Ingredients

Labelled ingredients for Thai green curry paste.
  • Whole spices: Peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander seeds
  • Dried prawns: Soak them in hot water for 10 minutes and drain.
  • Lemongrass and Thai basil leaves: Must-have ingredients for this recipe.
  • Galangal: It has a lemony-spicy flavor that makes it different from ginger, which you can use as a close substitute.
  • Thai chillies: Also called bird’s eye chilies, they are quite hot. So you may want to use them according to your spice levels. You can also use jalapenos instead.
  • Garlic and shallots
  • Lime leaves: They are responsible for the citrus flavor and bright green color of the curry paste. You can use a tablespoon of lime zest as a substitute. (If using ginger as a substitute for galangal, use an additional teaspoon of lime zest.)
  • Coriander roots: These are also essential for an authentic curry paste. They are tough like lemongrass, so you’ll have to chop them finely. I add some leaves and stalks too for added flavor.

How To Make Thai Green Curry Paste- Step by Step

(You can find the exact measurements and instructions in the printable recipe card at the end of this page.)

Roast the spices

  1. Dry roast coriander seeds and peppercorns.
  2. Add cumin seeds, roast for 2 minutes. Let the spices cool down.

Prepare Lemongrass, Galangal and Coriander roots

Lemongrass: Peel the outer tough layers until you see the soft yellow-green stem inside. Chop off the bulb (about an inch from the bottom) and two-thirds of the top part. You’ll be left with the bottom third of the stalk. This is the part we will be using for the curry paste.

The lemongrass can be finely chopped or grated. You can also pound with mortar and pestle.

Save the top parts of the stalks. They can be used in Thai curries for added flavor. You can also use them in the recipe for stir-fried Thai red rice.

Galangal: Scrape off the skin and chop into small pieces or mince.

Coriander: Clean and trim the roots (as shown in the picture). Add in some stalks with leaves as well.

Blend

  1. Place chopped lemongrass and galangal in a high power blender jar with the roasted spices, prawns, chillies, garlic, shallots, lime leaves and basil.
  2. Blend all the ingredients into a paste.
  3. Scrape the sides and blend repeatedly until you get a uniform smooth paste.

Recipe Tips

  • Preparing lemongrass and galangal: This is the most important step in this curry paste recipe. They have to be finely chopped or minced BEFORE blending. You wouldn’t want fibrous pieces getting in the way of enjoying the delicious curry.
  • Blending: If you think your blender is not powerful enough, you can do what we did with Thai basil pesto recipe. Blend the hard-to-grind ingredients first, then add the lime amd basil leaves.
  • Dried prawns: I’ve used dried shrimps which (I feel) have more authentic flavor than the shrimp paste. Soaking them in hot water removes salt and grit and makes them softer.
  • Vegetarian curry paste: Leave out the dried prawns for a vegetarian version, if you’re making Thai green currry with vegetables or tofu.
Thai green curry paste in a white bowl.

How To Use Thai Green Curry Paste

There are lot of options apart from curries where you can use this curry paste. Before adding to anything, remember to saute the paste in oil until the raw smell disappears.

  1. Thai green curry with chicken/fish/ prawns, of course
  2. Add a couple of teaspoons to fish cakes or crispy prawn fry for a boost in flavor.
  3. Add a dollop of the paste to Thai fried red rice after you saute the onions.
  4. Fry the curry paste in oil and add cooked rice/ noodles to make a quick Thai fried rice or noodles.
  5. Give a spicy lift to soups by drizzling cooked curry paste.
  6. Supplement Thai basil pesto with some sautéed curry paste to brighten up the pasta (in both color and flavor).
  7. Noodles can also be given a spicy twist by adding this paste.
  8. Use this green curry paste to make Thai-inspired pan-fried prawns and peppers.

How long can you store Thai curry paste?

