Friday, May 17, 2013

Nam Prik Gang Ped: Thai Red Curry Paste Recipe

At the heart of Thai cooking is curry paste.  Recipes are passed down from generation to generation as a result.  Although pastes can be purchased from retail stores both online and in person, nothing beats the taste of Thai curry made with freshly ground paste.

Thai red curry is one of the more popular types in the country.  It is typically used to make Chicken Red Curry, but other meats can easily be substituted.

Thai Chilies

  • 7 - 10 big chilies, dried
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemongrass, chopped (can substitute lemon peel)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste or kapi

Optional Ingredients
  • 1/2 teaspoon makrut rind
  • 1 tablespoon kha, chopped
Kha, or Galangal, part of the ginger root family, is a common ingredient in Thai food.


  1. In a frying pan, brown caraway and coriander seeds over low heat without oil.  Let cool.
  2. Place the seeds into a mortar and pound with a pestle until finely ground.  Set aside.
  3. Remove the seeds from the chilies and soak the pods in cold water.  Add the chilies to the mortar and pound them into the mixture of caraway and coriander seeds.
  4. Add salt.  Pound.
  5. Add remaining ingredients.  Pound.
  6. The paste can be stored in a glass jar and used as needed.

A mortar and pestle is used to make the red curry paste.

Once the paste is finely ground it is ready to be used to make Thai Red Curry and other scrumptious dishes.