Thai Yellow Curry

Thai yellow curry recipe. this is a spicy vegetarian as well as vegan Thai curry made with coconut milk and Thai herbs-spices.

Thai food is a family favorite. I have had Thai food in restaurants too, but I prefer freshly home cooked Thai food. In India, especially you do get a mish mash version of Thai and Chinese food at times.

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thai yellow curry

We like the spicy hot Thai curries and at times I make them at home too. The use of coconut milk in these curries remind me much of the Goan and Mangalorean curries. I already have the recipe of Thai red curry and Thai green curry posted on the blog.

Tips for making Thai yellow curry

  • When you make Thai food at home, make sure to use the authentic Thai herbs like – Galangal, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass stalks and Thai basil. galangal, kaffir lime leaves and lemon grass stalks cannot be substituted if you want the authentic original Thai flavor and taste.
  • If you are ready to compromise, then ginger and lemon zest can be added as substitutes for these. But the taste and flavors change considerably. I know It, since I have also made Thai curry many times with the substitutes.
  • Thai basil also has a delicate aroma as compared to Italian basil which is more aromatic. You can use Italian basil instead of Thai basil. I have mentioned below the substitutes in the notes section of the recipe details.
  • In this Thai yellow curry, the vegetables can be of your choice. I added carrots, baby corn, button mushrooms, red bell pepper and Thai brinjals.

Thai yellow vegetable curry recipe

I get a Thai kit as well as galangal in the super store near by. So when I go grocery shopping, I buy the Thai kit as well as galangal. I add the galangal to the morning tea. We love the flavor of galangal in the tea… And these Thai herbs are grown in India and are not imported. In my own terrace garden, I have lemongrass and Thai basil.

You need to make the Thai yellow curry paste for the curry. the color yellow comes from the addition of turmeric. Please use thick coconut milk for the curry and not thin one if you are using a homemade version. You can also use canned coconut milk. I added dabur’s coconut milk.

Few more popular curry recipes

STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Thai Yellow Curry

4.94 from 16 votes
Thai yellow vegetable curry is an aromatic, lemony and spicy curry made with mix vegetables, spices, herbs and coconut milk. 
thai yellow curry recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:20 mins
Cook Time:25 mins
Total Time:45 mins
Course:main course
Difficulty Level:Easy
Servings (change the number to scale):4
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


ingredients for thai yellow curry

  • 1 small to medium carrots - chopped
  • 8 to 10 baby corn - chopped
  • 5 to 6 button mushrooms - chopped
  • 1 small to medium red bell pepper - chopped (capsicum)
  • 10 to 12 thai brinjals (baingan or eggplant)
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon organic sugar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thai basil
  • 1 or 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1.5 to 2 cups water or veg stock
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil or vegetable oil
  • a few thai basil leaves for garnish
  • salt as required

for the yellow curry paste

  • 1 small onion or 1 to 2 shallots - chopped
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds or ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric or turmeric powder ( 1 teaspoon gives a dark yellow color, whereas you can go for ½ teaspoon which will give a light yellow color)
  • 2 fresh thai red chillies or bird eyes chilies - chopped
  • ½ inch galangal - chopped, substitute ginger if you don't have galangal
  • 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves (lahsun) - roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon coconut milk
  • 2 medium kaffir lime leaves - roughly chopped (substitute ½ teaspoon of lemon zest)
  • 1 stalk of lemon grass - chopped (skip if not available)
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest - optional


preparing thai yellow curry paste

  • Add all the ingrdedients for the paste in a chutney grinder or a small blender.
  • Blitz to make a smooth paste. I prefer to make a smooth paste so that the galangal and lemon grass bits and pieces don't come in the way while eating 🙂
  • Keep the curry paste aside.

making thai yellow curry

  • In a pot or pan, heat oil. add all of the yellow curry paste in oil and saute for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Then add 1/2 cup coconut milk and saute for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Then add the chopped veggies and stir well.
  • Add 1.5 to 2 cups water or veg stock, sugar and salt. stir well and cover the pan.
  • Simmer the veggies till they are almost cooked and tender.
  • Then add the remaining 1/2 cup coconut milk.
  • Stir and add soy sauce. cover and cook for about 5 to 6 minutes more.
  • Lastly add the chopped basil leaves and cook for half or one minute more.
  • You can garnish the curry with some thai basil leaves.
  • Serve thai yellow curry with steamed jasmine rice or basmati rice.


