How do you make restaurant style Thai curry?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question “How do you make restaurant style Thai curry?”, and list down different types of Thai curries. We will also discuss some common issues that occur while making curry.

How do you make restaurant style Thai curry?

In order to make restaurant style Thai curry, follow the following tips:

Use homemade curry paste

Use homemade curry paste for best results because it will be fresh and will have ingredients according to your own liking. It will also be free of any preservatives. In case you do not have the time or the ingredients to make your own curry paste, then buy one curry paste jar from a store.

Use only fresh ingredients

Store-bought fried or frozen ingredients such as lemongrass or other vegetables are not as fresh and have a worn out flavor. Go down to the farmer’s market and buy fresh, aromatic ingredients.

Toast the spices

Toast the dry spices before adding them to the curry. Toasting them makes them more aromatic and flavorful. It also adds a bit of a smoky flavor to the curry.


If fresh turmeric is easily available to you, then consider using that instead of ground turmeric. Fresh turmeric is more flavorful and adds a vibrant color to the curry.

Use a pestle and mortar

Rather than grinding up the spices in a food processor, use a pestle and mortar to pound them. Now this may be a hectic job but trust me, the end result will be worth it.

Use coconut milk

Take off the top layer of coconut milk and then heat it until it splits up or curdles. Use this instead of oil for frying the paste. It will not only enhance the flavor but also improve the texture of the curry.

Use caramel

Instead of adding sugar directly for sweetness, consider caramelizing it first. You can also caramelize onions for sweetness.

Choose your protein

Chicken goes well with Thai curries but you can also use pork, prawns, beef or salmon. Choose whichever protein works best for you.

A well balanced curry

A well balanced curry is the one in which all flavors are equal. Taste your curry once all the ingredients have been added and then make adjustments.

Garnish it

For the finishing touches, add chopped up chillies, parsley or basil. They are aromatic and also add great flavor. They also add vibrant colors to the final dish.

What are the different types of Thai curries?

Green curry: The main ingredient in thai green curry are green chillies. Green chillies mixed with fresh coriander give the curry its vibrant green color. The other ingredients that are usually added are lemongrass, vegetables, and sauces. It is one of the most popular curries. Proteins such as beef, chicken, or prawns are also used. 

Red curry: The main ingredients in red curry are red chillies or red chili powder. It is distinct because of its spiciness from the red chillies. Alternatively, red chili paste can be used. 

Yellow curry: Yellow curry gets its color from ground turmeric. Coconut milk is added to give the curry a nice texture. Fish sauce, curry paste, and chili peppers are also used. Chicken usually goes best with thai yellow curry. Other ingredients like ginger and garlic are also added to further enhance the taste.

Massaman curry: Massaman curry is a bit milder than other types of curries. It contains ingredients like those used in Indian style curries for example cardamom and cinnamon.

Panang curry: Panang curry is different from other Thai curries because it has ground up peanuts in it. The peanuts give it a very nutty, earthy flavor which is distinct from other curries.

Find out more about Thai curries here.

Why is your curry grainy and not smooth like the restaurant curry?

Well, the most common reason for the curry becoming grainy is that the yogurt or coconut milk starts to curdle or split up. Coconut milk has less fat, so it is less stable. The same goes for low fat yogurt. They are less stable to heat and are not able to withstand it once the temperature goes up.

So add them once you take the curry off the stove or keep stirring it continuously while cooking, adding the coconut milk or yogurt slowly.

Also, ground up your spices properly.

Why is your curry bitter?

Your curry may taste bitter if it is overcooked or burnt. Whisk it at intervals to make sure it does not overcook. Add fenugreek in moderation as it has a bitter taste. You may be using too much spice mix than is required. Additionally, you may be overcooking the vegetables. Do not overcook and add salt and sugar to balance out all the flavors.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

Can you add spices to curry after cooking?

Can you freeze a takeaway curry?

Do Thai restaurants make their own curry paste?


In this brief guide, we answered the question “How do you make restaurant style Thai curry?”, and listed down different types of Thai curries. We also discussed some common issues that occur while making curry.


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.