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Easy Thai Red Curry Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (7 Reviews)


Thai Red Curry
Joff Lee/Photolibrary/Getty Images
This Thai Red Curry Recipe is fragrant and sumptuous, and can be made anywhere from mild to red-hot, depending on your taste. It starts with a homemade Thai red curry paste which is easily put together with your food processor or blender. Add coconut milk, chicken, and some vegetables, and you have a healthy and hearty curry dish that will awaken your senses and boost your mood. Note that although this dish would traditionally have been simmered over a fire or stovetop, I've adapted it to be cooked in the oven, allowing you to get on with your day. Feel free to use the traditional method if you prefer. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: SERVES 3-4 as a Main Entree


  • 1/2 medium whole chicken, cut into parts, or equivalent of breast or thigh
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced into small chunks
  • Optional: 1-2 cups chopped eggplant, skin left on
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, OR substitute bay leaves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (OR add 1/4 tsp. cinnamon to the sauce)
  • handful fresh basil and coriander/cilantro
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2-3 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass, OR bottled/frozen prepared lemongrass
  • 1 shallots OR 1/4 cup purple onion, sliced
  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal OR ginger, grated
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 1-2 fresh red chilies, sliced, OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato ketchup or cooked tomato puree
  • 2 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1+1/2 to 2 Tbsp. chili powder, depending on how spicy you want it (North American chili powder from the supermarket)
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar, + more to taste
  • 1 tsp.shrimp paste
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Then place chicken pieces in a fairly large casserole dish.
  2. Place all curry sauce ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process well. Pour the curry sauce over the chicken. Add the chopped eggplant (if using), plus kaffir lime leaves/bay leaf and cinnamon stick, mixing everything into the sauce. Cover and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Note: if you prefer more sauce, add 1/4 to 1/3 cup good-tasting chicken stock. (If you prefer to cook this curry on your stovetop, see instructions below*.)
  3. Remove dish from oven. Add the bell pepper and tomato, stirring them into the sauce. Return curry to the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until both chicken and vegetables are well cooked.
  4. Do a taste test, looking for a balance of flavors. If not salty or flavorful enough, add up to 1 Tbsp. more fish sauce. If too salty, add more fresh lime juice. If too sour, add a little more brown sugar. If too spicy, add more coconut milk. If not spicy enough, add a few fresh-cut chilies or dried crushed chili/cayenne pepper.
  5. Ladle the curry into a large serving bowl. Sprinkle generously with fresh basil and coriander (cilantro), and serve with plenty of Thai jasmine rice. ENJOY!

*Stovetop method: To cook this curry on your stovetop, simply combine sauce and chicken pieces (plus lime leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seed) in a wok, deep frying pan, or large pot. Bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the vegetables and continue simmering another 15 minutes, or until both vegetables and chicken are cooked. Follow recipe above for finishing the dish.

More Thai Red Curries to Try! -

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Weekly Staple, Member chutki0611

I love this recipe and it is SO simple. I've adjust it slightly due to personal preferences. I usually go light (if at all ) on the fish sauce and shrimp paste and I leave out the brown sugar completely. For my family, it is already sweet enough with the coconut milk, bell pepper and tomato. I also add 3/4 of a white onion to the blender preparation and then slice the rest and put it in the dish with the chicken to cook. This is so easy and tastes wonderful.

4 out of 4 people found this helpful.

See all 7 reviews

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