How to make your own green curry paste

How to make your own green curry paste

Green curry is a classic Thai dish that's famous all over the world. You may have tried making the curry using store bought paste, but perhaps it's time to try making it from scratch.

It's really a fascinating experience to see the transformation of the ingredients little by little, and you will feel so proud of the finished curry at the end! If you want to make a whole bunch, you certainly can, and it will freeze really well. Usually, the main reason to make homemade curry paste is because you just can't get the same intense, fresh flavour in a jar.


  • 4 green cayenne pepper chilis , deseeded and chopped (Note 1)
  • 6 Thai green chilis , chopped (Note 1)
  • 2 red shallots , chopped
  • 2 lemongrass stems , trimmed and finely chopped (about 2.5 - 3 tbsp) (Note 2)
  • 2 tbsp galangal , grated (Note 3)
  • 5 cloves garlic , chopped
  • 5 tsp dried shrimp paste  (Note 4)
  • 2 tsp lime zest , grated
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander/cilantro root and stem (Note 5)
  • 1/4 cup coriander / cilantro leaves , loosely packed
  • 2 - 3 tbsp water , as needed


  1. Combine all ingredients except water in a powerful blender or food processor.
  2. Blend to a fine paste, scraping down the sides as you go. Add the water as required to help it blend (you may not need any as the herbs and chillis have moisture).
  3. Use to make Thai Green Curry!
  4. Best to use immediately. Otherwise, refrigerate for up to 2 days, or freeze for 1 month.

 Recipe Notes:

QUANTITY - makes enough curry paste for 1 quantity  which serves 5 people.

  1. Spiciness- the green colour of green curry comes from the cayenne pepper which is not that spicy. The spiciness comes from the Thai green chillies. If you want a very mild curry, skip the Thai chillies altogether. For a mild curry, just use 1. Using 6 chillies makes this pretty spicy, but not outrageously so. It won't blow your head off -
  2. Lemongrass -Peel the tough green outer layers and use the white softer part. You'll know - the reedy layers can't be finely chopped.
  3. Galangallooks like ginger but is more citrusy and harder. You can find it in Asian grocery stores. If you can't find it, use the same amount of ginger + the zest of 1 lime (in addition to what is already in the recipe).
  4. Dried shrimpcomes in small blocks. Just sort of crumble it to measure out, no need to rehydrate (per some recipes). Sold at Asian grocery stores and at certain Woolies stores as well. 

DO NOT use shrimp paste in a jar. It will make your green curry BROWN!!

  1. Coriander/cilantro rootsare commonly used in Thai cooking for terrific earthy coriander flavour in curries. In Thai grocery stores, coriander is sold with long roots for this reason. In Western stores, the roots are usually puny - also very dirty and hard to clean. So for practical reasons, we use a combination of roots, then stems, then top up the flavour with leaves (also this helps with the green colour)