I have a thing for curry (exhibits A, B, C, D, and E). That is the understatement of the year.
I am totally obsessed with curry! The flavor, the aroma, the versatility – I’m hooked.
Since I figured out a DIY curry powder, I figured it was due time I made my own curry paste. Yes, a real jedi-level move. Be impressed.
Friends, I have to say I don’t know what took me so long to try this recipe, because homemade is sooooo much better than store-bought. And it’s easy. Let’s do this!
Origins of Green Curry Paste
Green curry is a popular Thai dish believed to have originated in the early 20th century (source). The flavor base is green curry paste, which is traditionally made from a combination of green chilies, shrimp paste, garlic, shallots, lemongrass, peppercorns, makrut limes, and cumin seeds (source).
The following recipe is our inspired (not traditional) plant-based version, using ingredients that are easier to find in the US. Ours is also less potent because we add in a green bell pepper, which makes it more mild. But for a more pungent, spicy paste, double up on green chilies and skip the bell pepper.
For a more authentic version of green curry paste, check out this recipe from Hot Thai Kitchen.
How to Make Green Curry Paste
Our inspired take requires just 10 minutes and 1 food processor or blender to make.
Just throw all the ingredients in and blend – that’s it! And it makes the most gorgeous green curry paste that tastes incredible.
The base of the paste is green chilies, ginger (or galangal), onion, garlic, and green bell pepper. Flavor comes from a mixture of spices you likely have on hand, lemon juice, and lime zest. If you’re missing a spice or two, don’t be discouraged! As long as you have most of the ingredients, it should turn out well for you.
The other benefit of making your own is you can leave things out if they don’t appeal to you, such as less chilies for a milder curry or more ginger for extra gingery curries!
I hope you all LOVE this recipe! It’s:
Easy to make
& SO delicious
This is the perfect sauce for adding to curries, sauces, scrambles, salad dressings, and more. It’s also delicious when added to vegetables before roasting or thrown into soups and stews for deeper flavor.
How to Use It
Try adding this curry paste to dishes like our Kale and Sweet Potato Curry, 1-Pot Vegetable Green Curry, Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Mango, Vibrant Collard Wraps with Green Curry Tahini Sauce, Curried Cauliflower Lentil Salad. And be on the lookout for more recipes to come!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Easy Green Curry Paste
- 1/2 tsp whole coriander seed (or powder)
- 1 tsp whole cumin seed (or powder)
- 1/2 tsp whole black peppercorns (or ground pepper)
- 3 small green chilies (I used serrano // stems + most seeds removed)
- 1 medium green bell pepper* (stems and seeds removed // chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 stalks lemongrass (tips trimmed, halved, + chopped)
- 1 heaping Tbsp fresh sliced ginger or galangal (or 1 tsp ground ginger)
- 6 stalks green onions (sliced // or sub 1/2 cup diced shallot per 6 stalks green onion)
- 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric (or sub 1 tsp ground turmeric per 1 Tbsp fresh)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 medium lime, zested and juiced (yields ~2 Tbsp or 30 ml as original recipe is written)
- 2-3 Tbsp avocado or grape seed oil (or sub water if oil-free)
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup or coconut sugar (to balance heat)
- If using whole coriander, cumin seeds, and black peppercorns, add to a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat for 4-5 minutes, shaking / stirring occasionally, or until fragrant and slightly deeper in color. Be careful not to burn! If using powder, skip this step.
- Once seeds are toasted, add to a mortar and pestle and loosely crush. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, slightly cool the seeds, add them to a sandwich bag, and crush with a rolling pin or a heavy pan. Set aside.
- To a food processor (or blender with a narrow base), add green chilies, bell pepper, garlic, lemongrass, ginger, green onions (or shallot), coriander, cumin, black pepper, turmeric, sea salt, lemon juice, lime zest + juice, oil / water, and maple syrup (or other sweetener). Blend / mix until a paste forms, scraping sides down as needed. The lemongrass can be difficult to grind at first, but give it time! It's fine.
- Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more lime zest or juice for acidity, salt for saltiness, chilies for heat, maple syrup for sweetness, oil (or water) for creaminess, garlic for zing, ginger for brightness, or turmeric for more intense curry flavor.
- Store curry paste in a jar in the refrigerator up to 10 days or more. For longer storage, transfer paste to an ice cube tray, freeze, then store in a freezer-safe bag up to 1 month.
- This curry paste is ideal for soups, sauces, curries, ramen, salad dressings, and more!
*Our paste is also less potent than most because we add in a green bell pepper, which makes it more mild. But for a more pungent, spicy paste, double up on green chilies and skip the bell pepper.
*Recipe as originally written yields ~1 1/2 cups curry paste.
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