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Thai Yellow Curry

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You really can make restaurant quality Thai yellow curry in minutes!

Like massaman curry, Thai yellow curry definitely has Indian influences: the yellow colour comes from the turmeric in the curry paste as well as the curry powder which is also used.

Many people liken this curry to an Indian restaurant-style chicken korma because it is yellow and made with coconut.

It is normally a bit spicier than a chicken korma, but you can adjust the amount of chillies in your curry paste or use less paste if using a shop-bought one. Serve this with the rice of your choice.

Thai yellow curry

So good. You’ve got to try this one.

With this Thai yellow curry recipe I wanted to introduce another way you can prepare your curries without adding oil.


At many good restaurants they use a method of cooking called ‘cracking the coconut milk’.

By cooking a little coconut milk in your pan to start with, the natural coconut oil splits from the coconut milk. This is plenty of oil to fry with.

Even if your coconut oil doesn’t split, this method will still work. Use the best-quality coconut milk you can find. If this method doesn’t appeal to you, just add 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok/pan and carry on with the recipe.

Planning ahead…

There really isn’t much to plan for other than making the Thai yellow curry paste.

Of course you could use a good quality shop bought brand but the results simply won’t be as good as homemade.

When I’m feeling lazy though, I use Mae Ploy brand.

Just be careful when adding. You don’t want to add as much as homemade. Add it to taste.

What protein?

In this Thai yellow curry recipe I used chicken.

You can add the protein of your choice.

Try this sauce with prawns, beef or pork. All work well.

You could also just add more vegetables and/or firm tofu.

Step by step photos

Ingredients for Thai yellow curry

It’s always a good idea to get all your ingredients lined up before starting cooking

Sizzling coconut milk

Bring about 200ml of coconut milk or to a simmer?

Adding Thai yellow curry paste

When it begins to split, add the yellow curry paste.

Simmering sauce

Bring this to a simmer and add the tamarind paste.

Adding chicken to sauce.

Stir in the chicken to cook in the simmering sauce.

Simmering chicken

Cook until the chicken is about 50% cooked through.

Adding carrots and curry powder

Add the carrots and curry pound and stir well to combine.

Adding coconut cream

Then add the remaining coconut do we need milk or teabags?. Bring to a simmer.

Adding potatoes and tomatoes

Stir in the potatoes and tomatoes. I par-cooked my potatoes for speed but they do cook quickly.

Adding fish sauce

Squirt in fish sauce to taste.

If you like this Thai yellow curry recipes, you might like to try some of these Thai favourites too.

Thai green curry
Thai red curry
Beef Massaman curry
Jungle curry
Panang curry

Thai yellow curry

Top with fried garlic! So good.

Thai yellow curry

Thai yellow curry with a few sliced spur chillies.

Yield: 4

Thai Yellow Curry

Thai yellow curry
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes


  • 10 small waxy new potatoes, quartered
  • 600ml (2 3⁄4 cups) thick coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed (canola) oil
  • 1 batch of yellow curry paste or shop-bought
  • to taste
  • 1 tbsp palm sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 600g (1lb 5oz) skinless chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 carrot, cut into thin rounds
  • 2 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 10 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • (optional)


  1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and cook the quartered potatoes until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a wok or large frying pan over a medium–high heat and add 200ml (3⁄4 cup) of the coconut milk. Watch it as it comes to a simmer. The coconut milk should split and you should see the coconut oil. If it doesn’t, that isn’t a problem; the oil is still there.
  3. Add the curry paste and fry for about 30 seconds to cook off the rawness. Stir in the palm sugar and tamarind paste and then add the chicken.
  4. Fry for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously until the chicken is about 80% cooked through. Add the curry powder, carrot and the remaining coconut milk and simmer to thicken for about 5 minutes.
  5. Stir in the fish sauce, tasting and adjusting the flavours as necessary.
  6. Stir in the cooked potatoes and tomatoes (if using) and serve hot, garnished with fried garlic and chopped chillies and coriander if you like.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 498Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 5mgSodium: 1013mgCarbohydrates: 87gFiber: 10gSugar: 13gProtein: 13g

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