Thai Yellow Curry Paste

If you love the exotic taste of curry, bold fiery flavor, and a little DIY in the kitchen, then making your own Thai yellow curry paste is a total adventure worth taking. Sure, picking up a jar of this spicy mix may be simple enough at your local grocer or specialty store, but where’s the fun in that? Working with lemongrass alone – not an everyday ingredient for most households – is a treat, and those tiny, yet potent Thai peppers will keep you on your toes.

Thai yellow curry paste
Thai yellow curry paste, in a bowl

Of course, Thai yellow curry paste is perfect for curries and stews, but we especially like it as a base for a flavorful salad dressing. Mix it with a little yogurt and you have a basic dressing already. You may need to adjust the mix (or even add additional ingredients) to get the flavor (a little sweeter, a little more bold) just right for you. Top that salad with chicken or grilled shrimp, and it’s a delicious meal.

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Thai yellow curry paste

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Fragrant and bold
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Condiment
Servings 4 servings
Calories 78 kcal


  • 3 stalks lemongrass or 3 teaspoons lemongrass powder
  • 10 Thai peppers dried
  • 2 heads garlic not cloves, full heads – this would be roughly 20 individual cloves
  • 2 shallots peeled and chopped
  • 1 piece ginger 3 inches in length, peeled and chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro packed
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon shrimp paste or 2 tablespoons fish sauce as an alternative
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons galangal powder optional


  • Peel back the tough leaves of the lemongrass. Trim off the bases of the stalks and any rough portion at the top of the grass. Roughly chop the remaining lemongrass.
  • Place the lemongrass in a food processor, then add all other ingredients. Pulse process the ingredients until you nearly reach the consistency you desire. 
  • Taste the paste and adjust the recipe to taste, then finish the processing to your desired consistency.


Calories: 78kcalCarbohydrates: 14gProtein: 5gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 2756mgPotassium: 334mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 197IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 71mgIron: 4mg
Keyword Curry Powder, Thai Pepper
Did you make this?Mention @PepperScale or tag #PepperScale so we can see what you made!

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on September 4, 2023 to include new content.
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