*substitutes for the thai herbs:
- galangal: use ginger instead
- kaffir lime leaves: add lime leaves or zest of lemon instead
- thai chilies: substitute fresh red chilies or dry red chilies
- shallots: use small onions instead
- lemon grass: no substitute. At the most, you could just do away with the zest of lemon
- thai basil: use italian basil as a substitute.
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Dassana Amit

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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34 comments/reviews

  1. My boyfriend and I absolutely loved this recipe!!! I had to make some substitutions such as Stevia instead of sugar (for health purposes), regular lime leaves for kaffir lime and jalapeños for Thai chili but the result was still amazing. Next time I will make sure I have all the right stuff. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe!!!5 stars

    • Thanks for the feedback. Glad to know. Next time do try with the authentic ingredients.

  2. The yellow Thai curry recipe is amazing. I have followed a lot of your recipes (helped a lot being new to the kitchen! ????????). Keep up the amazing work.5 stars

    • Thanks Pragya for your positive feedback. Glad to know that recipes have helped you.

  3. Tried it at home. The recipe is very easy to follow and the yellow curry came out v well. Thank you 🙂
    5 stars.

    • Welcome Amba. Thanks for your 5 star rating.

  4. The BEST yellow curry recipe!!! This is even better than some of the Thai restaurants in Phoenix! Thank you very much for sharing5 stars

    • thanks a lot sara. most welcome and happy cooking.

  5. Will try this, I love yellow curry.

    But, how can herbs be grown in India and not be “imported”4 stars

    • you need to buy the seeds. there are some indian online shops selling seeds of herbs and spices.

  6. I love this recipe! Thank you for the sharing.

    • welcome and thankyou emily 🙂

  7. and very much thanks fer sharing this curry wisdom !

    • welcome lyn

  8. What is the proper way of adding chicken in this recipe

    • lyn, i don’t know. i have never made thai curry with chicken.

  9. Great recipe! Could I also use potatoes in it?5 stars

    • thanks maya. yes you can add potatoes.

  10. Tried it yesterday. I skipped kafir lime leaves, and substituted galangal with ginger. Brilliant and simple. Love love love this recipe.5 stars

    • thanks a lot niv for the feedback.

  11. Dear Dassana,
    Will it make a lot of difference if I add ginger instead of galangal ? Here in Chennai, I am just not able to find galangal anywhere. Also, if you are aware of any online sites that provide us with fresh thai ingeredients, can you please guide me ?

    Thanks, Asha.5 stars

    • it does make a difference. but since i have also made this curry with ginger, i would suggest you to go ahead. the curry tastes good even with ginger. i don’t know any sites which provide fresh thai ingredients. even i buy locally from the a store. but try looking for thai ingredients in big super stores or super markets. you may get them in chennai.

  12. This recipe was easy and SO delicious. I added sweet potato and rice right into the pot which all worked great with this yellow curry. Thanks!5 stars

    • thanks a lot.

  13. Hii
    I love all the recipes on ur website.. a lot of varieties to try .. my elder kid doesnt really like vegetables how much ever I try .. do u any recipes that would blend the vegs and he won’t even knw abt it ..5 stars

    • thanks preeti. as far as i know, there are some dishes that you can make which have mixed vegetables which makes it difficult to guess – pav bhaji (make a less spiced version and serve with whole wheat or multi grain pav for a healthier option), mixed veg dalia or khichdi (veggies should be mashed very well) , mix vegetable paratha (boil and mash the vegetables well. temper or just add the spices/herbs and make stuffed paratha, just like aloo paratha, mix vegetable cutlet or patties (mash the boiled veggies, pan fry and then stuff in burger breads), mix vegetable rotis or chapatis (grate veggies like carrots, beetroots, boiled potatoes and mashed peas, make a dough and then make chapatis with it). there are vegetable muffins also. but they need to be baked.

  14. hey dassana all ur recipes are simply superb….ive been trying one by one daily…simple yet so tasty….loved it…can u post restaurant style chana masala recipe…not the delhi ka kali gravy wala …thanking in anticipation…

    • thanks. restaurant style chana masala is with gravy? right? or dry? what i have had in restaurants have been both. let me know.

  15. my fav curry.. looks great.. love the color and mix of the spices

    • thanks veena

  16. Dassana, you are simply superb. I am sure going to try this, as we prefer home cooked to going out. So thankful for these detailed, step-by-step recipes.
    Just one question here, does it make a huge difference in this recipe if we were to omit shallots or onion???
    Thank you!

    • welcome prerna. yes you can omit them. it does not make much difference and thanks for appreciating the site.

      • Hey Dassana, Thank you for the reply. On a separate note, I tried your masala dosa recipe. It came out simply amazing. Now, my 2 year old does not want to eat roti. At all times, he wants dosa:)
        I must say that all your recipes, which I tried so far, orange cake, basic vanilla cake, idli/masala dosa, they have turned out extremely well. Great job!

        • welcome prerna and thanks for this positive feedback. this is one of the best response i have got… from your 2 year old baby. happy cooking.