Thai Red Curry Paste

Thai Red Curry Paste

I have a couple of recipes on this site that use Thai red curry paste. While it’s easy to buy this, I find it’s often over spiced and too salty. You can always add more chilli to the dish later and get the taste you’re after.

You have to give this a try, it’s absolutely worth the effort involved. You’ll need to get some of the ingredients from your local Asian supermarket which for me is always a fun visit. 


  • 8 dry red spur chillies 
  • 2 teaspoons ground white pepper 
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder 
  • 10 – 15 cloves garlic (yes that is right, 10-15)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh coriander root (use coriander stems if you can’t get root)
  • 1 tablespoon sliced lemongrass 
  • 5 Thai shallots 
  • 1 tablespoon sliced galangal 
  • 1/2 the peel of 1 kaffir lime, try not to get too much of the white pith
  • 1/2 teaspoon shrimp paste 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt



  1. Soak your spur chillies in warm water for about 10 minutes.
  2. Cut the chillies into centimetre lengths, discarding the stalks.
  3. Add them with the salt to your mortar and pestle. Grind them until they are starting to form a paste.
  4. Now add your garlic cloves and grind them down.
  5. Finally, add all the other ingredients and grind until they form a smooth paste. The longer you grid them the better.

Now you can cheat and make your paste in a food processor, it needs to be a smooth paste though.

We use this paste in the following dishes:

If you’re looking for more authentic Thai recipes then I can recommend the Eating Thai Food website.

We used the paste during our live cook, see the video below.


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