Thai curries, much like curries around the world are usually made with some form of paste. These pastes can be made yourself or they can be purchased from any supermarket and most local markets. The term “curry” on its own is a very generic term but most people will appreciate that it refers to food of an Asian origin that contain spices such as chilli, cumin and turmeric. Here Thailand, curries prepared in the North often use large amount of lime juice whilst those originating in the south use coconut milk.
Almost every Thai curry will include chilli and garlic with ginger or galangal also used. These curries will have been heavily influenced by neighbouring and nearby countries over the years such as Laos, China and Malaysia. Most have very different flavours and strengths even though lots of the ingredients are the same. Below are some of the most well-known curries available in Thailand.
It may come as a surprise but Green Curry is often regarded as the spiciest of the curries. Originating from Central Thailand, this is a sweet curry that also uses coconut milk and also large quantities of lime juice. In the curry, you will find green chillies and eggplant along with Kaffir lime leaves, holy basil galangal and garlic. This is a hugely popular curry and available in most Thai restaurants.
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Again this is another spicy dish that originates from Central Thailand. The colour comes from crushed red chillies, garlic, galangal and lemongrass. In some instances, this is mixed with coconut milk and it is served with a variety of meats, vegetables and sometimes tofu to suit your taste. This is available in all Thai restaurants and the paste, if you don’t make your own, can be easily purchasde in supermarkets or local markets.
Yellow curries vary depending on the region of Thailand that you are in or the person cooking the food comes from. In almost all instances, it is a milder, richer curry that will contain copious amount of coconut milk, turmeric, cumin and lime juice. It is usually served with different meats or seafood along with the usual assortment of vegetables. A far hotter version of this curry is known as Elephant Curry and is certainly not for the faint-hearted!
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This is essentially an Indian curry that is most frequently consumed in Central and Southern Thailand. The paste consists of red chillies, galangal and garlic amongst other items. It is usually made with pork and will also contain potatoes and topped off with peanuts. This is a relatively mild curry that is popular with Thais and expats alike.
This curry originates from Laos and is popular in Central and Northern regions. Again, this is a mild curry that has more subtle flavours. It uses dried chilli, lemongrass and coconut milk amongst other ingredients to form the paste and is often topped with peanuts. This is something that you will now find on offer in many Thai restaurants across the country.