Thai Yellow Curry Paste

If I could only eat one style of curry for the rest of my life, I’m pretty sure I’d be set with Thai yellow curry. I’m particularly proud of this paste as it took me many, (MANY!!) attempts to get the mix just right.

I’ve gone for a accessible level of spice here. Personally speaking, I like to taste my food rather than have my senses overwhelmed by a chilli attack. You can always add but you can’t take it away! Feel free to manipulate the chilli levels to your taste / masochistic tendencies, of course.

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If you have a bottle blender for smoothies etc., these are great for making curry paste. Just don’t leave it in there too long or you’ll end up with turmeric-coloured everything! You may want to wear gloves – the turmeric stains your fingers, giving you the look of a chain smoker, and the chilli…well they’re chilies!

I find the greatest happiness in simple recipes with a tonne of flavour!

Try this out with our scrummy vegan yellow curry recipe!

As you tend to have more galangal and turmeric than you need, you can safely freeze them for next time – just wrap them up in a Ziploc/anything airtight and they’re good for at least 1 month.

While it isn’t essential, preparing the paste a day or two in advance means the flavours really mature and give you the most incredible depth. Also not essential but highly recommended, is to gently warm the dry ingredients prior to blitzing your paste. This both softens the ingredients for a smoother paste but also unlocks the flavours right away!

If you can’t find fresh galangal, you can replace it with 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground galangal or omit from the recipe entirely.

Stay tuned as I am going to post a few different ways to utilise this gorgeous golden joy!

Check out how we turned this paste into a delicious vegan meal!

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

A delicious Thai yellow curry base bursting at the seams with flavour. Turmeric gives this the most intense, colourful backdrop for your next curry night!
Course: Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Curry, Curry Paste, Thai Curry, Thai Food, Thai Yellow Curry


  • Mini blender, blender , food processor or pestle & mortar.
  • Airtight, clean jar for storing your paste.
  • Foil


Dry Ingredients

  • 1 Stalk fresh lemongrass Root-base and outer leaves removed.
  • 2 Shallots Peeled, sliced in half.
  • 1 Bird's eye chilies, red (extra if you like it hot!) Tops removed, deseeded.
  • 2 Bird's eye chilies, green (extra if you like it hot!) Tops removed, deseeded.
  • 1 Thumb-sized piece galangal Skin-on; or 1 1/2 tsp. ground.
  • 1 Thumb-sized piece ginger Skin removed.
  • 2 Kefir lime leaves Fresh or dried.
  • 2-3 Inch Piece(s) fresh turmeric Wear gloves while removing the skin; or 1 tsp. ground turmeric.

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 Juice of 1 kefir lime Or juice of 1/2 regular lime.
  • 2 Tbsp. Fish sauce If you are vegan, replace this and the shrimp paste with 1 full tbsp. of soy
  • 1/2 Tsp. Shrimp paste Or anchovy paste, or 1 whole brined anchovy.
  • Coconut milk/cream


Optional (but recommended):

  • Preheat your oven to 180C/360F fan / 200C/390F / Gas Mark 6.
  • Wrap your dry ingredients (except galangal and turmeric if using ground and not fresh) in a piece of tin foil, and place into the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Once you're able to handle the warm ingredients, finely chop the galangal and ginger to make sure your paste isn't stringy, mince the lemongrass and roughly chop the remaining ingredients. If you're using a blender/equivalent, a rough chop is fine. If you're making by hand with pestle & mortar, you'll need to finely chop everything to save your arms some of the hard work!


  • Add the dry ingredients, followed by the lime juice, fish sauce, shrimp paste and a splash of coconut milk into your blender/mortar and begin to work the ingredients into a paste. It can take up to 1 tbsp. of coconut milk to get to the right consistency – you want to keep to a thick paste and not start to create a sauce.
  • Once you've reached your desired consistency, decant your paste into an airtight container and set aside to brew. If your jar is a bit big, just put a little piece of Clingfilm over the top of the paste to keep it nice and fresh.

We would love to hear what you think of our dish.

Please leave a comment below, or if you’ve given this or another dish a whirl, please tag us on FacebookInstagram or Pinterest so we can see your hard work!

Author: thedbkitchen

Niche-free recipes, created out of a pure love of food, by home cook Carmel de Bedin (that’s me!). Genuine, accessible dishes tried and taste-tested by a couple of food nerds who truly love a good meal.

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