Green curry paste

Green curry paste

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(2 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 5 mins

Skill level

Moderately easy


Makes 750g/1lb 10oz

John Torode shares his secret to making a fragrant Thai curry - use this strong and aromatic homemade paste as a base

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving (30g)



  • 50g coriander seeds
  • 25g cumin seeds
  • 1 whole blade mace
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 9 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 9 shallots, chopped
  • about 15 coriander roots, chopped, plus a handful of coriander leaves
  • 19 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 250g galangal, chopped
  • 5 lemongrass stalks, outer leaves removed, inner stalk chopped
  • 5 lime leaves, stalks removed and leaves chopped
  • 100g shrimp paste
  • handful basil leaves

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  1. Heat a dry frying pan and add the coriander and cumin seeds, mace and nutmeg. Roast until they begin to colour and release their aromas. Remove from the heat, then grind to a powder in a spice mill or blender.
  2. Put the garlic in a blender or pound using a pestle and mortar, then add the shallots, coriander roots, chillies, galangal, lemongrass and 2 tsp salt. Finally, add the lime leaves, shrimp paste, basil and the ground spices, then whizz or pound until you have a smooth paste.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2012

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wokgirl's picture

John Torode really knows his Thai ? I don't think so. His tip in freezing the paste is so wrong. You never freeze a Thai paste. I'm Thai born and have worked in some pretty good Thai kitchens and it's simply not done. But don't just take my word for it, the acknowledged master of Thai food is David Thompson, chef at Nahm in Bangkok, voted best Thai restarant in Asia as well as formerly running the Michelin rated Nahm in London. "Don't freeze a Thai curry paste as when thawed the shallots and garlic will become bitter and the paste insipid as it weeps" Thai Food by David Thompson. As for other comments, by my calculations the galangal makes up half the recipe and you left it out ? For any others attempting this recipe note that it should be kaffir lime leaves not simply lime leaves, very different.

Miffy and Di's picture
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Torode is a class act and know his Thai - This really is the top Thai paste recipe and dead on even with missing ingredients! Left out the Galangal and Mace as we didn't have them and replaced lime leaves with zest of 2 limes and the juice from them. If no shrimp paste available use Thai fish sauce - about 2 tablespoons for this mix. We also left out the basil and all good. This recipe has much more depth than some of the paste recipes on the net. Definitely one to remember.

BarnesCook's picture

So green curry paste has no curry in it?

kathleenanderson's picture

Plus chillies - what were you expecting, curry powder??!

curryfreak's picture

cumin and coriander are 2 main curry ingredients - so yes - it has :-)