Taste and Train

Thai Green Curry Paste

Posted: June 29, 2014
Thai Green Curry Spices

When we arrived in Bangkok, sightseeing wasn’t the only thing on my to-do list. I love Thai food and couldn’t leave Thailand without learning a few of my favorite dishes. If you enjoy Thai food, I would highly recommend taking a cooking class while visiting the country.When it was time to choose a cooking school, internet search came to the rescue. I found a lot of interesting Thai cooking schools in and around Bangkok. In the end the choice came down between Blue Elephant (a well known cooking chain which was a little further away from where we were staying) and Bangkok Thai Cooking Academy. I chose the latter and was very happy with my choice. From the time I was picked up in front of Ashok BTS, to visiting the local market place, and finally cooking a four-course meal from scratch, everything went very smoothly. My teacher/chef was extremely knowledgeable and explained in great detail how to bring authentic flavors to life with the right ingredients. Here are the dishes I learnt:

1. Green curry paste (Nam Prik Gaeng Kheao Wan)
2. Green curry chicken (Gaeng Kheao Wan Gai)
3. Pomelo salad (Yam Som-O)
4. Hot and sour prawn soup (Tom Yum Goong)
5. Chicken satay (Gai Satay)

Since green curry is my favorite, I couldn’t have been happier. I learnt to make the green curry paste from scratch with a morter and pestle. It actually made me reminisce about how they used to cook in my grandmother’s house when we were young. The end result was a Green curry more spicy and flavorful than I have tasted in all these years of living in North America. In the next two posts, I’ll share with everyone how to prepare Thai Green Curry paste and Thai Green Curry with Chicken.

I was a little skeptical when the chef asked me to use a mortar and pestle to make the green curry paste. First of all I had never used a mortar and pestle to grind wet ingredients before. Secondly, I wondered if it would make any difference in taste? Using an electric grinder definitely seemed like the easier and quicker option to me.

When I was growing up, I had seen something similar to a mortar and pestle being used in my grandmother’s house. The food always tasted amazing then, so despite my reluctance, I was still a little curious to try it.

However this was surprisingly easy to make, and is much fresher and healthier than the store bought version. The raw paste can easily keep for a week in the fridge and for as long as one month if fried in oil first. It can also be frozen for future use. So here’s the recipe, enjoy!

Thai Green Curry Paste


  • 1 Green spur chilies, chopped
  • 1 Green bird’s eye chilies
  • 1 Lemongrass, cut at an angle about 1 inch in length
  • 6 Sweet basil leaves
  • 2 Slices Galangal ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbs Shalots, finely chopped
  • ¼ Tsp Kaffir Lime surface, finely sliced
  • ½ Tbs Garlic sliced
  • 1 stalk Coriander and coriander root chopped
  • ½ Tsp Roasted coriander seeds
  • ¼ Tsp Roasted cumin seeds
  • 10 White peppercorn
  • ½ Tsp Salt
  • ½ cm Tumeric
  • 1 Tsp Shrimp paste


  1. I combined all the dry ingredients first and that didn’t take too much work to grind. Salt and chilies were added next and I continued to grind it to a fine paste. The remaining ingredients took a lot more work, but in the end I had a flavorful and fine green curry paste that I had made by my own hands.
  2. Note: If you are short of time, you can definitely use a coffee grinder, blender or food processor. But if you time on your hands, definitely give mortar and pestle a try to achieve a more authentic texture and flavor.

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