Thai Yellow Curry

Thai Yellow Curry

I couldn’t tell you the last time I made Thai food. Back in 2010, I got hooked on Indian food and aromatic spices and forgot about Thai for a while.

This year, I’ve gotten back into making savory comfort food, courtesy of Shaye Elliott, who wrote my #1 favorite cookbook “From Scratch.” I’m also getting into Mediterranean food, courtesy of the award-winning cookbook “Jerusalem” by Yotam Ottolenghi. Both cookbooks have amazing photographs!

Anyway, so when Josh says, “Hey, I want to cook a yellow curry for you” and suggests using Trader Joe’s Yellow Curry Sauce, what’s the first thing I do? Look at the ingredients, of course! Good thing I did.


Water, canola oil, sugar, dehydrated coconut milk (coconut, sodium caseinate), garlic onion, coconut milk, salt, contains 2% or less of” ginger, red chii, cornstarch, spices, cultured whey, onion and garlic powder, citric acid, cultured dextrose, inulin, natural flavor, xanthan gum. made on equipment shared with wheat, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish and shellfish.

SOURCE: Fooducate

So what’s the big deal? Luckily, I have a reputation at this point, which means I offend less friends these days when I prefer different food choices. Whew.

“Can you make it better?”

Of course! I said. :)

When I first ditched Indian curry sauces in a jar in favor of my own homemade curries, I was a bit nervous. But these days, I think I’ve got a pretty good handle on curries. ;) Switching to Thai from Indian just required a few minor tweaks. Thai curries feature coconut milk as the sauce base, where as Indian curries usually feature a cream and tomato base. The vegetables used are also a little different.

It was a nice change to enjoy Thai food again after so much Indian food! Maybe I’ll make Pad Thai or a panang curry here soon! Stay tuned!

Thai Yellow Curry

NOTE: This recipe makes around 10-12 servings (plenty of leftovers) and requires a 7qt pot. If you want to make less, cut the recipe in half.

7 quart pot or dutch oven (buy here)
4 TBSP coconut oil (buy here)
1 large onion, diced or minced
2-3 inches fresh ginger root, minced
6 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 large sweet potato or golden potatoes, in 1/2 inch cubes
4 large carrots, sliced
2 medium zucchinis, in 1/2 inch cubes
2 red peppers, in 1/2 inch slices
Handful or two of snow peas
Handful or two of mushrooms

3 cans coconut milk (buy here)
2 TBSP honey, preferably local (buy here)
3 TBSP fish sauce (buy wild caught, fermented here)
Juice of half a lime
12 inches lemongrass (buy here)
2 tsp cumin (buy here)
2 tsp coriander (buy here)
2-1/2 tsp turmeric (buy here)
1/2 tsp cinnamon (buy here)
1/2 white pepper (buy here)
1/2 tsp cayenne (buy here)
Cilantro leaves to garnish

1.) Heat coconut oil in the large pot on medium.

2.) Mince the onion, ginger and garlic and add to the pot.

3.) When onion turns translucent, add the potato, carrots, zucchini, red peppers, and stir well.

4.) Fry veggies together for 5-7 minutes. Then, add coconut milk.

5.) Stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer.

6.) Add the honey, fish sauce, lime, and spices. Stir well.

7.) Then add the snow peas and mushrooms.

8.) Bring to a simmer again, turn down to low, cover with lid, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.

9.) Serve with rice or quinoa and garnish with cilantro leaves.

And, if you’re interested in a killer spring roll recipe, click HERE!

131213.SpringRolls - feature


  1. kalise says

    i am currently following Whole30 but craving yellow curry.. can i omit the honey without it messing with the taste?


  2. Brandy says

    i am new to making anything curry. I’ve made this twice and love how easy and good it is but wonder why it doesn’t have actually curry in it. Is this a silly question????

    • says

      Curry is simply a blend of spices. “Curry powder” is not made from a curry plant. There is no such thing. If you look at the ingredients of curry powder, you’ll read that it’s usually a combination of cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, and other spices.

  3. Kelly H says

    This looks really good! I’m wondering about the lemongrass. Is it supposed to be fresh or dried? I went to Mountain Rose Herbs where you linked to purchase it, but I only found lemongrass powder and the herb form. Not sure how I’d do 12 inches of that!

    • says

      You can use fresh or dried. I’ve used both. Mountain Rose Herbs sometimes changes their inventory, and I purchase about 2-3 times a year, so they may have it again in the future. Meanwhile, you can check your farmers market or local grocer. :)

  4. says

    The word “curry” does not refer to the “curry powder” that you have in your cabinet. “Curry” actually refers to a dish made with a blend of spices. So when I say “curry,” I mean that I blend spices and then cook with them, usually adding them to a sauce or side dish with meat and/or vegetables. :)

  5. Rakesh says

    interesting – I’m of Indian descent and we make coconut milk based curries all the time – especially for seafood dishes, in which we use tamarind paste. South Indian cuisine uses coconut milk too ;)

  6. Rosalyn says

    Hi Courtney, I’m def making this tonight! Could you possibly tell me what size cans of coconut cream I need? The quantities in cans where I am vary quite a bit!

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