Is red or green curry better?

In this article, we discuss whether red or green curry is better. We explain the differences between red and green curry and their utility in the kitchen.

Is red or green curry better?

If red or green curry is better for you will depend on whether you like spicy food. Red curry paste includes red chili peppers, while green chilies are used in green curry paste. 

Red curry is the best-known variety worldwide. Not in vain do we associate red with spicy: it is the spiciest version of all and the one that is most easily found in restaurants around the world.

Instead, green curry is the softest of all. Perfect to accompany lightly heavy meals with a flavor with a greater number of nuances.  The ingredients of this curry do not stain especially and the intensity of the green in the dish is very low: it is rather whitish, due to the coconut milk.

We recommend that you use it in pasta dishes with vegetables or any type of rice. It will not be difficult for you to chop different vegetables and combine them with pasta and green curry.

Red curry

Red curry paste (Prik Kaeng Kua) is the basis of all red curries. All that it contains as ingredients, will inevitably be found in all other red curry pastes. There are only fresh ingredients: red chili, lemongrass, galangal, kaffir zest, coriander roots, shallots, garlic, and no dry spices. All of this is the basis. Then the other red curries will be declined with the addition of other spices which will be lightly toasted before being incorporated into the dough.

This curry paste will most often be used to make seafood-based dishes (mussels, shrimps, cockles …) and we will usually find pineapple there which will give a nice sweetness to this preparation.

A classic dish: the Kaeng Kua saparot Koong (red curry with pineapple and shrimps) which you can find here.

Green curry

Green curry paste (Prik Gaeng Kiew Wan) contains as ingredients, Galangal, lemongrass, garlic, shallots, pepper, coriander roots, Kaffir leaf, green peppers, pepper, cumin, coriander seeds. This paste will most often be used to cook the famous “green chicken curry” to which coconut milk and Thai basil (Horapa) will be added. If the curry paste is very spicy, the dish itself will be less so because it is softened with the coconut milk.

The green curry’s color is due to the green hot chili peppers typical of Thailand. And, above all, to Thai aubergines or peas: those of Nong Ta Klong. A kind of large berry, rounded in shape. Although they are very common in Thailand, it is difficult to find them in other parts of the world. 

Rather soft and white meat, such as chicken, is usually added to this variety of curry. It is also very common to make its vegetarian version, only with vegetables. We leave you with a version of the English chef Jamie Oliver: simple and perfect to try the Thai essence and surprise a vegetarian friend!

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

Is panang curry the same as red curry?

Is red curry paste good for you?

Is red curry paste the same as Gochujang?

Red or green curry in the kitchen

We cannot consider curry as a spice because it is actually a mixture of several. Actually, the seasoning in question has its origin in India and its name means sauce in Tamil, the language spoken by an ethnic group in the south of the country that makes different highly spicy dishes with a very characteristic flavor.

These dishes featured a spice derived from the leaves of the curry tree, which had a very pungent and slightly spicy flavor. When these dishes were known to the English, in the years of colonization, they went crazy with their taste and decided to market this product.

This is where everything changes and the curry transforms. As the leaves of the curry tree quickly lost their smell in a matter of 48-72 hours, the English tried to mix it with other spices, making the end result look very little like the original curry that they had fallen in love with.

Curry can be as spicy as you want, it should not be associated with foods that are difficult to digest. If we know that in India very strong dishes are prepared, in the US we can prepare them as we please.

Some people prefer to mix curry with cheese or other dairy products. We recommend that you combine it with coconut cream to get closer to the combination that they have been preparing for so many centuries in Thai cuisine.

Later, fans of the kitchen will know that they can shape it to their liking by mixing it with other spices such as cumin or coriander, adding nuts or the rice they like best. The good thing about this product is how fickle it is towards any recipe.

The bottom line

In this article, we discussed whether red or green curry is better. We explained the differences between red and green curry and their utility in the kitchen.

We remind you that red curry is spicier than green curry, but also considered easier to prepare and healthier. Does this make red curry better? Perhaps, but again, it all depends on how spicy you like your food!

What is your favorite? Red or green curry?