Last updated: 16/10/2022

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There are many different curry dishes in Southeast Asia. Thailand and India are particularly famous for their curry dishes. But also in the Philippines and Myanmar, curry paste is used a lot for cooking and is traditionally prepared in a wok.

In Germany, too, curry dishes from the home kitchen are becoming increasingly popular. Curry paste is usually needed for this. Curry paste is not just curry paste, but differs in colour, spiciness and suitability for special ingredients. What needs to be considered here and what differences there are will be clarified in the following.


  • Curry paste supports digestion, strengthens the immune system and boosts fat burning.
  • The green curry paste is the hottest. The red curry paste, on the other hand, is somewhat milder. The mildest, however, is the yellow curry paste.
  • Once the curry paste has been opened, it should be sealed airtight. It should also be stored in a dry and cool place.

The Best Curry Paste: Our Picks

In the following, we will give you an overview of the different product categories, present the best products in these categories and show their features.

Buying and evaluation criteria for curry pastes

There are many different curry pastes on the market. In the following, we will present you with buying criteria to help you compare different curry pastes and choose the best curry paste for you and your dish.

Basically, the four comparison criteria can be used to compare curry pastes. We will now look at the differences between the criteria and how to identify them.


Curry pastes are available in different degrees of heat. The colour of the curry paste often indicates the degree of heat. However, the classification is not intuitive. For example, green curry paste consists of up to 50 per cent green Thai chillies and is thus the hottest curry paste.

The red curry paste is slightly milder in comparison. The red colour of the curry paste comes from dried red chillies. In terms of composition, the red curry paste differs from the green curry paste only in terms of a few spices.

While red and green curry paste are traditional components of Thai cuisine, yellow curry paste came later. It is also the mildest and creamiest curry paste.


Within the different colours, which can be an indicator of the spiciness, there are further subgroups that differ, especially in the case of red curry pastes, due to the spices used.

In the case of red curry paste, a distinction can be made between Kaeng Phet, the classic red curry paste, and Kaeng Phanaeng. The second variety is milder and somewhat saltier.

Another version of red curry paste called Kaeng Masaman, on the other hand, uses many Indian spices, which gives it an additional exotic flavour


Classically, white curry pastes contain shrimp paste, which is made from shellfish. However, for some time now there have been various curry pastes that do not use shrimp paste and are therefore vegan. When buying curry pastes, it is therefore important to check the ingredients of the curry paste.

Suitable for allergies

Curry paste generally consists of various spices such as chilli, curry, shallots, garlic, galanga root, lemongrass, coriander root, shrimp paste, cumin and green pepper. If you have a food intolerance to any of these ingredients, you must look for an alternative or, in an emergency, make the curry paste yourself.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about curry paste answered in detail

Which curry paste is suitable for which dish and how healthy is curry paste anyway? In the following we will answer the most important questions about curry paste.

What is curry paste suitable for?

Yellow curry paste is particularly mild and creamy and therefore goes best with chicken or fish dishes. Red curry paste, on the other hand, is suitable for meat dishes with a more intense flavour due to its moderate heat.

Besides curry and chilli, curry paste contains many other spices and herbs such as pepper, cumin and coriander, which help to support the body’s functions and contribute to a healthy diet. (Image source: Jason Leung / unspalsh)

So it is often used in dishes with lamb or beef. Green curry paste is the hottest of the three types. It is mostly used for traditional Thai dishes like Thai curry with fish or chicken.

How healthy is curry paste?

Curry paste contains many wholesome and healthy spices and is traditionally prepared in a wok. The curry powder makes the meal more digestible and supports digestion. At the same time, it has an anti-inflammatory effect and prevents bloating and flatulence.

Mustard seeds are also often used, which are good against vires and bacteria. Cumin also strengthens the immune system, black pepper boosts fat burning and chilli stimulates blood circulation and releases endorphins.

How should curry paste be stored?

Curry paste that has been opened should be stored in an airtight container with low heat and humidity. Stored in this way, opened curry paste will keep for up to three months. Homemade curry paste, on the other hand, will go bad more quickly.

Here you should assume that it will keep for a maximum of ten days. However, this also requires airtight and dry storage at a low temperature.


Curry pastes come in three different colours. Red, green and yellow. The colouring is caused by the different ingredients. Green is the hottest paste. Red is somewhat milder and the yellow curry paste is very mild and is therefore suitable for meat and fish with a less intense flavour. But even within the red curry paste there are differences.

If you prefer a vegan curry paste, you should make sure that it does not contain shrimp paste. If you have allergies, you should also pay particular attention to the ingredients. It is usually advisable to make the curry paste yourself.

In general, the ingredients of curry paste are very healthy and can be a building block for a healthy diet. In addition, curry pastes can be used in a variety of ways to spice up a dish exotically and uniquely.

(Cover photo: Michael Uebler / unsplash)