This homemade curry paste lasts in the fridge for about 2 to 3 weeks. Store it in a clean dry jar with a tight lid and use a dry spoon to scoop out. It can be frozen for 2 months.

This recipe makes half a cup and I use it for curry that serves 6 to 7 people. You can multiply the recipe and freeze in small individual containers for ease of use.

Health Benefits of Thai Curry Paste

  • Lemongrass is widely used as a natural remedy for digestive issues, neurological problems, and high blood pressure. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Lemongrass contains citral, a natural plant compound with anti-inflammatory effects. It has traditionally been used as a pain reliever and fever reducer. (source)
  • Galangal root: Galangal root has been employed in traditional medicine as a remedy for various ailments. It is rich in antioxidants, may protect against certain cancers and fight inflammation and pain. It may also protect against infections. (source)
  • Thai basil: Thai basil is a rich source of vitamin A needed for eye health and for maintaining healthy skin. It also has high levels of vitamin K, which the body uses for producing blood clotting factors and increasing bone strength. It is also a rich source of iron, potassium, manganese and magnesium. Thai basil contains essential oils that are antioxidants with antimicrobial properties and is used as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis and bacterial infections. (source)

Love Thai flavors? Try this basil tofu stir fry. It may become your next favorite recipe. Or this stir-fry with ground chicken for an easy chicken dinner.

Now you know the benefits of curry paste and how to make and cleverly use it. You’ll want to make loads of this delicious paste and store it away in your fridge.

Printable Indian Curry Paste Recipe

Grab a printable copy of the Indian curry paste that helps home cooks like you cook different curries in 30 minutes or less:

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Looking For More?

Thai green curry paste in a white bowl.

Homemade Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe

Authentic Thai green curry paste can be easily made at home if you have the right ingredients. This curry paste is the base for the popular Thai green chicken curry and fish curry. Once you learn how to make this paste, cooking Thai curries will be a breeze.
Author: Sheeba
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course cooking paste
Cuisine Thai
Servings 7
Calories 26 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tablespoon dried prawns
  • 3 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 3 stalks lemongrass
  • 2 inch galangal (1 tablespoon chopped)
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 10 small shallots (or pearl onions)
  • 6 stalks coriander-roots, stem and leaves (about 1/4 cup loosely packed)
  • 1/4 cup Thai basil leaves tightly packed
  • 5 lime leaves
  • 4 to 6 Bird's eye chilies (Thai chillies)

Instructions
 

  • Soak dried prawns in hot water for 10 minutes.

Roast the whole spices

  • Dry roast coriander seeds and peppercorns on medium flame for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add cumin seeds and roast for 1 minute. Let the spices cool down.

Prepare lemongrass and galangal

  • Peel the outer tough layers of lemongrass until you see the soft yellow-green stem inside. Chop off the bulb (about an inch from the bottom) and two-thirds of the top part. You'll be left with the bottom third of the stalk. This is the part we will be using for the curry paste.
  • You can either chop the lemongrass finely or grate. You can also pound with mortar and pestle.
  • Scrape off the skin from galangal and chop into small pieces or mince.

Blend

  • Roughly chop shallots, garlic and chillies. Drain the soaked prawns.
  • Place all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend into a paste. You might want to scrape the sides and blend a few times until you get a smooth paste.

Video

Notes

  • It is important that you finely chop or mince the lemongrass and galangal before blending. Their fibrous nature makes it hard to blend smoothly if the pieces are not small enough.
  • If your blender is not powerful enough, you can blend the tough ingredients first before adding the basil, coriander and lime leaves.
  • This recipe makes 1/2 a cup of curry paste to make Thai green curry that can serve 6 to 7 people.
 
nutrition facts for thai curry paste recipe

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6 thoughts on “Easy Thai Green Curry Paste”

  1. 5 stars
    A fresh curry paste tastes so much better than anything store bought and this is such a straightforward recipe to follow. I like all the great suggestions for using the paste too.

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