One of the memorable stops along our Village of Love morning tour is a local shop that makes a rainbow of fresh curry pastes!
Thai curry is traditionally made only from a paste, not from a powder as Indian curries. They range is spice-level from mild to hot (also of course, depending on the chef)!
And the colors and so vibrant – all coming from the chilis used in each type of paste.
Some of the main ingredients in Thai curry pastes are: shrimp paste, chilis, onions, garlic, lemongrass, coriander root and galangal. There are actually two types of curry: water-based and coconut milk based. Traditional favorites such as green (gaeng khiao wan), red (prik gaeng daeng) and massaman curries are coconut milk-based soups, whereas others such as gaeng som, are water, based – lighter fare. All are typically served in a bowl with a side of rice (not poured over the top), so you can eat, spoonful by spoonful (and share with others, as most do)!
Fresh curry pastes can be refrigerated for 1-2 months or even kept in a freezer for up to 1 year. However, for the best color and taste – immediate use and consumption is highly recommended!
Our local curry shop in Bangrak has been making curry fresh daily in this for more than 50 years. You can also see them making their own fresh coconut milk right in the shop!
It’s always fun to bring our friends here to smell and experience the fresh curry pastes so they can understand the backstory behind their favorite dishes.