thai red curry recipe, how to make veg thai red curry recipe

4.34 from 3 votes

spicy and tasty thai red curry. tastes awesome with plain steamed rice.

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thai red curry recipe with step by step photos. this is a delicious thai curry recipe made with assorted vegetables including mushrooms. if you have coconut milk ready, then making red thai curry does not take much time. this thai red curry recipe is pure vegetarian as well as a vegan recipe and does not include the addition of shrimp sauce or fish sauce.

thai red curry recipe

thai food is amazingly simple to make and yet aromatic, spicy and delicious. i make thai curries on occasions as i easily get the thai herbs and spices where i live. i have also posted thai yellow veg curry and veg green thai curry.

the method for making thai red curry is same as the thai green curry. just instead of green chillies, red chillies are added to the curry. it is spicy and is a great combination with thai lemon grass rice or even with steamed fragrant rice, like jasmine rice or basmati rice. i have even served thai curry with a fragrant variety of rice from maharashtra called as ambe mohar rice (rice having the aroma of mango blossoms).

when making thai food at home, its best to use authentic thai herbs like – galangalkaffir lime leaves, lemon grass stalks and thai basil. all these four herbs cannot cannot be substituted if you want the authentic original thai taste and flavor.

you can compromise on the taste and use ginger in place of galangal and lemon zest in place of kaffir lime leaves. however, the taste and flavors change considerably. since i have made thai curries with substitutes when living in goa, i know this fact.

you can use italian basil instead of thai basil. but do note that thai basil has a delicate aroma as compared to italian basil which is more aromatic. i have given below the substitutes in the notes section of the recipe card.

i have also divided the step by step pictorial into two parts.

  • first one is making thai red curry paste
  • and second one is making thai red curry.

serve veg thai red curry with a fragrant steamed rice like jasmine rice or basmati rice.

thai red curry recipe below:

thai red curry recipe
4.34 from 3 votes
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thai red curry recipe

spicy and tasty thai red curry. tastes awesome with plain steamed rice.

course main course
cuisine thai, world
prep time 15 minutes
cook time 25 minutes
total time 40 minutes
servings 4
rough calories per serving 280 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for the thai red curry paste

  • 2 to 3 bird's eye chilies - red colored
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 inch galangal
  • 4 to 5 small garlic cloves or 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 shallots or pearl onions
  • 2 to 3 medium sized kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lemon grass stalks
  • 2 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon naturally fermented soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest - optional
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk or water

for the thai red curry

  • 2 tablespoons roasted sesame oil or coconut oil
  • 2 cups chopped mix vegetables
  • 1.5 cups water or add as required
  • 1 cup thick coconut milk - 250 ml
  • 1 tablespoon chopped or torn thai basil leaves
  • salt as required - optional
  • ¼ teaspoon palm sugar or unrefined cane sugar - optional

how to make recipe

making thai red curry paste

  1. take the following spices – 2 to 3 bird’s eye chilies, 2 dry red chillies, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns.

  2. also rinse, peel and roughly chop the following herbs – 1 inch galangal (chopped), 4 to 5 small garlic cloves or 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves (chopped), 2 shallots (chopped), 2 to 3 medium kaffir lime leaves (chopped) and 2 lemon grass stalks (chopped).

  3. take the spices, herbs, shallots in a grinder jar.

  4. add 1 teaspoon naturally fermented soya sauce, ½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional) and 2 tablespoon coconut milk or water. also add salt as per taste.

  5. while grinding, scrape the sides and continue to grind. grind to a fine or semi-fine paste. 

making thai red curry

  1. in a pot or pan, heat 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or coconut oil. keep flame to a low. add the prepared thai red curry paste.

  2. sauté for a minute on a low flame stirring often.

  3. add 2 cups chopped veggies including white button mushrooms. you can add your choice of vegetables. stir and mix everything.

  4. now add ½ cup thick coconut milk. mix again. keep flame to a low.

  5. now add 1.5 cups water or add as required. mix again. since salt was added in the thai curry paste, it need not be added. but do check the taste of the curry later and if required you can add more salt.

  6. cover the pan with its lid. increase the flame to medium or a medium-low. simmer the curry till the vegetables are cooked.

