Thai yellow curry with all the vegetables I could get my hands on 🙂 Calling all curry lovers! Here is the ultimate thai curry with that robust yellow curry paste and chunks of vegetables.
I have made it vegan with only vegetables but you can by all means add whatever you fancy and make it your own. Totally yummy with steamed jasmine rice and a salad.
This yellow curry bowl is what curry dreams are made of. Vegan creamy Thai yellow curry is loaded with vegetables like eggplants, carrot, beans, potatoes and bell peppers.
What’s more this curry is made of homemade robust and flavorful yellow curry paste, not loaded with oil and has that mellow taste and flavor of coconut milk.
If you do not know by now, I am a big fan of Thai curries. Among the delicious panang, masaman, red, green, yellow curries I am always spoiled for choice.
Every week along with the other meal prep, I also make a jar of thai curry paste so that we could enjoy a Thai curry for a meal or two.
This week I made this super flavorful, robust and delicious yellow curry paste with all the goodness of fresh turmeric.
However if making yellow curry paste is too ambitious for you or if you do not have all the ingredients handy you can use store bought paste. Finding yellow curry paste may not be easier as finding green or red ones though.
Once the curry paste ready, it is a real breeze to make thai yellow curry. You gotta just saute the vegetables in curry paste, cook them for a while and simmer with coconut milk. As easy as that.
This Thai Yellow Curry Is
Flavorful, vibrant & delicious
Moreish and satiating
vegan & gluten free
loaded with vegetables
wonderful Thai jasmine rice
Comforting & ready in 30 minutes.
So here are some pointers, ingredients breakdown and tips before we go into the recipe.
What Is Yellow Curry?
Yellow curry or kaeng kari as it is called in Thai is one of the popular Thai curry with significant Indian influence. This curry largely uses spices and other ingredients from Indian cuisine.
Yellow curry paste is mildly spicy with a sweet note. This curry is very mildly spiced compared to robust red curry, nevertheless very tasty and flavorful.
The base of this yellow curry is turmeric. You can use fresh turmeric roots or powdered turmeric. I have used fresh turmeric here.
Turmeric is an ancient Indian spice with immense health benefits and it is used to give that vibrant yellow color for this curry.
With few other spices, this paste is super flavorful, mildly spicy and delicious!
What Goes In Yellow Curry Paste?
The ingredients for this paste are a mix of delicious herbs and spices. If you are planning to make this curry paste at home you will need
- good 3-4 inch turmeric roots or 3-4 tablespoons ground turmeric
- 2 inch galangal or young ginger root.
- 6 small shallots or 1 small onion.
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- Dried Thai chili peppers or you can even use Kashmiri red chilies for milder taste
- 1-2 stalks of lemon grass, chopped or use dried lemon grass.
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1/2 cup coriander stems or leaves.
- Lime zest or lime juice
Place all the ingredients in a high powered blender an blend to a smooth paste. You can add 2-3 tablespoons water to get the blender going.
Store curry paste in airtight containers, they keep well for a week in refrigerator.
Yes, some of the ingredients may be difficult to source, use the alternate ingredients I have mentioned or you can use the ready made paste.
If yellow curry paste is not available just use red curry paste an add ground turmeric while making the curry.
Yellow Curry Vegetables
You can add your preferred vegetables. I have used
- tiny eggplants, halved
- carrot- peeled an cut into cubes or batons
- beans- remove strings, chop into long slices
- corn on cob, cut or fresh or frozen corn kernels
- potato- cubed, peeled or unpeeled
- bell peppers- sliced into thin batons
Few more options are
- broccoli- cleaned, cut into bit size florets
- cauliflower- cleaned or blanched, cut into bite size florets
- baby corn- whole if tender or chopped. If you are using canned baby corns, drain thoroughly.
- bamboo shoots- cut
- tofu- use pressed and extra firm tofu.
- mushrooms etc.
The other ingredients required to make thai yellow curry are the usual suspects of thai curry. You will need
onions– You can use red onion for that sharp curry flavor as I did. If you prefer milder flavor use white or yellow onions. You can also use shallots but I feel the flavor is overpowering as it is also there in curry paste.
Ginger garlic- Though we have ginger garlic in curry paste, adding them freshly minced while making the curry recipe really elevates the flavor and taste.
I always prefer to use freshly minced ginger and garlic in curry recipes. If you prefer store bought paste you can use it too.
Coconut milk– Use thick coconut milk for that best creamy thai curry with wonderful flavor. The light coconut milk thins down the curry too much. I use homemade coconut milk for this curry recipe.
If you are using store bought coconut milk make sure it is unsweetened and thick.
Peanut oil or sesame oil- For that authentic Asian flavor in your curry recipe, use peanut oil or sesame oil. Other options are you can use coconut oil or vegetable oil. I would not suggest olive oil for this recipe.
Brown sugar- A dash of brown sugar deepens the flavor, brings out the natural sweetness of the curry and rounds off the flavor. If brown sugar is unavailable just skip it, white sugar is not that good in this curry recipe. You can a dash f maple too.
Sauces– If you like you can add a dash if vegetarian fish sauce or soy sauce here. I have not added any sauce in this recipe.
