Thai Red Curry

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Thai red curry recipe With step by step photos. This is a delicious Thai red curry made with assorted vegetables including mushrooms. Gluten-free and vegan recipe.

thai red curry recipe

If you have coconut milk ready, then making red Thai curry does not take much time. This recipe is pure vegetarian as well as a vegan recipe and does not include the addition of shrimp sauce or fish sauce.

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 2 more veg Thai curries:

The method for making Thai red curry is same as the Thai green curry. just instead of green chilies, red chilies are added to the curry. It is spicy and is a great combination with Thai lemongrass 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 main parts.

  • First one is making Thai red curry paste
  • And second one is making Thai red curry

Serve with fragrant steamed rice like jasmine rice or basmati rice.

How to make Thai red curry

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 lemongrass stalks (chopped). The below picture is only for illustration purposes.

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 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.

veggies for Thai red curry

10. Stir and mix everything.

making Thai red curry

11. Now add ½ cup thick coconut milk.

adding coconut milk for Thai red curry

12. Mix again. Keep flame to a low.

mix coconut milk

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

Cooking Thai red curry

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 the water dries up, you can add more water.

cooking Thai red curry

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 curry come to a boil. Lastly add 1 tablespoon chopped or torn Thai basil leaves. Mix and switch off the flame. Check the taste of the curry and if required you can add some salt.

Thai red curry

18. serve the Thai red curry hot with lemongrass rice or plain steamed basmati rice or jasmine rice. You can garnish it with basil leaves while serving.

Thai red curry
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Thai Red Curry

5 from 3 votes
This is a spicy and tasty veg Thai red curry. It tastes awesome with plain steamed rice.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Cuisine Thai, World
Course: Main Course
Diet: Vegan
Difficulty Level: Easy

Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

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

Instructions

making thai red curry paste

  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Take the spices, herbs, shallots in a grinder jar.
  • 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.
  • While grinding, scrape the sides and continue to grind. Grind to a fine or semi-fine paste. 

making thai red curry

  • 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.
  • Sauté for a minute on a low flame stirring often.
  • Add 2 cups chopped veggies including white button mushrooms. You can add your choice of vegetables. stir and mix everything.
  • Now add ½ cup thick coconut milk. mix again. Keep flame to a low.
  • 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.

cooking thai red curry

  • Cover the pan with its lid. Increase the flame to medium or a medium-low. Simmer the curry till the vegetables are cooked.
  • In between do check when the veggies are cooking. If water dries up, you can add more water.
  • 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.
  • Mix very well and let the entire 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 the flame. Check the taste of curry and if required you can add some salt.
  • Serve the thai red curry hot with lemongrass rice or plain steamed basmati rice or jasmine rice. You can garnish it with basil leaves while serving.

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.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Calories: 280kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 5gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 145mgPotassium: 509mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 4895IUVitamin C: 52.1mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 4.1mg

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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40 Comments

  1. Hello Dassana – is it a Buddhist name, by the way?

    I think your blog gives the most accurate measurements for recipes. Every dish I have made from you always turn out perfect. I can trust your recipe completely. Sadly, cannot say the same for many other blogs I have tried to use.

    I love the Thai red curry recipe you’ve given here. I have made it several times, and have enjoyed it immensely every time.

    Thank you so much and look forward to making many more of your recipes. Do you have any bread recipes?

  2. Can I use small amount of grated coconut instead of coconut milk as –
    1) I don’t have coconut milk.
    2) My husband not too fond of coconut milk taste.

    1. grated coconut won’t work in the recipe. coconut milk is an essential and important ingredient. so nothing can be substituted in place of that. a suggestion would be to grind half a cup of grated coconut with the rest of the spices, herbs and some water to a fine consistency. then saute the coconut paste for a minute or two stirring non-stop. add vegetables, water, salt. cover and cook till veggies are done. add water accordingly.

  3. Dassana, I am your secret admirer since the first recipe I tried from this site…Chole Masala.
    I have tried this thai recipe and many other recipes and keep coming back again and again to checkout something new.
    This time, I was happy to see a revised site that gives recipes as per number of people. Going to try the red Thai curry recipe this evening.
    Thanks for all your efforts of putting awesome recipes.5 stars

    1. thanks a lot kavita. i am glad you commented. it does help for me to know if readers are liking the presentation and layout of the recipe. i am still working on the site and many changes will be implemented gradually. thanks again and wish you all the best.

  4. 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.5 stars

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