Green, Red, Yellow Thai Curries, how do you choose…
Anyone even slightly familiar with Thai Curries will know that there are very marked differences in spice and flavour.
We are lucky enough to have met Chorchaba Harper a fantastic Thai chef who grew up in Thailand and has been in the UK for many years teaching cookery. Her experience is that most people are confused by which is the hottest and mildest curry, here is her quick guide to choosing the right curry for you.
It is important to know there are generally four different types of curry on any authentic Thai Menu.
- Masuman Curry made with peanut and most popular as a beef curry
- Yellow Curry mostly served as a chicken dish.
- Red Curry also known as Panang Curry
- Green Curry which is served with a variety of meats on most menus.
This is not to say these are the only curries you can order in Thai Cuisine, Jungle curry, pineapple curry to name just two popular dishes.
Is the mildest type of Thai Curry, it is sweet from the tamarind juice that is used and the chilli hit is not quite as intense.
Is a very popular curry as it actually has that chilli hit for most palates but is not lip numbing as some of the intense curries.
Red curry (Panang Curry)
Both sweet and spicy but is generally a more drier (sautéed) curry than Yellow curry or Green curry which both are saucy curries.
Generally regarded as the most intense Thai Curry served in most UK Thai restaurants. Made with Thai Sweet Basil and Picky Noo chilli.
The curry paste used for each curry is very different so no point trying to make an authentic Thai Curry if you do not have the right curry paste for the job.
Yellow curry relies on Cumin for its flavour and taste. Green curry as mentioned relies on hot picky noo chilli which are the small deadly chillies that can easily be found in most supermarkets today and Thai Sweet Basil which in itself is very intense with aromatic aniseed.
Nitiya and Mae Ploy are the best branded names of Thai Curry Paste available in the UK. But if you really want to make a good curry start with making your own paste which is quite involved but well worth the effort as you will then know it has been made from the freshest ingredients. A good curry paste will keep in the fridge for longer than it will take you to use it so it makes good sense to do it yourself.
Chorchaba will be hosting a series of Thai Masterclasses and pop up restaurants, with three different classes and a series of pop ups you can enjoy the intricacies of Thai cookery throughout the year.
Chochaba Harper – Thai Chef
Chorchaba was about seven years when she started cooking and used to sell fishcakes at the local railway station to commuters on their way to work. This meant getting up at the crack of dawn in order to make them fresh each day (no refrigerators in those days!). Her fish cakes must have been popular because she sold out everyday!