Made with red chillies and originating from Central Thailand, this is probably the most widely known Thai curry in Australia. As well as flavouring a traditional coconut curry, red curry paste also forms the base for other dishes, like thot man pla (fish cakes) and sai ua (grilled Chiang Mai sausage). The executive chef of Sydney’s Spice I Am restaurants, Sujet Saenkham, shares his recipe below.




Skill level

Average: 3.6 (6 votes)


  • 30 g dried large red chilli
  • 30 g dried small red chilli
  • 40 g lemongrass, sliced
  • 30 g galangal, sliced
  • 70 g fresh turmeric         
  • 80 g garlic
  • 80 g eschallot, sliced
  • 15 g rind of kaffir lime fruit
  • 15 g black peppercorns
  • 3 tbsp shrimp paste
  • 100 ml water

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 15 minutes

Soak the dried chillies in warm water for 15 minutes. Drain and place in the jug of a blender, along with the remaining ingredients. Process until a smooth paste forms.

If you wish to store the paste, first cook it in a frypan with a small amount of vegetable oil.