Thai Yellow Curry Paste

This recipe makes enough paste for four batches of yellow curry. Can be frozen and used later.

Inspired by Pinch of Yum.

Thai Yellow Curry Paste

Cook Time 1 hr 20 mins
Total Time 1 hr 50 mins
Servings 1 (each preparation make 2 cups)


Ingredients by volume:

  • 4 shallot
  • 3 heads garlic
  • 5 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 inch fresh ginger root
  • 5 dried Thai chili pepper (or as many as 20 for a very spicy curry paste)
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • 3 tbsp tumeric
  • 3 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • 3 tbsp lemongrass paste (or 2 tbsp lemongrass powder rehydrated with 1 tbsp water)

Ingredients by weight:

  • 280 g shallot
  • 225 g garlic (full heads)
  • 67 g olive oil
  • 100 g fresh ginger root
  • 2.1 g dried Thai chili pepper (or as mush as 8g for a very spicy curry paste)
  • 80 g fresh cilantro
  • 27 g salt
  • 18 g tumeric
  • 19 g curry powder
  • 9 g ground coriander
  • 28 g lemongrass paste


  • Preheat the oven to 350º F (175º C).
  • Peel the shallots. Pull off the outer layers of garlic skin and cut the pointy tops off the heads so the cloves are partially exposed. Put the shallots and garlic together in a large aluminum foil packet, drizzle liberally with approximately 3 tablespoons olive oil, then close the aluminum foil packet.
  • Peel the ginger and cut into thin slices. Arrange in a flat layer in an aluminum foil packet, drizzle liberally with approximately 2 tablespoons olive oil, and close the aluminum foil packet.
  • Place both foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then remove the ginger and increase the temperature to 400º F (205º C). Roast the shallots and garlic for another 30 minutes.
  • While the aromatics are roasting, pour boiling water over the chili peppers to rehydrate them. Let them soak for 15 minutes, then drain the water.
  • Roughly destem the cilantro - I usually pick through it quickly to remove any gross bits, then use a chef's knife to separate the top 1-2 inches of the bunch from the stems.
  • Put the cilantro, salt, tumeric, curry powder, ground coriander, lemongrass paste, rehydrated chili peppers, ginger, and shallots in a food processor. Add the garlic cloves by squeezing them individually at the bottom to push them out of the skin.
  • Run the food processor until the paste is fully mixed and the pepper pieces aren't getting any smaller.