Someone, please clarify. Is it Red Thai Curry or Thai Red Curry?
Whatever it is, it is just so delicious. It is light, spicy, flavorful, aromatic, and healthy too. Perfect for lunch or dinner or even for a weekend brunch when you want something quick and something very tasty. Also, I made the red Thai curry paste at home because it is quite difficult to find a vegetarian or vegan one at the stores here.
The first time we had Red Thai Curry was in a fancy Thai Restaurant in Pune, Maharashtra. We were very excited and ordered both the curries – red and green – along with some spring rolls. And guess what, we didn’t like any of the Thai curries. Yes. It was kind of sweet and that coconutty flavor did not suit our taste buds. And after making them at home, now I think that they were not that flavourful too.
I never thought of making Thai curries at home since we just didn’t like it at all. But one day, someone asked me to share the recipe of Thai Green Curry. I couldn’t say no. I had to try it myself and create a recipe that we both can enjoy. And guess what, we did it. We loved the homemade Thai green curry so much that it gave me the motivation to try Red Thai curry too. This homemade Red Thai curry is so delicious and the aroma of homemade curry paste is just Wao. I can’t even explain my feelings well. The aroma of fresh herbs crushing together with some garlic and onion and that zing of chili is beyond any explanation. You can only feel it.
And I would say, that if you are someone like us, who doesn’t like any curry made of coconut, just try this one. You will love it. It may change your mind.
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Preparations for Red Thai Curry
1 – Red Thai Curry Paste
You can easily use store-bought Thai red curry paste but the aroma & the flavor that freshly made paste gives are unmatched. I tried both and telling you from my experience. And don’t worry. Making the paste at home is quite easy. Just dump all the ingredients in a mixer-grinder, grind and it’s done. I prefer to make it in a mortar pestle and I have a small one. It is time-consuming and you will need a lot of elbow grease too. But the aroma that you get after adding each ingredient is an experience. Now I am planning to buy a large mortar pestle because that will make my work much easier.
All the ingredients for a Red Thai Curry Paste are given in the recipe section. Also, check out the homemade green Thai curry paste too.
3 – Coconut Milk
This is one of the most important ingredients of this recipe. You can either make the coconut milk at home or use the store-bought one. I prefer to buy from the stores because that is just easy 🙂 If you are unsure about the flavor of coconut milk in curries, you can make it with the more diluted coconut milk. I made this recipe using coconut milk with around 80% coconut extract. It was quite thick and has a mild coconut flavor.
You can also reduce the amount of coconut milk and increase the amount of water in the curry. So, there is no rule. Modify according to your taste. But let me share that this curry has so many different herbs and spices that the flavor of coconut milk doesn’t dominate at all.
4 – Vegetables
What I love about this recipe is that you can add any veggie of your choice. Since I am a veggie-lover, I add all kinds of veggies to it – mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, spring onions, bell peppers. Also, tofu. That is my favorite. So, just make it as colorful as you like.
How to make Red Thai Curry Paste?
Making Red Thai Curry Paste at home is always a good idea. It makes the curry even more flavourful and aromatic. And you can even store the extra curry paste in the freezer and use it for as long as you want. Also, if you are a vegetarian or vegan, make sure to check the ingredients of store-bought Red Thai Curry Paste because it contains shrimp paste and fish oil.
There are two ways to make Red Thai Curry Paste at home:
- Using a blender – Dump each ingredient in the blender and blend into a coarse of fine paste. Do not add any water because it dilutes the flavour or add just a little if it is difficult to blend well. Of course it is easy and will make a tasty curry.
- Using a mortar-pestle – Crushing each ingredient using a traditional method is time-consuming (especially if you have a small mortar pestle) but the aroma and the flavour are unmatched. You can feel the change in aroma after adding and crushing each ingredient. It is an experience. But if you want to try this, make sure you have a large size of mortar-pestle. & be prepared for a good arm workout.
Ingredients of Red Thai Curry Paste
The authentic red Thai curry paste (vegan/vegetarian) requires some special ingredients like lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, galangal, shallots (small red onion), and Thai chili. Some of these ingredients can be replaced with what you can easily find in the markets. For example, galangal can be replaced with ginger or Thai Chilli can be replaced with dry red chili. The taste will differ slightly but you can still make it absolutely tasty.
I even add tomato paste in the red Thai curry paste because I feel that in the authentic one shrimp paste is added which adds its own unique flavor and that umami to the paste. But since we are making the vegan or vegetarian paste, we can add that umami effect in the paste using some tomato paste. It not just adds a unique burst of flavor but also adds a nice color to the paste.
A detailed list of the ingredients is in the recipe section below.
How to store Red Thai Curry Paste?