Is This Curry Healthy?
Compared to fat or cream laden curries, this thai yellow curry recipe is much healthier and a lighter fare too.
All the ingredients used in curry paste are ancient herbs and spices with health benefits. Moreover this particular curry recipe is loaded with vegetables and no salt high sauces are used.
What is the difference Between Thai yellow Curry & Red Curry?
The only difference between this yellow and red curry is use of turmeric. Some recipes also finish the curry with a splash if lime juice but I prefer to use lemon zest curry paste for a more infused flavor.
So if you are unable to make or find yellow curry paste in stores, you can easily use red curry paste mixed with ground turmeric. You will have to reduce the quantity of curry paste if you are using red one. See notes.
Recipe Notes & Tips
Vegetables- For this recipe you can either steam the vegetables before hand or cook in the curry itself. I have made this Thai yellow curry in instant pot so I just pressure cooked everything for 4 minutes, added bell pepper later and cooked in saute for 2 minutes.
You can add the vegetables and simmer the curry for 10-12 minutes on stove top or add steamed vegetables and simmer the curry for 5-6 minutes.
Sauteing the curry- The curry paste is a raw one and it needs to be sauteed really well in oil to bring out the flavor as well as make it miler. I like to coat the vegetables with curry paste and saute everything together well. This will infuse the flavor of curry paste into the vegetables.
Curry paste– you can make the curry paste well ahead an refrigerate. If you are using store bought paste make sure it is vegan without fish sauce or shrimp paste.
If you are using thai red curry paste, you will have to use only 3-4 tablespoons instead of the 5 tablespoons mentioned in the recipe, red paste is spicier. Along with red paste add 1 tablespoon ground turmeric.
Once you have the curry paste ready, the cook time for this curry is less than 30 minutes.
Coconut milk- Thick coconut milk works well for this recipe. To get that restaurant style texture and finish, use thick coconut milk.
You can easily extract milk from desiccated unsweetened coconut flakes. Just soak 2 cups desicciated coconut flakes in 3/4 cup warm water for 15 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend smooth. Pass through a sieve and use in recipe.
Best served over a bed of steamed Thai jasmine rice or cooked rice noodles.
Step By Step Method
Combine peeled turmeric root, coriander seeds, cilantro stems, cumin seeds, peeled galangal, lime zest, garlic, shallots, chili peppers or dried red chilies and chopped lemon grass stalks in a blender jar. Blend to a smooth paste.
This will yield around 6 tablespoons paste. I added around 5 tablespoons for this recipe.
To Make Thai Yellow Curry
Heat a heavy high rimmed pan over medium heat. I used instant pot for making this curry. Once the pan is hot, add peanut oil.
Add minced ginger garlic, cubed onions and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Now add all the chopped vegetables expect bell peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, keep sauteing to coat the oil in vegetables.
Now add the prepared curry paste.
Mix and coat the curry paste in vegetables well. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt to taste. At this stage I cooked the curry for 4 minutes in pressure cook mode. You can pressure cook or cover the pan an simmer for 10-12 minutes.
Once done, open the pan and mix gently.
Add coconut milk and sliced bell peppers.
Mix well and simmer for 2 minutes.
Add chopped thai basil and mix well.
Serve hot over rice or noodles.
I hope you will try this thai yellow curry recipe and enjoy as much as we did.
Thai Yellow Curry (Vegan)
For yellow curry paste
- 3 inch tumeric root peeled
- 2 inch galangal or tender ginger peeled
- 1/2 cup cilantro stems
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon lime zest
- 4 large garlic cloves
- 5 shallots peeled
- 8 dried thai chili peppers or kashmiri red chilies
- 2 lemon grass stalks chopped
For the curry
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil or sesame oil
- 1/2 cup cubed onions
- 2 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 inch ginger peeled and chopped
- 3 cups mixed vegetables carrots, beans, corn on cob, eggplants, potatoes
- salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1.75 cups thick coconut milk
- 3/4 cup thinly sliced bell peppers
- few thai basil leaves
- Combine peeled turmeric root, coriander seeds, cilantro stems, cumin seeds, peeled galangal, lime zest, garlic, shallots, chili peppers or dried red chilies and chopped lemon grass stalks in a blender jar. Blend to a smooth paste.
- This will yield around 6 tablespoons paste. I added around 5 tablespoons for this recipe.
To Make Thai Yellow Curry
- Heat a heavy high rimmed pan over medium heat. I used instant pot for making this curry. Once the pan is hot, add peanut oil.
- Add minced ginger garlic, cubed onions and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Now add all the chopped vegetables expect bell peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes over medium heat, keep sauteing to coat the oil in vegetables.
- Now add the prepared curry paste.
- Mix and coat the curry paste in vegetables well. Saute for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add 1 cup water, brown sugar and salt to taste. At this stage I cooked the curry for 4 minutes in pressure cook mode. You can pressure cook or cover the pan an simmer for 10-12 minutes.
- Once done, open the pan and mix gently.
- Add coconut milk and sliced bell peppers.
- Mix well and simmer for 2 minutes.
- Add chopped thai basil and mix well
- Serve hot over rice or noodles.