I am a big fan of the fresh flavors used in Thai cuisine. The sweetness from the coconut milk, earthiness from galangal/Thai ginger, the tartness/tang from lemongrass and kafir lime leaves, kick from Thai chillies and the freshness and deep flavor of Thai basil are to die for. Am I right or what? You would see me rooting for Thai green curry or yellow curry often but this red curry is as good as it’s sisters.

I remember eating Thai red curry in a restaurant several years ago, didn’t quite like it, and hence made a bad impression in my head. However, I tried making my own Thai red curry paste for this about 2 years back and was blown away by the flavors. It is so creamy, rich and smooth.

The basic ingredients are the same as Tom kha kai, which is a spicy, and sour coconut milk-based soup. I have added boiled and peeled tomatoes in the curry to give an additional acidity and sweetness and also grant a gorgeous color to the gravy.


Since, we are in lockdown; the only veggies I had were beans, broccoli, carrots, and tofu.  However, cauliflowers, bell peppers, baby corn, zucchini, kale, spring onions too taste great in it. You can also add any proteins like edamame or chickpeas based on your preference.

In addition, here is my list of substitute options for the Thai curry paste. The flavor would be slightly different from the original Thai curry recipe but it would still be pretty good.

  1. Kashmiri red chillies instead of Thai chillies
  2. Regular ginger instead of Galangal
  3. Lemon zest instead of Lemongrass and Kafir lime leaves
  4. Regular Basil instead of Thai Basil

I too used these some of these ingredients since I didn’t have all of them handy.

COOKING TIME: 15 minutes


For the Thai red curry paste –

  1. Kashmiri Red chillis – 5
  2. Ginger – 1 small piece
  3. Cloves – 5
  4. Onion – ½
  5. Coriander seeds – 1 tablespoon
  6. Lemon zest – 1 tablespoon
  7. Lemon juice – 2 tablespoons

For the Thai red curry –

  1. Onion – 1, medium
  2. Beans – 10
  3. Broccoli florets – ½ cup
  4. Carrots – 2
  5. Capsicum – 1, small
  6. Tomatoes – 3, large
  7. Tofu – ½ cup, cubes
  8. Coconut milk – 1 big cup
  9. Basil leaves – 5
  10. Coriander leaves – for garnish
  11. Black sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon
  12. Thai Red curry paste – 2 tablespoons (from the above recipe)
  13. Sesame seed oil – 1 tablespoon
  14. Salt – to taste


  1. Non-stick kadhai/wok
  2. Mixer grinder


  1. For the curry paste, soak the red chillies in hot water for 15 minutes.
  2. Now add all the ingredients for the Thai curry paste in a grinder and make a smooth paste.
  3. Take a pan and add 2 cups of water in it. Let it boil.
  4. Now add 3 tomatoes to the boiling water and cover the pan.
  5. Let the tomatoes cool and then remove the skin and grind them to a paste.
  6. Simmer them for about 5 minutes until they are cooked.
  7. Wash the veggies (carrot, beans, and capsicum) and chop them in bite-size pieces.
  8. Take a non-stick kadhai/wok and add a little oil to it.
  9. Finely chop the onion into thin slices and add them to the wok.
  10. Sweat them for 3-4 minutes until they turn translucent.
  11. Add the chopped veggies to the wok and add some salt.
Add the veggies

12. Cover the lid and allow the veggies to cook for 3-4 minutes. Make sure that the veggies are not overcooked and are still crunchy.
13. Add some diced tofu to the wok and add the pureed tomatoes.
14. Also, add two tablespoons of the red curry paste and the coconut milk.

Add coconut milk
  1. Let the curry simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle some black sesame seeds on top and serve hot with some rice.
Veg Thai Red Curry

If you love Thai flavors too, then you must check out my Water Chestnut Thai Salad and Som Tam – Thai Raw Papaya salad.