Thai curries are super versatile and a very popular dish from Southeast Asian cuisine. Based on a curry paste and combined with fresh ingredients and coconut milk, the most diverse flavours can be created. What Thai curry must not lack: spiciness. But which curry is hottest and which is mild? We explain yellow, red and green Thai curry.
Thai curry - one dish, many possibilities
What is Thai curry?
You can prepare a curry dish according to very different recipes, from mild to spicy. The main thing they have in common is the use of curry paste and often coconut milk. The curry paste influences not only the flavour, but also the spiciness of your dish. It is often combined with meat, fish, tofu and/or various vegetables. It is up to you whether you prepare the dish in a pan or in a wok, whether you round it off with a portion of rice, enjoy it pure or as Thai soup.
How does Thai curry taste?
The taste of your curry will depend on both your choice of curry paste and your choice of fresh ingredients. A curry paste is often made up of chilli peppers, lemongrass and various spices, which have a significant effect on the degree of spiciness depending on the selection and quantity.
How spicy is which colour?
The classic Thai curries reflect the colours of a traffic light: green, yellow and red. The typical association with the colour red suggests that it is the hottest of the varieties, but the colour is deceptive. For the degree of spiciness, the traffic light colours must be considered in a different order:
Green Thai curry - fiery hot
The Green Thai curry is the hottest Curry in the classic Thai cuisine. The fact that the green curry paste is mainly enriched with fresh green Thai chillies gives it its particularly fiery spiciness. Other ingredients, such as shallots, garlic, and Thai ginger - also called galangal - also support the spiciness. Kaeng khiao wan, which is known in this country as Thai green curry, belongs to classic Thai cuisine. Don't forget the delicious Thai basil when preparing it!
Red Thai curry - creamy hot
Well, the assumption that a red curry is spicy is not entirely wrong. Red Kaeng Phet is the most famous curry in Thai cuisine. The red curry paste gets its spiciness and colour mainly from red chillies. It is milder than the green curry, but still hot! The spiciness is already in the name, because "Kaeng Phet" translates as "hot soup".
Yellow Thai curry - pleasantly mild
The Yellow Curry is the mildest of the three Thai classics. Kaeng Kari is also a rather modern curry. This paste often consists of dried Thai chillies, which are milder than the chillies used for the green paste.
From sweetly mild to aromatically hot
If you like it a little bit hotter than the very mild curry, then Kaeng Phanaeng is for you. It has a nutty, sweet note, is a little milder than the red and green Thai curries and is classically a little less runny.
Kaeng Masaman is a medium hot Thai curry with a very aromatic note and comes from the southern Thai cuisine. Perfect for those who like it a little spicier, but don't dare to try the really hot varieties.
The Thai curry is too spicy - what to do?
If you accidentally use the wrong paste, too much curry paste or overcook it in the pan, your curry dish can quickly become too spicy. If even the portion of rice served with it doesn't take the edge off, here's what else you can do:
- If your dish needs a little more sauce, you can simply add coconut milk, milk, cream or yoghurt to the too hot curry.
- If you like it a little fruitier and less liquid anyway, a mashed banana neutralises it very well. Coconut flakes have a similar effect.
- Another option is to add more ingredients, such as more vegetables. Potatoes are especially good for this, as their starch can soften your curry. If you like, you can take the potatoes out again afterwards. This is easier if you leave the potato whole or slightly larger.