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Thai Red Curry Paste – Vegetarian/Vegan version

Thai Red Curry Paste – Vegetarian/Vegan version

One of remarkable cuisine of Southeast Asia is Thai cuisine. Thai cooking incorporates all 5 tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy flavours in the right amount and brings out the magic.

It’s worth mentioning that both Indian and Chinese cuisine have greatly influenced Thai cuisine. My favourite in Thai cuisine would be the types of  curries it offers. Though Thai green curry is my favourite, I do love thai red curry. Thai curries are easy to make and perfect for any meal. But there is a problem! The store bought Thai curry pastes are not vegetarian and vegan friendly. Not many people are aware that the curry pastes does contain fish sauce and/or Shrimp paste. So I decided to make my own vegetarian version of Thai curry paste.

Thai Red Curry Paste - Vegetarian
Thai Red Curry Paste


Thai Red Curry paste - Vegetarian/vegan version

  • Servings: 5-6 (cooking portions)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1/2 cups shallots chopped (or red onions)

4 tsp cumin seeds

4 tsp coriander seeds

1 and 1/2 tbsp black peppercorns

18 – 19 garlic pods (clean, and remove the outer shell)

19 – 20 Thai red chillies (or any red chilli of your choice)

5 – 6 Kaffir lime leaves (or lime zest)

5 tbsp lemongrass paste

handful of coriander leaves  stems

1 and 1/2 tbsp galangal (or 2 tbsp grated ginger )

1 tbsp maple syrup or palm sugar or coconut sugar



1. Soak the red chillies in hot water for 15 minutes or until soft. If using Thai red chillies then you will notice the colour becoming bright red

2. Roast the cumin, coriander, and black pepper for few minutes. Make Sure not to burn them.

3. Now add the roasted ingredients to a mortar and pestle and start grinding

4. If you don’t have a mortar and pestle you can use food processor or normal blender

5. Once the roasted ingredients are a coarse powder, add the shallots and grind

6. Drain the soaked red chillies and add to the mortar pestle and keep grinding

7. Now add rest of the ingredients and grind them into a smooth paste

The paste should be firm not watery. While grinding you can sense the lovely aroma

Transfer the Red curry paste to a glass jar. This can be stored in refrigerator for about 10 days. And can be stored in freezer upto 1 month (make sure you store it in a freezer safe container or freezer bag).


  • I usually skip the palm sugar. As I love my curry to be spicer
  • You can get galangal from any Asian Supermarket
  • If you cannot get hold of galangal, use grated ginger instead
  • Just a tablespoon of this red curry paste should be sufficient to cook a Thai curry for 2 to 3 people.

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