Basically the colour doesn’t give away the level of spiciness but rather denotes which ingredients, in particular which chillies were used to make the curry.
The green curry’s deep green hue is obtained from the combination of green chillies with fresh coriander, kaffir lime leaf, and fresh basil.
The red curry gets its fiery consistency from red chillies; traditional Thai chefs can add up to 20 red chillies at a time to give it that colour.
The yellow curry is cooked with turmeric which is what gives it that delicious golden-yellow glow.
And the Massaman curry is made up of several roasted spices which turn it a delicious deep orange colour, the focus is less on the chillies in this one which is why it is usually the least spicy of these four curries, expect it to be quite sweet and slightly sour.
One thing that all these curries have in common however is that the bulk of the sauce is made using scrumptious and copious amounts of coconut milk, giving them all that signature creamy texture.
And what's interesting is that all these curries can easily be made into a vegetarian dish, they are extremely versatile and can accommodate all kinds of vegetables!
Curries are more commonly associated to India but Indian curries are vastly different to those prepared in Thailand.
Dissimilarly to Indian curries, Thai cooking uses only fresh ingredients, you won’t see any dried products being thrown into a Thai curry if it’s authentic unlike in Indian curry recipes which call for dried spices.
This gives Thai curries a much spicier initial kick whereas the bite in Indian curries usually comes later, it takes a few mouthfuls for the dry spices to really make an impression on your tastebuds.
All the ingredients are assembled into a mortar and pounded together with a pestle until they form a paste. The pestle and mortar method allows the flavours of each ingredient to blend into one.
These utensils are particularly handy for curry recipes, because each paste’s preparation requires some softer ingredients like the chillies, but you’ll also need to throw in more robust ingredients like the galangal root or lemongrass which the pestle and mortar can break into easily.
You’ll be able to find these pastes in most supermarkets or lining the alleys of street food markets in Thailand.
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