Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe

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.

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Colored bell peppers
  • Baby Corn
  • Zucchini
  • 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.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Servings: 4

CategoryMain Course

Cuisine: Thai

Total Time:

Prep Time:

Cook Time:

Nutrition (per serving)

Calories244

Fat15g

Carbohydrates: 18g

Protein: 13g

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

For the curry

  • 1 Cup Broccoli Florets
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Cup Colored Bell Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Soy Tofu or Bean Curd
  • 1/2 Cup Thai Basil Leaves
  • 2 Cups Coconut Milk
  • 1 Teaspoon Brown Sugar
  • 2 Teaspoons Tamari
  • 1 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil

Step By Step Instructions With Photos 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 3
  • Also add finely chopped thai green chillies. These can be substituted with any other green chilli as well.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 5
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 7
  • Also add coarsely chop coriander leaves. You can remove the thick part of the stem.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 6
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 4
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 9
  • Dry roast 1 tablespoon each of Cumin Seeds and Coriander Seeds on low-medium heat till they start to brown and give an aroma.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 1
  • Let them cool down slightly and then grind them to a coarse powder.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 2
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 10
  • Green curry paste is ready. You can use it to make the curry, or store in the refrigerator for later use.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 11

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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 12
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 13
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 14
  • Add the green curry paste to the pan and cook it along with the vegetables for a couple of minutes.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 15
  • Then add the coconut milk to the pan and mix it with the curry.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 16
  • 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.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 17
  • Add the cooked tofu pieces to the curry.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 18
  • Also add some chopped thai basil leaves and mix well.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions 19
  • Thai green curry is ready. Serve it hot with rice or roti.

    Vegetarian Thai Green Curry Recipe Step By Step Instructions

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Thai Green Curry is made by cooking various assorted vegetables in a spicy coconut based gravy, flavored with aromatic herbs and spices.

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