How to Substitute Red Curry Powder for Red Curry Paste

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Things You'll Need

  • Red curry powder

  • Water, fish sauce, meat or vegetable broth or coconut milk

  • Minced garlic

  • Cumin

  • Coriander

  • Fennel

  • Black pepper

  • Mace

  • Shallots

  • Clarified butter (ghee)

  • Vinegar

Red curry paste is essential in Thai curry dishes, though powdered curry can be substituted.

Red curry paste is standard in Thai curry recipes. The heat of the peppers mixed with the other seasonings such as garlic and cumin help develop the flavor of the mix. While curry seasoning is sold in powder form, it is more common in Thai curry recipes to use red curry paste because of its consistency. The thickness of the paste cooks down well with the water, broth or coconut milk base for a more complex flavor. However, red curry powder can still be used with some modifications.


Loose Powder Uses

Step 1

Sprinkle red curry powder over the meat or vegetables used in your curry recipe before cooking. Allow them to sit as part of a marinade for at least 20 minutes or as long as overnight.


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Step 2

Pour your desired amount of red curry powder into the broth, fish sauce or coconut milk used in your curry recipe. Whisk lightly to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce heat. As the mixture cooks, the seasoning will blend with the liquid for a more concentrated flavor.

Step 3

Add 2 tablespoons of loose red curry powder to your recipe, and then add in 2 tablespoons of clarified butter (also known as ghee) and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Combine well with a spoon and allow to simmer over medium heat.


Homemade Curry Paste

Step 1

Create a homemade curry paste by using the loose red curry powder and a liquid binding agent.

Pour 2 tablespoons of curry powder into a mug or bowl. Add in water, fish sauce, meat or vegetable broth or coconut milk 1 tablespoon at a time.


Step 2

Add in other spices, such as minced garlic, cumin, coriander, fennel, black pepper, mace and shallots to your liking.

Step 3

Mix well with a fork to moisten all loose powder. Thicken as needed with more red curry powder if the paste becomes too thin for your needs.


Step 4

Fry the paste in thick coconut milk cream or cook in broth at a ratio of 4 to 6 tablespoons homemade red curry paste to 8 oz. of liquid. This will make a curry that is both savory and sweet. It will also contain some heat because of the pepper.



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