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Thai yellow curry paste ( Gang Ka-ri)

Yellow curry came to Thailand from Southern India. The Indian word Kari means curry. Hence Thai people call the yellow carry " Gang Ka-ri".

Thai Yellow Curry paste ingredients
Thai Yellow Curry paste

Turmeric powder, a common Indian spice, gives this curry its vibrant yellow colour. However, Turmeric powder was not commonly available in the kingdom in those days. So an Indian spice mix called " Ground Ka-ri spice Mix*" was made available. This spice mix consists of Fenugreek seeds, Fennel seeds, Coriander seeds, cloves, cardamon and Turmeric Powder. The Ka-Ri spice mix is then added to some basic Thai herbs and spices to make a yellow curry paste. This was probably the first Thai-Indian fusion curry.

The recipe below, I use " Ka-ri spice mix' ( Pong Ga-Ree), which is available in Thai / Asian supermarket. Failing that, grind together the list of spice above and proceed on with the recipe.



  • 3 dry long Chillies soaked in water and deseeded

  • 5 Thai round red shallots unpeeled

  • 10 cloves of garlic

  • 1 tsp of chopped ginger

  • 1 tsp of chopped galangal

  • 1 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds

  • 1 tsp caraway seeds

  • 2 tsp Ka-ri spice mix * see above

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 tsp shrimp paste.


  1. Dry roast the following in a frying pan until fragrant : shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, coriander seeds, caraway seeds.

  2. Remove paper skins from garlic and shallots

  3. In a pestle and mortar, pound together the ingredients in the following order, making sure it is well mixed before adding the next ingredients.

chillies and salt

ginger and galangal


roasted shallots and garlic

coriander seeds and caraway seeds

Ka-ri spice mix* see above

shrimp paste

Curry paste keeps for 3-4 months in sterilised jar in the fridge.

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5 long dry Thai chillies soaked in water 5 Thai red shallots 10 Thai little garlic cloves or 5 normal 1 tsp galangal chopped 1 tbsp lemongrass, thinly sliced 1 tsp kaffir zest, chopped 2 tsp coriander

Ingredients 3 long dry Thai chillies , deseeded and soak in water for 15 minutes 5 Thai red shallots, pan roasted 2 heads of garlic cloves , peeled and pan roasted 1 tsp chopped galangal, pan roasted

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