April 10, 2024
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April 10, 2024
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Spice Up Your Life With (Kosher) Thai Curry Paste

After a bit of research, I found that traditional Thai curry paste contains shrimp paste, so it’s pretty much a no-go for us Yids. While there is an extraordinarily wide array of kosher products available at the many kosher stores here in Teaneck, I have not yet found a fantastic curry paste that brings to mind all those spicy, herby piquant flavors of the East. The following is my own version, but be warned; it’s super-spicy and mouthwateringly savory. It calls to mind all those classic Thai flavors (except basil, that has to go in later as cooking finishes), and works well as a marinade, as a curry starter or as a sauce for chicken or beef. A mortar and pestle or a spice grinder is ideal for mashing all the ingredients together, but that takes elbow grease; the small bowl attachment of a food processor works well also; that’s what I use. Make this paste and then add to any recipe you find that calls for curry paste.


  • 1/3 cup shallots or sweet onions, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, peeled, small dice
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried ground tumeric (or fresh, if you can find it!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4 inch piece of lemongrass stalk, diced small
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes (I use one small dried red chili)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground bay leaves or 2 kefir lime leaves (optional — one can also place a bay leave in the curry itself when cooking)
  • 1-2 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)


Combine dry ingredients and mash or process. Add liquids sparingly and process until smooth. Use as a marinade or in recipes. Enjoy!

By Elizabeth Kratz


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