Thai Green Curry is an aromatic coconut milk based spicy curry with assorted vegetables, lemongrass and select aromatic herbs.
This version of Thai green curry recipe is completely vegetarian and is cooked using homemade green curry paste. You can also purchase readymade Thai Green Curry Paste from the market for making this curry.
Thai cooking has a lot of unique ingredients that are not commonly used in Indian cooking and may not be readily available in all grocery stores. However, with the exception of a few, almost all ingredients can be easily substituted with common ones. I have given an explanation of all the ingredients as well as suitable substitutes in the recipe below.
Spices for Green Curry
The curry tastes best when the paste is made with fresh ingredients. To get the authentic flavors for the curry it is also best to use the original Thai ingredients as far as possible.
- Lemongrass – has a strong minty lemon flavor, hard to substitute but lime zest can come close to the flavor
- Thai Chillies – these are spicier than average green chillies
- Kefir Lime Leaves – these have a sharp citrusy flavor, substitute with lime zest or lemon juice
- Galangal – similar to ginger with a more peppery & citrusy flavor
- Shallots – a cross between garlic & onion, substitute with a mix of both
- Thai Basil – these have a sweeter flavor than Italian basil, substitute with mint & Italian basil
- Tamari – although the authentic ingredient would be shrimp paste, for the vegetarian version tamari comes close to replicating the earthly flavors, can also use soy sauce
- Coriander & Cumin Seeds – best to use freshly roasted & ground seeds, can use readymade powders as well
- Raw Sugar – use brown sugar, palm sugar, coconut sugar or plain white sugar
A liberal use of variety of herbs and spices lend a unique aroma to this curry. In fact even the order in which in the spices are added to the curry is also important. The spices with less delicate flavors like lemongrass and coriander powder are added first to the curry paste while the more delicate and aromatic herbs like Thai basil are added towards the end of cooking so as to lend a long lasting aroma to the curry.
Protein & Vegetables for Green Curry
Thai curry is a quite nutritious dish because of the addition of various vegetables. I generally like to go for colorful vegetables with a slight crunch, but you can add around 3-4 cups of any vegetables of your choice.
- Colored bell peppers
- Baby Corn
- Snow Peas
I have also added Tofu for the vegetarian Thai green curry. I pan fried it slightly before adding, but you can add raw Tofu as well.
Thai green curry recipe is quite delicious & easy to cook and tastes best with jasmine rice, lemon rice or steamed rice. It can also be served with Roti or Naan
To make Vegetarian Thai Green Curry at home follow the detailed step by step recipe with photos posted below.
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Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe
Ingredients For Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe
For the green curry paste
- 1 Shallot
- 2 Thai Green Chillies
- 1/2 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- 1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves
- 2 Stalks Lemongrass
- 3 Cloves of Garlic
- ~1 Inch piece of Galangal or Ginger
- 3-4 Kefir Lime leaves or 1 Teaspoon Lime Zest
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds (Dhania)
- 8-10 Black Peppercorns
- 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
Step By Step Instructions for Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe
Preparing the green curry paste
- Coarsely chop a shallot into small pieces and add it to a blender. Shallots have a mild flavor that is somewhere in between onions and garlic, but if you don’t have shallots you can use half an onion instead.1 Shallot
- Also add finely chopped thai green chillies. These can be substituted with any other green chilli as well.2 Thai Green Chillies
- Wash the thai basil leaves, remove the leaves from the stems and add to the blender. Thai basil has a sweeter taste than Italian basil, but if you can’t find thai basil (brown stems) then you can use mint & Italian basil instead.1/2 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- Also add coarsely chop coriander leaves. You can remove the thick part of the stem.1/2 Cup Coriander Leaves
- Next step is to prepare the lemongrass. Trim off the top portion of the lemongrass stalk that has the roots. Then peel off the outer 2-3 layers till you reach the soft fleshy part inside. Remove the leaves part and chop the firm white portion (top 3Ams -4 inches) into small pieces to add to the blender.2 Stalks Lemongrass
- Add garlic cloves, ginger and lime zest. Also add a little bit of lime juice. The traditional ingredient added to the curry is Galangal which is similar to Ginger, but slightly stronger in taste. I have used ginger since I couldn't find galangal. I have also substituted kefir lime leaves with lime zest, which is very similar in flavor.3 Cloves of Garlic, ~1 Inch piece of Galangal or Ginger, 3-4 Kefir Lime leaves or 1 Teaspoon Lime Zest, 1 Tablespoon Fresh Lime Juice
- Dry roast cumin seeds and coriander seeds on low-medium heat till they start to brown and give an aroma.1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds (Jeera), 1 Teaspoon Coriander Seeds (Dhania)
- Let them cool down slightly and then grind them to a coarse powder.
- Add all the ingredients in a blender along with peppercorns & salt and grind them to a smooth paste. If needed, you can add a tablespoon of water.8-10 Black Peppercorns, 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
- Green curry paste is ready. You can use it to make the curry, or store in the refrigerator for later use.
Preparing the curry
- To start preparing the curry, slice up firm pressed tofu into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and add the tofu in it.1/2 Cup Soy Tofu or Bean Curd
- Shallow fry the tofu turning the pieces at regular intervals till the tofu is cooked and all sides are golden brown in color. Set the cooked tofu aside.
- Add some more oil to the pan and the add chopped vegetables. I have used carrots, broccoli and colored bell peppers. Fry the vegetables on high heat for the 3-4 minutes till they are slightly tender.1 Cup Broccoli Florets, 1 Carrot, 1 Cup Colored Bell Pepper
- Add the green curry paste to the pan and cook it along with the vegetables for a couple of minutes.
- Then add the coconut milk to the pan and mix it with the curry.2 Cups Coconut Milk
- Add tamari, soy sauce, brown sugar and salt. Stir the mixture occasionally and cook it till it comes to a boil. You can add some water to adjust the consistency of the curry.1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar, 2 Teaspoons Tamari, 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce, 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
- Add the cooked tofu pieces to the curry.
- Also add some chopped thai basil leaves and mix well.1/2 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
- Thai green curry is ready. Serve it hot with rice or roti.
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