  7. in between do check when the veggies are cooking. if water dries up, you can add more water.

  8. when the vegetables are cooked and tender, then reduce the flame to a low and add ½ cup thick coconut milk. at this step you can also add ¼ teaspoon palm sugar or unrefined cane sugar. addition of sugar is optional and can be skipped.

  9. mix very well and let the entire thai red curry come to a boil on a low or medium-low flame. lastly add 1 tablespoon chopped or torn thai basil leaves. mix and switch off flame. check the taste of thai red curry and if required you can add some salt.

  10. serve the thai red curry hot with lemon grass rice or a plain steamed basmati rice or jasmine rice. you can garnish veg thai red curry with basil leaves while serving.

recipe notes

*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
- thai basil: italian basil leaves can be used
- lemon grass: no substitute. at the most, you could just do away with the zest of lemon.

- if using ready store brought thai red curry paste, then add 3 to 4 tablespoons of it.

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how to make thai red curry recipe:

a) making thai red curry paste:

1. take the following spices and keep them aside – 2 to 3 bird’s eye chilies, 2 dry red chillies, 2 teaspoons coriander seeds, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds and ¼ teaspoon black peppercorns. the picture is only for illustration purpose.

making thai red curry recipe

2. also rinse, peel and roughly chop the following herbs – 1 inch galangal (chopped), 4 to 5 small garlic cloves or 2 to 3 medium garlic cloves (chopped), 2 shallots (chopped), 2 to 3 medium kaffir lime leaves (chopped) and 2 lemon grass stalks (chopped). the below picture is only for illustration purpose.

making thai red curry recipe

3. take the spices, herbs, shallots in a grinder jar.

making thai red curry recipe

4. add 1 teaspoon naturally fermented soya sauce, ½ teaspoon lemon zest (optional) and 2 tablespoon coconut milk or water. also add salt as per taste.

making thai red curry recipe

5. begin to grind. while grinding, scrape the sides and continue to grind. grind to a fine or semi fine paste.

making thai red curry recipe

6. i switched to another grinder jar as the first one was not doing a good job of grinding well.

making thai red curry recipe

making veg thai red curry:

7. in a pot or pan, heat 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil or coconut oil. keep flame to a low. add the prepared thai red curry paste.

making thai red curry recipe

8. sauté for a minute on a low flame stirring often.

making thai red curry recipe

9. add 2 cups chopped veggies including white button mushrooms. you can add your choice of vegetables.

making thai red curry recipe

10. stir and mix everything.

making thai red curry recipe

11. now add ½ cup thick coconut milk.

making thai red curry recipe

12. mix again. keep flame to a low.

making thai red curry recipe

13. add 1.5 cups water or add as required. mix again. since salt was added in the thai curry paste, it need not be added. but do check the taste of the curry later and if required you can add more salt.

making thai red curry recipe

14. cover the pan with its lid. increase the flame to medium or a medium-low. simmer the curry till the vegetables are cooked.

making thai red curry recipe

15. in between do check when the veggies are cooking. if water dries up, you can add more water.

making thai red curry recipe

16. when the vegetables are cooked and tender, then reduce the flame to a low and add ½ cup thick coconut milk. at this step you can also add ¼ teaspoon palm sugar or unrefined cane sugar. addition of sugar is optional and can be skipped.

making thai red curry recipe

17. mix very well and let the entire thai red curry come to a boil. lastly add 1 tablespoon chopped or torn thai basil leaves. mix and switch off flame. check the taste of thai red curry and if required you can add some salt.

thai red curry recipe

18. serve the veg red thai curry hot with lemon grass rice or a plain steamed basmati rice or jasmine rice. you can garnish thai red curry with basil leaves while serving.

veg thai red curry recipe

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started vegrecipesofindia.com in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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  1. Hi Dassan,

    I loooove your blog and been following your recipes for a while now. I loved each one of your recipe that I tried, but this one blowed my mind away. It was perfect Thai curry and it made my husband fall in love with me all over again. Thank you. And keep the great recipes coming.

    • thanks so much gayatri for positive feedback and kind words.

  2. Hey I love your recipes as they are healthy and tasty! Keep posting such recipes??

    • welcome and thankyou krusha 🙂