A Spicy Journey: Know the History and Types of Red Curry and How to Use It in Your Cooking

If we had to list some of the most iconic Thai dishes in the world, we’d probably start with red curry. Locally known as ‘Kaeng phet’, it’s famous for its vibrant red color and spicy aroma. You’d be hard-pressed to find a Thai eatery that doesn’t serve this delicacy.

However, the history of Thai curry rests with royal households, religious strongholds, and foreign trade. It’s said that during the 4th century, Indian traders and Buddhist missionaries shared aromatics and spices throughout the Kingdom of Siam. The 13th century saw the invention of ‘nam prik’- a coarse paste made of lemongrass, fish sauce, peppercorns, and tamarind- that became a base for Thai curries. And finally, the Portuguese brought hot chilies in the 16th century, giving Thai cuisine the kick it’s known for today.

The classic red curry contains chicken, bamboo shoots, and Thai eggplants. That said, there are several variations with different ingredients and spice levels. Also, red curry paste is incredibly versatile and can be used in stir-fries, marinades, soups, and dipping sauces.

At Mekhala, we sell a great vegan, gluten-free version of the red Thai curry paste. And we’re here to tell you why it’s such a culinary champion.

What is Red Curry Made Of?

The best thing about a Thai curry is that you can load it up with veggies and proteins to make a wholesome, well-balanced meal. Plus, it comes together in less than 30 minutes: perfect for busy days.

Traditional red curry spices include:

  • Red chili peppers
  • Lemongrass
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Galangal
  • Shallots
  • Coriander root
  • Cardamom
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Cinnamon
  • Kaffir lime leaves
  • Coconut milk

Usually, we add the chicken and veggies after the broth is cooked. The curry is sometimes topped with peanuts and generally served with rice.

What Does Red Curry Paste Taste Like?

Most culinary enthusiasts would agree that red curry paste is a delightful fusion of heat, savory, and aromatic elements. To get specific, here’s what it tastes like.

  • Moderately Spicy:

    Red curry paste is moderately spicy, but the heat can vary based on the recipe. It’s known for its chili kick, which is balanced by other flavors.

  • Bold and Flavorful:

    This paste is a flavor powerhouse, packed with a combination of ingredients that boost its bold taste profile.

  • Notes of Lemongrass, Ginger, and Garlic:

    Lemongrass adds a citrusy, fresh note to red curry paste, while ginger and garlic allow for depth and earthiness.

  • Can be Sweet or Sour:

    If you use palm sugar or tamarind in your red Thai curry paste, you could end up with a slightly sweeter or sourer undertone.

Our Thai Red Curry Paste

Now, we know not everyone is lucky enough to have an Asian grocery store nearby. And the thought of buying, prepping, and grinding the long list of ingredients might have you second-guessing your decision to make Thai red curry.

That’s where Mekhala comes in!

Our Organic Thai Red Curry Paste contains 100% certified natural ingredients. It’s gluten-free, vegan-friendly, and has no artificial colors or preservatives. All you get is a jar of pure Thai yumminess.

But is the Mekhala Organic Thai Red Curry Paste even the real deal? You bet. It captures the true essence of Thai cuisine with its balance of heat, savory, and aromatic notes. Our cooking paste is a great shortcut to making authentic Thai curry at home.

That’s not all. Mekhala is committed to ethical and sustainable practices. We prioritize fair trade and environmentally sustainable production methods, which makes us a socially responsible choice.

So, if you’re looking to elevate your Thai cooking with high-quality, organic, and authentic products, Mekhala’s Organic Thai Red Curry Paste is the way to go. Use it to enjoy Thailand’s bold and exciting flavors in the comfort of your own home!

How to Use Red Curry Paste

Ready to jazz up your meals? Our red Thai curry paste is your kitchen wingman, adding a spicy punch wherever it goes. Let’s explore how you can use it to create Thai-inspired masterpieces.

  • Curries:

    When you’re in the mood for something spicy and comforting, whip up a Thai curry! Just stir the red curry paste with coconut milk and simmer it with your choice of meat, veggies, or tofu until everything’s flavorful and tender.

  • Stir-fries:

    Want a quick and zesty stir-fry? Toss a teaspoon of red curry paste into your wok with your favorite protein and veggies. It’ll add a spicy kick and make your stir-fry pop.

  • Soups:

    Add a spoonful of red Thai curry paste to your soup base to give it that extra oomph and a hint of Thai magic.

  • Marinades:

    Spice up your proteins with a red curry marinade. Mix the paste with some yogurt or coconut milk, coat your ingredients, and let them soak up that fantastic flavor before grilling or roasting.

  • Dipping Sauces/Dressings:

    Combine red Thai curry paste with soy sauce, lime juice, and a bit of sugar, and you’ve got a tangy dressing for your greens.

Red Curry Recipe Inspo

Need some recipes with red curry paste to add intrigue to your weekday meals?

Check out our favorites, all made with Mekhala’s Organic Thai Red Curry Paste!

1. Chickpea Red Curry

Delicious, healthy, and pocket-friendly, this chickpea red curry recipe is an absolute treat for the tastebuds. What’s more, you can save the chickpea water to use as a base for vegan meringue. That’s two uses for one can!

2. Low-Fat Snapper Red Curry

Snapper is a moist, delicate, and slightly sweet fish that goes with almost everything. You can swap out the beef in your Thai red curry with snapper for a low-fat version. It’s delicious, succulent, and an absolute hit.

3. Vegetarian BBQ Skewers with Red Curry

Almost all vegans know what it’s like to get sidelined at a barbeque. But if you’re looking to turn the tables on your meat-loving friends, bring these vegetarian red curry skewers to the party. Pair it with your favorite salad, coleslaw, or some mashed potatoes for a complete lip-smacking appetizer.

4. Red Curry Grilled Cheese Sandwich

A curry sandwich doesn’t sound great on paper, but it really is a fantastic combination. Our red curry grilled cheese is perfect for days you’re in a rush and need a quick snack on the go. Spicy, tasty, and comforting, it’s a showstopper!

But wait, there’s more. If you’re looking for more Thai-inspired red curry paste recipe ideas, head on to our website and take your pick.

The Bottom Line

Whether you’re craving a creamy curry, a fiery stir-fry, or a hearty soup, red curry has your back. Once you taste that bold and zesty goodness, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it. So go ahead: spice up your life with some red Thai curry magic!

It’s hard to make red Thai curry paste from scratch when you have hungry mouths to feed. But Mekhala is here to save the day.

Our Organic Thai Red Curry Paste is vegan, 100% natural, and gluten-free.

Just a teaspoon of Mekhala, and you’ll have your guests asking for more. Shop online or use our store locator to find a Mekhala stockist today.

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