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Easy Homemade Red Curry Paste

This Delicious and Easy Homemade Red Curry Paste recipe is completed in only 15 minutes and can be used in a variety of dishes.

Curry paste is one those amazing convenience items that I can’t live without.

It’s just so easy to keep a tub of it in the fridge for those nights when I completely forget to plan something for dinner and I need to throw something together at the last minute.

I will show you how to make red curry paste so you can do the same.

Homemade Red Curry Paste

I usually buy this brand of curry paste, which comes in red, green, yellow, massaman, and panang (all of which are delicious!). 

Curry dishes come together quickly and easily when you’ve got pre-made curry paste, but you can save a pretty penny by making it yourself and storing it in the fridge or freezer.

This Thai red curry paste recipe is super easy  – just soak the dried chilies in warm water to soften them up, then grind all of the ingredients into a paste using either a blender or food processor.

I adapted the recipe from Nancie McDermott’s book Quick and Easy Thai which is one my favorite cookbooks of all time.

My father-in-law got it for me as a Christmas present when the husband and I first started dating, and it’s now completely battered and covered in food. 

After I made this Thai curry paste, I used it to make a delicious beef curry in my slow cooker!

Homemade Red Curry Paste

Oh! And guess what, guys? I got a new slow cooker!

I’m really excited about it because my old one smelled really bad. I know that seems weird, but I make a lot of stocks and broths in my slow cooker and one night I totally forgot to turn it off before bed when I was making vegetable broth.

The stoneware crock absorbed a really nasty onion smell that no amount of washing has been able to remove. The whole cabinet that I keep the stupid thing in totally reeks, so I was in desperate need of a new one.

Then, by chance, I won a new Crockpot at my company’s holiday party!

I was so stoked, and when I got it home I realized that it’s truly the best slow cooker in the world because IT STIRS ITSELF.

That’s right, people. Amazing, right? Here is the Crockpot model I won if you want to see for yourself.  

OK, back to how to make curry paste: This recipe makes about 12 ounces (around a cup and a half) of curry paste, so you can keep some in your fridge (it will last about a month) and freeze the leftovers.

I salvaged this neat little jar to keep my curry paste in – isn’t it cute?

Homemade Red Curry Paste

The husband thinks I’m insane, but I love saving jars and re-purposing them. We always have a huge pile of them on top of the fridge, which drives him nuts because they are usually very precariously stacked.

When I make curries, I typically use about 2 tablespoons of curry paste per can of unsweetened coconut milk, so I divided the remaining curry paste into two-tablespoon-portions and froze it in an ice cube try. I then popped them out and put them in a freezer-safe zipper-close bag and keep them in my freezer.

Homemade Red Curry Paste

You can add the frozen curry paste directly to a warm pan to thaw it before using it to cook.

Use your homemade curry paste to make Crispy Tilapia in Curry Sauce, Beef Curry with Butternut Squash, or Rustic Thai Beef Soup!

Here’s the Recipe!

Homemade Red Curry Paste

Easy Homemade Red Curry Paste Recipe

This Delicious and Easy Homemade Red Curry Paste recipe is completed in only 15 minutes and can be used in a variety of dishes.
4.4 from 140 votes
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Course: Condiments & Sauces
Cuisine: Asian
Prep Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 15 mins
Servings: 12 ounces
Calories: 10kcal
Author: The Wanderlust Kitchen, adapted from Quick and Easy Thai
Print Recipe


  • 3 large dried red New Mexico Chili peppers
  • 10 small dried chiles de arbol
  • 1/2 c. coarsely chopped shallots
  • 1/4 c. coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 Tbsp. coarsely chopped fresh ginger or galanga root
  • 1 Tbsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  • Remove the stems and seeds from the dried chilies. Use your hands to tear the chilies into small pieces, then soak in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
  • Meanwhile, place your shallots, garlic, ginger or galanga root, coriander, cumin, pepper, and salt into the bowl of a food processor or blender.
  • Once the chilies have finished soaking, drain the water off and add them to the food processor.
  • Use the processor to grind the ingredients into a paste. You may need to scrape the sides of the bowl down as you go.
  • Store in a glass container for up to 1 month in the fridge, or freeze for up to 1 year.


