This fresh and vibrant Thai Yellow Curry is bursting with flavour and has lots of added vegetables - a much healthier alternative to ordering Thai food, cheaper and ready in just 30 minutes too. Chunks of chicken and crunchy vegetables all mixed into a creamy yellow Thai sauce make for a healthy and comforting curry with just the right amount of heat.
Most of us have heard of Thai red and green curries, but their cousin, the Thai yellow curry, does not get much love. I for one am trying to change that, as in my opinion it is the BEST Thai curry.
It's a little more filling as it usually has potatoes in it and the addition of turmeric just takes it to another level. Yellow curry is a really rich and vibrant curry recipe with all those incredible Thai flavours, and this recipe is restaurant quality.
Why you will love it
- Ready in just 30 minutes
- A different Thai recipe to try
- Easy to adapt with different ingredients
- Red chilli - Use can use fresh or dried.
- Curry powder - Go for medium or spicy, depending on how spicy you want you Thai yellow curry to be.
- Ginger - Try to use galangal if you can, which is more citrusy than ginger. But ginger is more accessible. If using ginger instead, then add a little lime zest too. You can peel it with the edge of a teaspoon. Grating this before putting it with the rest of the ingredients makes it easier to mix in to the paste, as it's quite tough.
- Turmeric - This is where the beautiful and vibrant yellow colour comes from. For the best flavour you can use fresh turmeric and it is prepared in the same way as ginger. But be prepared that it stains easily. If using fresh, you can use 1 tbsp.
- Shallot - You can use a small brown onion instead, but we love the sweetness that shallots give.
- Garlic clove - If you really love the flavour of garlic, then feel free to use lots more.
- Kafir lime leaves - This adds a lovely fresh flavour to the yellow thai curry.
- Lemongrass stalk - Popular in south-east Asian recipes, it has a lovely citrus flavour. To prepare lemon grass, cut and discard the top reedy part off. You want to keep the bottom 10 – 12cm / 4 – 5″. Peel the reedy green shell and you will be left with the softer white part on the bottom half of the lemongrass.
- Ground coriander, Coriander seeds, cumin seeds and salt -
- Oil - A good quality olive oil.
- Chicken breasts - You can use boneless and skinless chicken thighs if you prefer, and they will be juicier.
- New potatoes - This is a great way to bulk out the yellow chicken curry. Save time and use tinned potatoes.
- Vegetables - Almost anything goes here, depending on how traditional you want to keep it. We used baby corn, green beans, mushrooms and onion.
- Coconut milk - This is where all the creaminess comes from. For the best flavour, use full fat. You can use coconut cream for a richer flavour, and just add a little more stock.
- Vegetable stock - This loosens up the sauce a little.
- Soy sauce - A flavour booster.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make Thai yellow curry - Step by step
One: Add the coriander seeds and cumin seeds to a wok or heavy frying pan over a low heat and dry fry for 60 seconds.
Two: Add the toasted seeds to a mortar bowl. For all the other paste ingredients, make sure it is all chopped up very small and then add it to the mortar (a). Pound for around 10 minutes until it is a paste (b).
Three: Put the potatoes to a pan of boiling water and simmer for 6 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Four: Add the oil to a large wok over a low heat and add the onion and cook for 60 seconds.
Five: Put the curry paste in the pan.
Six: Add 3 tablespoons of the coconut milk and stir.
Seven: Put the chicken chunks into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
Eight: Add the cooked potatoes and other vegetables and stir.
Nine: Put the rest of the ingredients in the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
Yellow curry paste
I know you can buy curry pastes, but it will never compare to the taste of a curry paste made from scratch and this is one we learnt how to make in a cooking school in Thailand, with just a few ingredients adapted to what is easily accessible in our supermarket. Sure, it is a little bit of effort and you will feel like your arms are going to fall off after about 5 minutes of pounding the pestle and mortar.
But it is so worth it. Plus, you can see it as your arm workout for the day. To save time, you could use a stick blender or food processor to make the paste.
