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In this Thai green curry recipe you’ll learn exactly how to make authentic Thai green curry.

We’ll start from scratch by pounding Thai green curry paste, chopping up a whole chicken, and finally combining it with coconut cream, for Thai green curry that’s loaded with flavour.

Follow this recipe if you’re ready to make authentic Thai green curry!
If you have a few minutes, first press play to watch the entire video of this recipe to see all the steps and techniques of making Thai green curry.

THAI GREEN CURRY RECIPE INGREDIENTS
Let’s quickly begin by going over the ingredients you’ll need to make Thai green curry.
• 1 whole chicken – 1.4 kg. in total weight (ไก่บ้าน) – I think a free range chicken gives you the best Thai green curry taste
• 2 cups of water to first boil the chicken
• green curry paste (เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน) – all of the green curry paste below
• 2 – 3 cups of coconut cream (หัวกะทิ)
• 6 – 10 Thai eggplant (มะเขือเปราะ)
• 6 – 10 stems of Thai sweet basil (โหระพา)
• 2 red spur chilies (พริกชี้ฟ้าแดง)
• 20 kaffir lime leaves (ใบมะกรูด)
• 1/2 tsp. salt (เกลือ) – or salt to taste when you’re cooking your curry
For the green curry paste (เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน)
• 150 grams Thai green chilies (พริกขี้หนูเขียว)
• 1 head garlic (กระเทียม)
• 3 shallots – small shallots about 2 tbsp in total (หอมแดง)
• 1 thumb sized chunk of galangal (ข่า)
• 5 cilantro roots (รากผักชี) coriander
• 1 kaffir lime – just the peel (ผิวมะกรูด)
• 2 stalks lemongrass (ตะไคร้)
• 1 tbsp. white pepper corns (พริกไทยขาว)
• 1 tsp. coriander seed (ลูกผักชี)
• 1 tsp. cumin seed (ยี่หร่า)
• 1 tsp. salt (เกลือ)
• 1 tbsp. shrimp paste (กะปิ)
To make Thai green curry, there are three main steps:
1. Pound the curry paste
2. Prepare the chicken
3. Cook the curry paste with the chicken and coconut cream
Note: At this point if you want to immediately get cooking and straight to the recipe, you can scroll below to the recipe box for direct instructions. However, you can keep reading below to get more in-depth cooking instructions, photos, and a more thorough explanation about Thai green curry.

Why is Thai green curry green?
There’s a common misconception that Thai green curry is green in colour from all the Thai basil used in the recipe.

While there is often Thai sweet basil tossed into the curry, the real green colour of the curry comes from Thai green chilies that are the main ingredient of the Thai green curry paste used to make the curry. So the greenness comes from green chilies.

The green chillies are bird’s eye chilies, but only the green ones are used for this recipe.

One more thing I’d like to point out is that in Thai, green curry is known as gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน), which directly translates to curry green sweet, so this is typically known throughout Thailand as a sweeter tasting curry, rather than a spicy curry like for example southern Thai yellow curry.

Some recipes add extra sugar to make green curry sweeter, but other traditional Thai green curry recipes just rely on the coconut cream to provide the sweetness — I prefer the latter without adding extra sugar.

A FEW OF THE INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
1. Thai green curry paste
Like with many Thai recipes, especially curries, the paste is the most important flavouring of the entire dish.
The curry paste is a mixture of ingredients that are pounded together until all the oils are released and the ingredients are fully pureed into a paste in texture.

PEEL THE GARLIC AND SHALLOTS
The first step in this Thai green curry paste recipe is to prepare all the ingredients to pound.
Peel the garlic and shallots, and slice the galangal and cilantro roots into small pieces.

For the kaffir lime, we’ll only be using the fragrant peel, so slice it off thinly, only the peel, leaving the fruit behind. For the lemongrass, slice off the top half and discard (it doesn’t have any flavour), and finely slice the bottoms of the stalks to make them easier to pound.

For the cumin and coriander seeds, to bring out their fragrance, dry fry them in a hot skillet for about 30 seconds and then set them in a bowl aside. They will smell amazing and dry frying them will enhance them.

POUNDING ALL THE INGREDIENTS IS THE HARDEST PART OF MAKING GREEN CURRY
To pound Thai green curry paste, you’ll need a good stone mortar and pestle, and you can toss in the ingredients however you like, just making sure all the ingredients are added, and that they are all pounded together.
The only ingredient in this Thai green curry paste to leave out until the end of the pounding is the shrimp paste, which you’ll add at the very end.

KEEP ON POUNDING AND POUNDING!
This is by far the most time consuming part of this recipe — it took me about 1.5 hours to pound this green curry paste — but I can assure you the end result will be worth every minute of pounding and every drop of sweat.

NOTE: You could use a food processor to make Thai green curry paste much faster, and that would work well and would still be better than buying canned green curry paste. However, when using a blender or food processor you won’t be able to extract all the flavour oils from the ingredients unless you pound them by hand slowly. But I do understand if you don’t have the time to pound.

ADD SHRIMP PASTE AT THE END OF POUNDING
When your Thai green curry paste is just about completely done, the final step is to add the shrimp paste, and give the paste a final pound and stir to make sure the shrimp paste is evenly distributed.

