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Authentic Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe

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Thai green curry paste in wooden spoon over granite mortar.

Authentic Thai green curry paste recipe – an easy guide to creating a homemade curry paste from scratch, so easy and so rewarding! Control the spiciness and use a traditional mortar and pestle or a food processor to save you time and effort.

Granite mortar and pestle with herbs and spices on a banana leaf.

Try my recipes with Thai green curry paste: Thai green curry pork and green curry chicken stir-fry.

What is green curry paste

Green curry paste is a fragrant blend of Thai ingredients like green chilies, lemongrass, galangal, and sometimes shrimp paste. It’s a key ingredient for Thai green curry, adding a spicy, aromatic flavor.

Why make homemade curry paste

Many Thai people use store-bought paste, and homemade versions are easily available at street food markets in Thailand. However, nothing beats homemade and cooking from scratch, right?

  • Use fresh ingredients for the best taste. Find the fresh herbs and spices at an Asian grocery store to ensure a maximum of flavor and aroma.
  • Free from additives or preservatives. This authentic Thai green curry paste recipe is all about the fresh, clean taste that only tradition can bring.
  • Embrace authenticity. The mortar and pestle is the soul of Thai cuisine. Pounding ingredients with the mortar and pestle releases more aroma and a deeper flavor.
  • Control the flavors. Turn the heat up or keep it mild, when you make it yourself, you’re in control. Store-bought pastes can mean trading spice for flavor, as you will have to use less curry paste to keep it mild.
Close-up of shallots, garlic, green chilies, and shrimp paste in a mortar.
Close-up of Thai green curry paste in a mortar.

Tips for pounding the paste

  • Combine vertical and circular motions when grinding.
  • Cover the top with your non-dominant hand. This trick keeps everything in the mortar, also useful for dishes like papaya salad.
  • Use a large, granite mortar and pestle. A large granite mortar and pestle are essential for homemade curry paste. Avoid using a small one or a clay / wooden mortar and pestle.
  • Prep your ingredients. Thinly slice your herbs and spices before pounding to speed up the process.

Ingredients

Ingredients can be sourced at Asian grocery stores and Asian markets.
The exact measurements are in the recipe card at the end of this post.


Black peppercorns, coriander seeds, cumin, shrimp paste, salt, garlic, shallots, green chilies, kaffir lime zest, lemongrass, coriander root, turmeric and galangal on a banana leaf.
  • Fresh green chilies – I used spicy Thai Jinda chilies, available at most Asian grocery stores. If you like a mild green curry paste, try adding green cayenne peppers, jalapeños, or other mild green chilies and reduce the amount of spicy chilies used in this recipe.
  • Lemongrass – Avoid using dried or powdered lemongrass, fresh is best. Peel the outer layers to reveal the stem and use only the bottom half.
  • Galangal – Galangal is in the ginger family and widely used in Thai cuisine for its pungent and peppery flavor. Use fresh or frozen if you can’t find fresh.
  • Kaffir lime zest – The skin of the kaffir lime fruit is very fragrant and has a fresh citrus taste. When added to food, it gives it a bright and fresh flavor.
  • Turmeric – This spice adds a bitter taste and it has a bright yellow color.
  • Shrimp paste – Shrimp paste is made by fermenting shrimp mixed with salt and a few other ingredients. It has a strong and pungent flavor that adds depth and umami to your food.
  • Cumin – Cumin has a warm and earthy flavor.
  • Coriander seeds – Coriander seeds are a key ingredient in many spice blends for its slightly sweet and citrus flavor.
  • Coriander root – The root of coriander is used in combination with the other ingredients to give the paste its distinctive and flavorful taste.
  • Garlic, shallots, salt, black peppercorns

Cooking instructions

We start by crushing the dry ingredients first. This way, they help to draw out the moisture from the wet ingredients later, ensuring a perfectly blended curry paste. Using a food processor? Simply mix all ingredients at once.

  1. 1. Thinly slice all your ingredients to make them easier to pound later on.Slices lemongrass, turmeric, shallots, kaffir lime zest, garlic, turmeric, and coriander root on a banana leaf.

  2. 2. Give the black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cumin a quick roast to amp up the flavors.Close-up of roasted coriander seeds, black peppercorns, and cumin in a wok.

  3. 3. Crush the dry ingredients first – salt, lemongrass, galangal, and your freshly roasted spices. Crush them down to a fine mix.Close-up of pounded dry ingredients in a wooden spoon over a mortar.

  4. 4. Add in the rest of your ingredients. Keep pounding until everything melds into a smooth, fine paste.Overhead view of Thai green curry paste with a wooden spoon in a granite mortar.

Kitchen tools

  • Wooden or plastic spoon like a rice spoon to help gather and mix the ingredients inside the mortar during the pounding process of your homemade green curry paste.
  • Large granite mortar and pestle or food processor
  • Cutting board & chef’s knife
  • Measuring spoons & cups
  • Skillet for roasting the spices

How to store

Wondering how long green curry paste lasts in the fridge? When stored properly in an airtight container, your curry paste can stay fresh for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

To extend its shelf life up to six months, freeze it.

Did you know?

Green curry paste in Thai is called prik gaeng keow waan or พริกแกงเขียวหวาน.

Most Thai curry pastes rely on red chilies, but green curry paste is made with green chilies, giving it its signature green color.

Frequently asked questions

What is the difference between red and green curry paste?

Red curry paste is hotter than green curry paste. Red curry paste typically uses different ingredients than green curry paste, giving it a distinct taste.

Which is the best brand of green curry paste?

Many Thai restaurants swear by using Maesri or Mae Ploy for their authentic flavor and quality.

Where to buy green curry paste?

You can find green curry paste at Asian markets or larger supermarkets. Websites like Amazon or specialty Asian food websites have a good selection and can deliver at home.

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Authentic Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe

Thai green curry paste in wooden spoon over granite mortar.
An authentic Thai green curry paste recipe that's easy-to-make at home with fresh herbs and spices.
Praew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Cuisine Thai
Course Ingredients
Serving Size 8

Ingredients

  • 0.18 ounces salt
  • 1.75 ounce lemongrass
  • 1 ounce galangal
  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 0.07 ounces black peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 0.18 ounces kaffir lime zest
  • 0.18 ounces turmeric
  • 1 ounce chilies see notes
  • 0.7 ounces shrimp paste
  • 0.35 ounces coriander root
  • 1.75 ounce garlic
  • 1.75 ounce shallots

Instructions

  • Thinly slice all your ingredients to make them easier to pound later on.
  • Give the black peppercorns, coriander seeds, and cumin a quick roast to amp up the flavors.
  • Crush the dry ingredients first - salt, lemongrass, galangal, and your freshly roasted spices. Crush them down to a fine mix.
  • Add in the rest of your ingredients. Keep pounding until everything melds into a smooth, fine paste.

Notes

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • I used spicy Thai Jinda chilies, available at most Asian grocery stores. If you like a mild green curry paste, try adding green cayenne peppers, jalapeños, or other mild green chilies and reduce the amount of spicy chilies used in this recipe.
  • This recipe yields 8.4 oz of curry paste, you can store it for later use.

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