We made Green Curry Paste last week. Now, let’s break out the Red Curry Paste!
Because one can never have enough curry, obviously.
This recipe is simple, requiring just 1 food processor (or blender) and 10 minutes to prepare!
About Red Curry Paste
Red curry paste is a versatile and flavorful base for a variety of Thai dishes. In its most basic form, it consists of red chili peppers, garlic, sea salt, lemongrass, turmeric, and shrimp paste (source).
The following is our inspired (but not traditional) plant-based version, using ingredients that are easier to find in the US. For a more authentic version, check out this recipe from Temple of Thai.
How to Make Red Curry Paste
The base for this inspired version is red bell pepper, red chilies, garlic, ginger, and green onion or shallot. Our paste is less potent than most because we add bell pepper, which makes it more mild. But for a more pungent, spicy paste, double up on spicy chilies and skip the bell pepper.
Spices come in the form of turmeric, coriander, cumin, sea salt, and black peppercorn. And for a little acidity, I used both lime and lemon juice as well as lime zest.
After all of that takes a whirl in the food processor, you have gorgeous, insanely flavorful red curry paste on your hands perfect for just about any dish you hope to infuse with curry flavor (in my world, that’s just about everything).
I hope you all LOVE this curry paste! It’s:
Easy to make
& So delicious!
How to Use It
This curry paste would be perfect for my Spicy Red Lentil Curry, 1-Pot Sweet Potato & Kale Curry, Spicy Red Curry Cauliflower “Wings”, Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Mango, Coconut Red Curry with Chickpeas, Coconut Curry Ramen, and Curry Spiced Cashews!
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and tag a photo #minimalistbaker on Instagram so we can see. Cheers, friends!
Spicy Red Curry Paste
- 1/2 tsp coriander seed (or ground coriander)
- 1 tsp cumin seed (or ground cumin)
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns (or 1/2 tsp ground black pepper)
- 1 medium red bell pepper* (seeds removed and chopped)
- 2-4 medium red chilies (more or less depending on preferred heat | I used cherry bomb, but Thai red chilies are preferred // stems removed)
- 1 stalk lemongrass (root and tip trimmed, then chopped)
- 1 heaping Tbsp fresh ginger or galangal (or 1-2 tsp ground ginger)
- 3 cloves garlic (skins removed)
- 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric (or 1 tsp ground turmeric)
- 1/2 tsp sea salt (plus more to taste)
- 3 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 medium lime, zested and juiced (~3 Tbsp or 45 ml juice as original recipe is written)
- 6 stalks green onions (sliced // or sub 1/2 cup diced shallot per 6 stalks green onion)
- 2-3 Tbsp avocado or grape seed oil (sub water if avoiding fat)
- 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 or until fragrant and slightly deeper in color, shaking / stirring occasionally. 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.
- Blend / mix until a paste forms, scraping sides down as needed. The lemongrass can be difficult to grind at first, but give it time!
- 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 / to thin, 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 curries, soups, sauces, salad dressings, and more!
*Our paste is less potent than most because we add bell pepper, which makes it more mild. But for a more pungent, spicy paste, double up on spicy chilies and skip the bell pepper.
*Recipe adapted from my Green Curry Paste.
*Original recipe makes ~1 1/2 cups curry paste.