Yellow curry came to Thailand from Southern India. The Indian word Kari means curry. Hence Thai people call the yellow carry " Gang Ka-ri".
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.
Dry roast the following in a frying pan until fragrant : shallots, garlic, ginger, galangal, coriander seeds, caraway seeds.
Remove paper skins from garlic and shallots
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
Curry paste keeps for 3-4 months in sterilised jar in the fridge.