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Homemade Yellow Curry Paste in a food processor.

Easy Thai Yellow Curry Paste

  • Author: Pinch of Yum
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 45 mins
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups curry paste 1x


This Easy Homemade Yellow Curry Paste can be made with easy to find ingredients! 45 minutes = 4 batches of homemade curry.


  • 4 large shallots
  • 4 large heads of garlic (not individual cloves – FULL HEADS of garlic)
  • 6-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 520 whole dried Thai chili peppers** (they’re very small and usually found in the spice section)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 23 tablespoons turmeric
  • 23 tablespoons mild curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons roasted ground coriander
  • 3 tablespoons lemongrass paste (I use Gourmet Garden which they sell at my regular grocery store)
  • 1/4 cup packed cilantro leaves and stems


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prep the aromatics: Peel the shallots – then drizzle with oil and wrap in foil. Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices. Arrange in a single layer, drizzle with oil, and wrap in foil. Pull the outer paper off the garlic. Cut the pointy tops off the heads of garlic so the cloves are partially exposed. Drizzle with oil, and wrap each head of garlic in foil.
  3. Bake the aromatics: Place all the foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the ginger (it should be soft), increase the temperature to 400, and roast the shallots and garlic for another 30 minutes until golden brown and very fragrant. When cooled, you can squeeze the garlic cloves out of the rest of the paper.
  4. Soak the chilis: While the aromatics are roasting, pour boiling water over the chili peppers to rehydrate them. Let them soak for 15 minutes. Drain the water.
  5. Make the paste: Put everything in a food processor or very strong blender. Pulse or puree until the yellow curry paste reaches your desired consistency. The recipe should make about 1 1/2 – 2 cups of curry paste, and I use about 1/3 cup or more in each of my yellow curry recipes, so usually I can get 4-5 batches of curry out of this yellow curry paste recipe. The paste keeps for about a week in the fridge and it freezes well!



**The number of peppers will either make your curry paste mild or hot.
5 chilis = very mild
10 chilis = medium
15 chilis = medium hot
20 chilis = HOT

The measurements for the spices can be played with a little bit, which is why the curry and turmeric are written as 2-3 tablespoons. I usually go for MORE spice, but if you don’t have enough of one thing, try adding a little more of something else to compensate. It’s definitely somewhat of a flexible recipe.

Bjork and both really like spicy food, but the 20 chili version was hard for us to eat. 10 chili peppers (medium) was my preferred amount – yum! I highly recommend starting with just a few if you aren’t ready for the heat. 🙂

For a more traditional Thai yellow curry paste that features a few harder-to-find but true to actual curry ingredients, check out THIS RECIPE.

You can use less salt (1 1/2 tablespoons seems like a lot, I know), but you will likely need to add it in later when you make it into a curry – just remember this is divided into at least 4 batches with 4-6 servings per batch, so that salt gets distributed out pretty well.

  • Category: Sauce
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: homemade thai curry paste, yellow curry paste, easy thai curry paste