This Thai Yellow Curry Paste is made with fresh and vibrant ingredients like ginger, lemongrass, chilli and turmeric and it gives the curry so much more flavour. You also just make as much as you need, so you don't have a jar of curry paste in the fridge to forget about.
Putting potato into curries is a new one for me, but it makes the curry much more filling. Because of the potatoes, I wouldn't serve this with any rice unless super hungry. Why not try our Coconut Rice or Turmeric Rice recipes.
Store: You can store leftovers of this yellow curry recipe in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Freeze: Let the curry cool to room temperature, then portion out into a suitable freezer container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Defrost: Defrost in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: If frozen, allow the curry to defrost fully. To reheat, simply microwave on full power for 2-3 minutes, stirring halfway through. You can also reheat in a saucepan on the hob (stove top) over a low heat. Add a splash of water and heat until reheated thoroughly.
Thai curry can be a really healthy and nutritious meal, especially when you make everything from scratch and pack it full of vegetables. Also, with the inclusion of garlic, turmeric and galangal, there are lots of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties too.
Of course it's important to watch your portion sizes, but avoid using too much cream and adding any sugar and you can definitely have yourself a healthy and grease free curry.
This curry is so easy to make that it is best made fresh, but you can make the paste ahead of time. Crush up all the paste ingredients and then put in the air tight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
The great thing about making your own curry paste is that you can control how spicy it is. We think this is quite mild, so feel free to add more chilli if you want a spicier curry.
More Thai recipes
If you’ve tried this Thai yellow curry recipe, then let us know how you got on in the comments below.
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Thai Yellow Curry
- 0.5 teaspoon Coriander seeds
- 0.5 teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 3 Red chillies - small
- 1 Shallots - large
- 1 Garlic clove
- 1 tablespoon Galangal
- 3 Kaffir lime leaves
- 1 stalk Lemongrass
- 1 teaspoon Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- 1 tablespoon Curry powder
- 1 teaspoon Ground turmeric
- 0.5 teaspoon Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 0.5 Onion - diced
- 200 g (7 oz) Chicken breast - cut in to very small chunks
- 8 Charlotte potatoes - quartered
- 12 Baby corn - halved
- 2 handful Green beans - halved
- 16 Button mushrooms - halved
- 3 tablespoon Light coconut milk
- 280 ml (1.25 cups) Light coconut milk
- 250 ml (1 cups) Water
- 1 Vegetable stock cube
- 2 tablespoon Fish sauce
- Make the paste by adding 0.5 teaspoon Coriander seeds and 0.5 teaspoon Cumin seeds to a wok over a low heat and dry fry for 60 seconds. Add to a pestle and mortar.
- To the pestle and mortar, add 3 Red chillies, 1 Shallots, 1 Garlic clove, 1 tablespoon Galangal, 3 Kaffir lime leaves, 1 stalk Lemongrass, 1 teaspoon Fresh coriander (cilantro), 1 tablespoon Curry powder, 1 teaspoon Ground turmericand 0.5 teaspoon Sea salt. Make sure it is all chopped up very, very, VERY small. Pound for around 10 minutes until it is a paste.
- Put 8 Charlotte potatoes into a pan of boiling water and simmer for 6 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon Olive oil to a large wok over a low heat and add 0.5 Onion and cook for 60 seconds.
- Put the curry paste into the pan and add 3 tablespoon Light coconut milk and stir.
- Put 200 g Chicken breast into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through.
- Add 12 Baby corn, 2 handful Green beans and 16 Button mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes.
- Put 280 ml Light coconut milk, 250 ml Water, 1 Vegetable stock cube and 2 tablespoon Fish sauce into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes.
- If you are not a fan of chicken, you could use king prawns or tofu instead. Or flake in some cooked salmon chunks before serving.
- Keep this curry vegetarian by swapping the meat for extra vegetables.
- Love your curry super spicy? Use another red chilli when making the paste.
- You can make the paste ahead of time and keep it in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- For a more traditional flavour, you can add some shrimp paste too.
- Don't cut the potatoes too big, otherwise they won't be cooked enough.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.