THAI GREEN CURRY PASTE (เครื่องแกงเขียวหวาน)
After about 1.5 hours or so you’ll have your Thai green curry paste made from scratch.

It probably won’t be as fine as store bought curry paste, but that’s alright, you’ll make up for it in flavour. Green curry paste should be nice and green in color, and have an amazing green chili aroma with a hint of cumin.
2. Prepare your chicken
For this Thai green curry recipe, I made it with chicken, which is one of the most common meats to make green curry with in Thailand. However, you could make this green curry recipe with any meat of your choice, or even make it vegetarian and substitute tofu or more vegetables.

I used an entire free range thicken for this recipe, so it was a whole chicken but on the small side. My entire chicken was 1.4 kg.
The Thai way to cut chicken for curries is to chop up the entire chicken into bit sized pieces. You do sometimes get bone shards in your chicken this way, but I think it also adds to the character and flavour profile of green curry chicken.

CHOP UP THE ENTIRE CHICKEN INTO BITE SIZED PIECES
However, you can feel free to chop your chicken however you want — or just make this using normal chicken cuts like drumstick, thighs, breast pieces or chicken tenders etc.

If you are using a whole chicken, make sure you gut and clean it nicely, and then chop it up using a Thai or Chinese cleaver.

BOIL THE CHICKEN IN THE CURRY PASTE UNTIL SOFT
3. Cook your green curry
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients ready, comes the easy part of making this Thai green curry recipe: cooking it.
Thai curries are often very easy to cook, because much of the intensive work is already done when making the paste.
For this recipe, the mother in law first added about 2 cups of water to a pot and added in all the curry paste and the chicken pieces.

TOSS IN THE KAFFIR LIME LEAVES
She mentioned to me that she really wanted to boil the chicken for a few minutes to ensure the chicken was nice and tender before adding the coconut milk.
At this stage you want to also tear up a handful of kaffir lime leaves and add them to the curry just to give it a nice fragrance as you boil.
Boil the chicken in the green curry paste water for about 10 – 15 minutes or so, or until you think the chicken is tender.

THAI EGGPLANT
While the chicken boils, you can prepare the final ingredients.
For the Thai eggplant, cut them in quarters, so they are bite sized. For the red spur chilies, slice them into thin strips.

SLICE THE SPUR CHILIES INTO THIN STRIPS
Finally, for the Thai sweet basil, you can just take a good handful of the leaves off the stem. Set everything aside for later on in the cooking process.

BOIL THE CHICKEN UNTIL IT’S SOFT AND MOST OF THE WATER HAS EVAPORATED
At this point most of the water should have boiled out. And if not, you might want to keep on boiling at a high heat for a few more minutes. You want most of the water to have evaporated so you’re left with mostly the tender boiled chicken, and all that condensed green curry paste.

WE’LL BE USING ONLY COCONUT CREAM FOR THIS RECIPE
The mother in law was pretty insistent on telling me that for her Thai green curry recipe, she was only going to use thick rich coconut cream rather than coconut milk, which in Thai is called hua kati (หัวกะทิ).

She mentioned that using just regular coconut milk would cause the oil to separate from the coconut milk, which wouldn’t be good for green curry.

In Thailand it’s very convenient to go to the local market and buy fresh coconut cream. But if you can’t get fresh coconut cream, I think the best option is Aroy-D coconut cream in a box, instead of the one in the can.
Add a good 2 full cups of coconut cream to your curry to start with. Then stir gently for a few minutes.

ONCE THE CURRY COMES TO A BOIL, ADD IN THE EGGPLANT AND SPUR CHILIS
Once the coconut milk begins to slow boil, you can toss in the eggplant and the sliced red spur chilies (mostly for decoration so there’s some red in the green) and boil for just 2 – 3 minutes.
Just before you turn off the heat, toss in a big handful of fresh Thai sweet basil.

Again, since the pounding already brought out the flavor of the spices and herbs, all you have to do is cook your green curry for about 5 minutes from the time it boils, and you’re ready to eat.

One thing I’d like to also point out again is that some Thai green curry recipes call for sugar. While you can add white sugar or palm sugar to your green curry, for me, I like to rely on the natural sweetness of the coconut cream for the sweetness. But if you like sweeter curry, feel free to add some palm sugar for seasoning.

Additionally, when the mother in law and I made this pot of green curry, we added only about 1/2 tsp. salt because there was also salt and shrimp paste in the green curry paste. But you need to taste test your green curry, and adjust the salt as necessary. Also, the mother in law said for Thai green curry it’s best to use salt instead of fish sauce for saltiness and I agree.

Thai green curry: home-cooked vs. street food
Thai green curry is a type of Thai curry that was never really my favourite to eat in Bangkok.

That’s because when you order green curry (แกงเขียวหวาน gaeng keow wan) on the streets, it can sometimes (not always) be watery, overly sweet, and even bland (there are many exceptions no doubt, but I’m talking in general).
Rightfully so though, in order to reduce the costs of cooking, green curry at street food stalls can be less creamy from coconut cream, and often less curry paste is used in the recipe to reduce costs.

Anyway, so I just wanted to mention that I think the best Thai green curry you can eat, is to make it at home, where you can cook an authentic recipe, and use buttery coconut cream and green curry paste at its full strength.
Then Thai green curry can be a truly superb dish, I and absolutely love it when the mother in law makes it from scratch. Hungry Human

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