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Yellow Curry Paste | Simply Homemade Delicious

Homemade Yellow Curry Paste in a bowl
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My Homemade Yellow Curry Paste is thick, savory and luscious. It has a slightly spicy kick, but it’s not over the top, and there are beautiful citrus notes to complement the flavorful herbs and spices.

Like so many ethnic recipes that are cooked in the United States, I can’t call this curry paste traditional or even attach it to a specific culture. It is an Americanized version of yellow curry paste, for sure.

I happen to believe it will become a staple in your kitchen. My yellow curry paste is the must-have flavor base to turn your favorite chicken, fish and vegetable curries into something scrumptiously extraordinary.

You guys, seriously, it’s SO good! Enjoy!

Roasting the Vegetables for Maximum Flavor

red onions, garlic, and ginger

Onions, garlic and fresh ginger are just one piece of building the flavor explosion of homemade yellow curry paste. And when you roast those veggies, the sweet, nutty, caramelized flavors are even more pronounced and beautiful! It’s easy to roast them to extract maximum flavor. Here’s how to do it.

Preheat the oven to 400°.

Prep all the veggies first. Remove the outer paper from the onion and quarter it.

red onion quartered and drizzled with oil

Slice the very top off each head of garlic, so the inside is just showing through.

heads of garlic with the tops removed and drizzled with oil for roasting.  Roasted garlic adds wonderful savory dimension to homemade yellow curry paste.

Use the edge of a spoon to peel the stick of fresh ginger.

peeling fresh ginger with the edge of a spoon
peeled fresh ginger drizzled with oil ready for roasting

Tear off a separate sheet of foil for each vegetable. Place it on the foil and drizzle with avocado or olive oil. Pull the foil closed tight around each vegetable and place all 3 foil packets on a baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes.

Creating Homemade Yellow Curry Paste

Now that the veggies are roasted, you can assemble your delicious yellow curry paste.

Pull out your *food processor or *high speed blender for this task. I start by grinding the peppers with the salt, turmeric and curry powder. Next, comes the cilantro with the lemon juice and zest. (Remember, zest your lemons before juicing them.)

cilantro, lemon zest and lemon juice added to food processor to make homemade yellow curry paste

Then I top it all off with the roasted onions, garlic and ginger. (Now, that they’re roasted, the garlic will easily squeeze out of each individual clove. Hold the clove from the bottom and squeeze the garlic through the opening you cut earlier.)

blending roasted onions, ginger and garlic in a food processor with cilantro and lemon to make homemade yellow curry paste

Puree everything until it’s well combined and has formed a thick, aromatic paste. There will be little flecks of cilantro and peppers running throughout, but they should be small. Homemade Yellow Curry Paste is thick and bursting with flavor. See how good you are! It looks delicious!

homemade yellow curry paste

This is Not Traditional Homemade Yellow Curry Paste

If you read a traditional yellow curry paste recipe, it will call for Thai chili peppers, probably shallots and definitely lemon grass. I can only imagine that it tastes fantastic when it’s complete.

My reality is that I don’t have access to Thai chili peppers and lemongrass with out making a 40-50 mile round trip. We live in small-town America where there are always onions in my pantry and almost never shallots. So, I chose my ingredients to fit my life and the tastes of my family.

I have definitely fused Midwest American ingredients with some other more traditional Asian flavors and created a hybrid that my family and I absolutely love. I hope you will, too!

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Yellow Curry Paste in a clear glass bowl

Homemade Yellow Curry Paste

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5 from 5 reviews

  • Author: Glenda Embree
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


Flavorful, aromatic and utterly delicious!  This sauce/paste will make your curry recipes pop with flavor.


Units Scale
  • 1 large red onion
  • 4 large heads (not cloves) of garlic
  • 4– to 5-inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 812 Serrano chili peppers, (I only remove the stems. Everything else goes in. 12 is definitely quite a bit spicier than 8, so go according to your own taste.)
  • 5 teaspoons salt
  • 23 Tablespoons turmeric, to your taste
  • 23 Tablespoons curry powder, (mild not spicy), to your taste
  • 1 Tablespoon dried coriander
  • zest and juice of 2 large lemons
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems, loosely packed


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°. 
  2. Lay out a square of foil large enough to be able to wrap the onion, ginger and garlic individually.
  3. Prep all the veggies first. Remove the outer paper from the onion and quarter it.  Place it on a square of foil and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of avocado or olive oil.  Close the foil around the onion to form a sealed packet.
  4. Slice the very top off each head of garlic, so the inside is just showing through on the top.  Place all the heads on a square of foil and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of avocado or olive oil.  Close the foil around the garlic heads to form a sealed packet.
  5. Use a spoon to peel the ginger.  Place the peeled ginger onto a square of foil and drizzle with 1 Tablespoon of avocado or olive oil.  Close the foil around the ginger to form a sealed packet.
  6. Place all three packets on a baking sheet and roast at 400° for 30 minutes.
  7. While those are roasting, zest the lemons and then juice them.
  8. Grind/puree the peppers, salt, turmeric and curry powder in the food processor (or high speed blender).
  9. Add the zest, lemon juice and cilantro to the food processor and continue to puree everything together.
  10. When the roasting packets are removed from the oven, the onion and ginger will be simple to move to the food processor.  Toss them in.
  11. Squeeze the garlic from each individual clove of roasted garlic.  You may want to allow them to cool just a little, first, so it’s comfortable.
  12. Once all the garlic is in the processor, puree everything until it is completely combined and a thick paste has formed.
  13. Use in your favorite curry dishes.  This makes a good-sized batch.  I use what I need that time and store the rest in the fridge.  If I don’t plan on using it again, for awhile,  I usually divide the remainder into small containers and freeze it. 



This freezes really well and one batch will make multiple curry recipes.  It will depend on the recipe and how many you are cooking for, how much you use each time.

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 30 min
  • Category: Sauce, Condiments, Flavorings
  • Method: Roasting
  • Cuisine: Asian/American

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glenda embree

About Glenda

I believe cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be complicated and that YOU can do it. My simple recipes, tutorials, and cooking tips will help you get weeknight dinners on the table with less stress. Forget takeout or the drive-thru. Let me show you how to make homemade easy. Read more...

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