What is the difference between green and yellow curry?

In this article, we will answer the following question: What is the difference between green and yellow curry? We explain the differences between yellow and green curry and their utility in the kitchen.

What is the difference between green and yellow curry?

The main difference between green and yellow curry (except their color) is the spiciness level. On a scale, red curry is the spiciest type, green curry the mildest type, while the yellow curry is in between the two.  

Green Curry is made from 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. 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.

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 your non-carnivorous friend. 

Yellow Curry is one of the most common and the one that brings us closer to the Indian curry. We make it soft, accompanied with rice. We achieve the smoothness, above all, because the base is cooked with Dashi: a fish broth commonly used in Japanese cuisine. 

But without giving up a spicy and very tasty point, which gives a unique life to the dish and that is achieved with the use of ingredients such as onion, ginger or coriander.

In addition, this type of curry stands out for its citrus flavor. Lime leaves or Lemongrass, a genus of a plant native to the warm and tropical regions of Asia, are used. If you are not familiar with the taste of Thai curries, there is no better way to introduce yourself than with this one. Its ingredients are the closest thing to the range of flavors to which the western palate is accustomed. 

Like green curry, this type of curry works great with chicken and vegetables. It also works with shrimp and some fish. In Boko, in addition to chicken or beef, we also serve it with tofu or prawns offering multiple flavor combinations for all tastes. As it is one of the most popular, yellow curry paste is one of the easiest to find in the stores.

If by chance you ask for a yellow curry in a Thai restaurant, in English for example, by saying “yellow curry”, it is not certain that you will get the yellow curry you expect. 

Indeed in some regions, we speak of yellow curry (Kaeng Lueang) by invoking the Kaeng Som, of which I speak above. You will therefore have to ask for a Kaeng Kari (or Kary or Garee or carry ..) to hope to have this yellow curry of Indian influence, very flavored with grilled spices such as cardamom, cumin, coriander, mace.

 A classic dish in Thailand that uses this curry paste is “Poo pad pong Kari“, made from a crab. I still have the impression that this yellow curry paste is not very common in the country. For the example of Poo Pad pong Kari, it is curry powder which is used most often which however contains the same ingredients as the paste.

Curry paste vs curry powder 

The difference between curry paste and curry powder is that the curry powder will contain exclusively ground spices, while in a paste we will find mixed spices and herbs. For this reason, curry paste is usually more fragrant. However, it is kept for less time.

Curry paste is most often used in Thai food. It is a moist blend of ground herbs and spices and is usually made fresh when certain herbs are in season. There are several varieties of curry paste, including red, green, yellow, massaman, and Panaeng. The names depend on the ingredients used.

Red curry paste includes red chili peppers, while green chilies are used in green curry paste. Yellow curry paste gets its color from turmeric, which is in the ginger family and is used in curry powder. Panaeng curry paste is milder than the others, and Massaman curry paste includes dried spices as well as fresh ingredients.

Curry powder comes in sweet and hot varieties, and both generally include turmeric, coriander, and fenugreek, a bitter herb used in a number of dishes, including Egyptian and Lebanese dishes. Curry powder mixes can also include cumin, ginger, garlic, cardamom, fennel, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.

Curry (from the Tamil Kari, “sauce”) or curry is the name used in the West to define a series of dishes made based on a mixture of spices and condiments. The mixture results in a spicy sauce and has been developed in Asian, East, and Southeast cuisines.

There are a few different types of curry, but generally, it is a powder that is made up of varying amounts of different spices and dried herbs: coriander, cinnamon, ginger, cayenne pepper, cloves, nutmeg, mustard, fenugreek, coriander, and turmeric, among others. The latter is one of the most important ingredients and it is what gives it the yellow color that characterizes it.

Other FAQs about Curry that you may be interested in.

How many tablespoons is 50g of curry paste?

How much curry paste do I use?

Is McCormick curry powder spicy?

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: What is the difference between green and yellow curry? We explained the differences between yellow and green curry and their utility in the kitchen.

We remind you that green curry has a more mild taste, compared to the yellow and red curry. Both green and yellow curry are ideal for chicken and vegetables. It also works with shrimp and some fish.

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