You can put it in an air-tight container and store it in the refrigerator for around a week. But if you want to have a longer shelf life, store it in the freezer. It stays good for months. When you want to cook something using the curry paste, just take it out and keep it on the kitchen counter so that it is not hard while using.
- Galangal: You can use ginger instead but see if you can find galangal because the aroma and the flavor of both are different.
- Kaffir Lime Leaves: If you can’t find kaffir lime leaves, use the lemon zest. It has almost similar aorma and flavor to that of the kaffir lime leaves.
- Coconut Oil: Use any cooking oil that you have at home but make sure it doesn’t have a strong taste.
- Vegetables: You can add any vegetable of your choice like tomato, cherry tomatoes, french green beans, egg plant, bell peppers, zucchini, etc.
- Dry Red Chilli: If you can find Thai red chilli, use 7 to 10 in the red Thai curry paste.
- Tomato Paste: Instead of tomato paste, you can use sun-dried tomatoes in the Red Thai Curry paste. Although, it is an optional ingredient but tomato paste adds a nice umami flavor in it.
Is this recipe Vegan?
Yes. All the ingredients used in this recipe are plant-based and vegan. Even the homemade red Thai curry paste that we made is vegan. There is no shrimp paste or fish oil is added to it.
You can try this recipe if you are a vegan or vegetarian.
If you want more vegan recipe suggestions, try our vegan Mexican Burrito, Bajra Khichri with Kachumber Salad, Protein-Rich, and low carb Stuffed spinach cheela. You can check all of the vegan recipes here.
How to serve Red Thai Curry?
Traditionally, it is served with Jasmine rice or rice noodles. But you can serve it with any kind of rice you have. We mostly enjoy it with rice instead of noodles. I always season the rice with some ginger, bay leaves, and salt. It becomes aromatic and gives a nice flavor overall.
That’s it, my dear friend. You are all ready to make veg or vegan Red Thai curry. It is perfect for lunch, dinner, or makes a delicious brunch over the weekend. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a happy meal for yourself.
If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.
Love from us
Richa & Jatin
Red Thai Curry – It’s Vegan.
Aromatic. Flavourful. Vegan.
Red Thai Curry Paste (6 to 8 Tbsp)
- 1/4 cup Onion or Shallots cut
- 3 tbsp Lemon Grass chopped
- 3 tbsp Garlic chopped
- 25-30 Dry Red Chilli stem removed
- 4 Kaffir Lime Leaves
- 1 tbsp Galangal chopped
- 1 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1/4 tsp Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- 2 Coriander Roots washed
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil or any
Red Thai Curry
- 1 tbsp Coconut Oil
- 2 tbsp Red Thai Curry Paste
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 400 ml Coconut Milk
- 1 cup Mushrooms cut
- 1/4 cup Broccoli cut
- 1/4 cup Zucchini cut into half moons
- 1/4 cup Carrot cut into thin circles
- 1/2 cup Bell Pepper (Red & Green) cut
- 150 g Tofu cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup Spinach roughly chopped
- A few Basil Leaves
- 1/4 cup Coriander Leaves chopped
- 2 tsp Soy Sauce
- 1.5 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Sugar
- Lemon Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup Water
- Salt to taste
- Cooking Oil to brush the pan
- Homemade Chilli Oil
- Spring Onion Greens chopped, to garnish
- Rice or Noodles cooked, to serve
Red Thai Curry Paste
- Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend into a coarse or fine paste.
You can even make a paste using a mortar pestle.
Red Thai Curry
- In a deep pan, add some coconut oil and heat.
- To the pan, add the prepared red Thai curry paste and saute for 3 to 5 minutes on medium-low flame.
- Add tomato paste and around 100 ml of coconut milk. Mix and let it cook till it releases the oil. It takes around 7 to 10 minutes on medium-low flame.
- Meanwhile, let's roast tofu pieces. Brush some oil on a pan and sprinkle some salt. Place tofu pieces and brush oil over them.
- Let them lightly roast from one side. Then flip and roast from the other side too. Keep them aside.
- Coming back to the curry, once the coconut milk starts to release the oil, add the remaining coconut milk and water. Mix and let it come to a boil.
- Then add soy sauce, lemon juice, lemon zest, sugar, and salt to taste. Mix.
- Add your cut veggies - mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and carrots. Mix. Cover and let them cook for around 5 to 7 minutes.
- Once the veggies are cooked, add bell peppers and cook for 2 minutes.
- Switch off the flame and finish it off with some basil leaves, coriander leaves, and spinach leaves. Mix and cover for around 5 minutes before serving.
- Serve it with some rice or noodles.
- While serving, garnish with some chopped spring onion greens and a little bit of homemade chili oil. Your happy meal is ready :)