In this brief guide, we will answer the question “What can I add to curry paste?”, and tell you how to use curry paste. We will also tell you how much curry paste you should use and how to store it.
What can I add to curry paste?
You can add a variety of things to curry paste. That is the thing about homemade curry paste, you can add ingredients and increase or decrease their quantity according to your liking. However, we will list down some things that make a curry paste flavorful.
- Chilies: You can add green chilies for green curry paste and red chilies for red chili paste. They add heat to the curry paste and a great flavor as well. Moreover, the final color of the curry is basically due to these as well.
The use of chilies is not only limited to green and red curry pastes. You can also use it in other types of curries for some added heat.
- Spices: You can add dried spices like nutmeg, cinamon, coriander, etc. You can ground these up to make a powder or use them whole. Most often, ground spices are used as they give the curry a more smooth texture rather than grainy.
- Aromatics: You can add fresh aromatics like turmeric, garlic, shallots, and lime zest for a burst of flavor.
- Sauces: You can add sauces like soy sauce or fish sauce.
- You can also add shrimp paste for umami flavor.
- You can add sugar to counter and balance any bitterness.
- You can add lime juice.
- You can add lemongrass.
- You can also add coconut milk or coconut cream for a smooth texture. These can also be used to tone down a very spicy curry paste.
How do I use Thai curry paste?
You can use Thai curry paste for a bunch of dishes. Most common dish made with Thai curry paste is of course curry, as the name suggests.
In order to use Thai curry paste, it needs to be cooked first before adding other ingredients. Curry paste is a blend of raw aromatic spices mixed together with vegetable oil. In order for them to make a flavorful curry, they need to be cooked beforehand. If you eat raw curry paste, it may taste bad.
Fry the curry paste with a dash of oil in a pan before adding meat and vegetables. Or just simmer the curry paste in water or stock for a while before adding other ingredients. This ensures that the spices burst out their flavor.
In addition, you never know where the raw spices have been while they are being processed. They might as well contain some bacterial spores which need to be killed by heating them.
Some people also suggest microwaving the curry paste as it is over rice for example. If this works for you, go ahead.
Our suggestion is to properly cook the paste before you go ahead with adding other ingredients to it for best results.
How much curry paste do I use?
You should use 2 tablespoons of curry paste for one batch of curry if it’s too strong. You should use ¼ cup of curry paste for one batch of curry if the curry paste is too mild.
There are many different brands of curry paste available at the grocery store and they all differ in their flavor and heat. On the other hand, homemade curry paste will be different from store bought curry paste.
For example yellow curry paste is mild with more turmeric like flavor while red curry paste is very hot due to the red chilies. So the amount of curry paste you should use depends on which kind of curry paste you are using and how much heat you can handle.
If you are using red curry paste, do not add a lot of it if you can not handle the spiciness and vice versa.
Can I store curry paste in the refrigerator?
Yes of course you can store curry paste in the refrigerator once it has been opened but it will only stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. While it can last for about 2-3 months when kept in the freezer.
When the curry paste jar is unopened, you can keep it in the pantry in a cool, dark place.
You can also keep it in the freezer if you wish to store it for longer periods of time.
Learn how to properly store curry paste here.
Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “What can I add to curry paste?”, and told you how to use curry paste. We also told you how much curry paste you should use and how to store it.