Thai Green Curry Paste Recipe



  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp white peppercorns


  • 15-20 small green Thai chilies or serrano peppers (adjust for heat preference)
  • 6-8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, trimmed, tough outer layers removed, finely chopped
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger (or galangal), peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste (belacan)


  • Large handful fresh cilantro (coriander), including stems and roots
  • 15 Thai basil leaves (or regular basil if unavailable)
  • Zest of 1 lime


  • 1 tsp coarse salt
  • 2-3 tbsp water (to aid blending)


  • Mortar and pestle (most authentic way!)
  • Small food processor or blender


Toast the spices:

  • In a dry skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the coriander, cumin, and peppercorns until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
  • Remove from heat. This step is optional but enhances flavor.

Grind spices:

  • If you toasted the spices, use the mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind them into a fine powder.

Prep aromatics:

  • Roughly chop the chilies (deseed for less heat).
  • Smash the garlic cloves.
  • Prepare the lemongrass, and finely grate the ginger/galangal.

Pound or Blend:

  • Mortar and pestle: Add garlic and salt to the mortar and pestle and pound into a paste. Next, add chilies and pound. Gradually add remaining ingredients, pounding in portions until you achieve a somewhat coarse paste. Add small amounts of water as needed, but aim for a slightly chunky texture.
  • Food processor: Add all ingredients (including water). Blitz in short pulses until a coarse paste forms. Be careful not to over-process into a smooth liquid.


  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • You can also freeze the paste in an ice cube tray or small portions for easy use.

How to use your Thai Green Curry Paste:

  • Sauté 2-3 tablespoons of the paste in a bit of oil to release the flavors.
  • Add coconut milk, your choice of protein (chicken, tofu, seafood), and vegetables like eggplant, snow peas, and peppers.
  • Simmer until everything is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.
  • Season with fish sauce, a squeeze of lime, and a touch of sugar for balance if needed.
  • Garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves.


  • Adjust the amount of chilis depending on your spice tolerance.
  • If you can’t find shrimp paste, substitute with a bit of fish sauce.
  • Lemongrass and galangal are essential. If you have to substitute ginger for galangal, it won’t be a 100% authentic flavor, but still delicious.
  • This recipe is designed to be a base. Feel free to experiment with additional ingredients like shallots or kaffir lime leaves for extra depth.


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