The shallots and garlic should express enough liquid to bind the ingredients into a paste. If your ingredients are too dry, just add a little bit of oil.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Homemade Red Curry Paste Recipe
Serving Size
1 serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Did you make this recipe?Take a picture and tag @thewanderlustkitchen on Instagram or tag #thewanderlustkitchen! We can't wait to see your version!

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About the Author


Hi, I'm Anetta! Welcome to The Wanderlust Kitchen, where I share recipes and travel stories from all around the world. Here you'll find a world of recipes you can have confidence in. These recipes celebrate authentic food heritage as well as modern techniques and ingredients. I believe that food brings us together as much as it sets us apart. Be brave, try something new!

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  1. I used my old coffee grinder to make the paste since the blender was a disaster. Had to shake it into the grinder but it worked like a charm. I use that grinder for spices.

  2. I have every ingredient in your recipe but they are all in a bottle labeled “ground”…… so I try to pretend I am on a desert island or maybe World War II rationing and have to figure out how to make this fabulous paste using nothing but ground spices……..this is your challenge of the day….. do with it if you can …….toss it if you.

  3. Hi, thanks for the recipe, just wondering what “c” meant for quantity in shallots, garlic etc. Many thanks Karen

  4. What would you use this on or with? Preferably vegan.

    I’ve been given some Red & Green Thai Curry Sauce & Pastes, but I’m not sure what to do with them?

  5. VERY GOOD! Like Margaret, mine was dry. I added 2 tablespoons of brewed coffee. I thought, why not, my chili soup recipe calls for coffee. I tinker with recipes based on whats on hand so for this I used de Arbol, New Mexico Hatch, Ancho and Thai chilies. I cut back the spices and replaced the difference with my own hot Indian spice blend. The result was so much better, and cheaper, than pastes in grocery stores. My parting advice – wear gloves and breathe carefully. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. Hi, I made this recipe last week and sorry to say, but it was an absolute disaster. Firstly, how can you just put a bunch of dry ingredients into a food processor and turn that into a paste? There isn’t any “binding” ingredient. “Paste” would be like a thick, liquid. What I got was a bunch of dry ingredients chopped up into tiny pieces. They definitely did not form a paste.

    1. Hi, Lila! The shallots and garlic should express enough liquid to bind the ingredients into a paste. If your ingredients are too dry, just add a little bit of oil.

  7. Twelve what? What is the quantity in cups or ounces?
    Is it twelve jars, if so, what size jars. Or is it twelve servings for making a curry dish?

    I want to make and jar it for friends for holiday gifts and I need to know how much a batch makes.

    1. Hi, Margaret! My apologies, I recently switched to a new application for displaying my recipes and some of my older posts got a little messed up. The recipe makes 12 ounces.

  8. Ditto to what Rory said! We realized we didn’t have enough store bought curry paste last Saturday night and had to improvise. We found your recipe and miraculously had all of the ingredients only we subbed dried chipotles for the Mexican chili peppers. How wonderful and fresh tasting our shrimp and vegetables with red curry was! Thank you for keeping it simple. I snagged some of your other recipes so we can use up the rest of the paste!

  9. I was appalled by the fact that the only comment on this was in reference to your non-conformist method of preparation.

    It seems more to me like you’re brilliantly efficient. Your idea to freeze curry cubes is now mine, thanks.

    P.S. bangin’ simple recipe.

  10. It seems like the ingredients are incomplete.

    What happened to shrimp paste, Kafir lime zest, Shallots, cilantro stem/roots?. These are essential ingredients in Thai curry paste. Coriander seeds or powder is not quite the substitute for coriander stems (cilantro).

    1. Hi, Cecil! I love using lots of Thai ingredients, but for this recipe I wanted to keep it simple and approachable for those who may not keep shrimp paste, kaffir limes, etc. in their home pantry. Feel free to add your own touches to the recipe!

      1. Not everyone lives somewhere that those ingredients are available. I haven’t tried this recipe yet, but I am appreciative that there is a recipe that at least simulates red curry as an ingredient that I can use.

      2. I love that it DOESN’T contain shrimp paste, since I, my family, and many of my friends are vegetarian/vegan, or don’t eat shellfish. It can be difficult finding paste in the store that does not contain shrimp. So, I am very grateful. Thank you! Can’t wait to try this (though I will say that I tend to “roam” a bit when reading recipes so it may not come out the same every time–ha ha).