Thai Vegetable (Chicken) Yellow Curry Recipe From Scratch

Thai Yellow Chicken Vegetable Curry Recipe

The yellow Thai curry is the sweetest of all the three basic Thai curries. We love this yellow Thai curry as it is sweet but with just has a hint of spice. Best of all this curry is made with all fresh ingredients. We will show you how to make this curry at home 100% from scratch.

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Made 100% from Scratch with Fresh Ingredients

To make very good Asian food you need to make the food using only fresh ingredients. Most Asians will shop on the same day for the food they will eat that day.

One of my complaints about so many of the Asian restaurants in other parts of the world, like the United States, is the restaurants will try to save money or time by making food with frozen vegetables. Using frozen vegetables never tastes the same as using fresh vegetables and fresh ingredients in your Asian food and cooking.

You can download your FREE PDF of the Thai Vegetable, Chicken Yellow Curry recipe by clicking on the link below:

Ingredients for Thai Yellow Chicken, Vegetable Curry
Ingredients for Thai Chicken, Vegetable Yellow Curry

Here are a few things about the Thai Chicken Vegetable Yellow Curry and the ingredients we use to make the curry:

  • Yellow Curry – You can use this yellow curry recipe and add any vegetables you want into it. A general rule is 1/3 meat to 2/3 vegetables for Asian food. Good Asian food always has more vegetables than meat in it. You can find out more about what vegetables go well with what kind of meat but checking out our blog What is the Asian Stir-fry Cooking Method? by clicking here. We have a chart that shows what kind of meat goes with what kind of vegetable.
  • Local Asian Grocery Store – If you really want to cook very good and authentic Asian or Thai food then shop at your local Asian grocery store. Most good Asian stores will have most, if not all, these ingredients fresh. Many times these Asian markets have food that is fresher and cheaper than the regular supermarket store.
  • Cutting Up The Vegetables and Meat – The vegetables and meat should be cut up into very small pieces. This allows it to cook much faster. But also when you are pounding the curry paste it is easier to pound if everything is cut up in small pieces.
  • Turmeric Root – We use fresh turmeric root. It is a root vegetable like ginger but not the same as ginger. Many Asian grocery stores should have fresh Turmeric root. If you have to buy a lot of the turmeric root and you only need a little for this recipe, it will freeze well. I have seen fresh turmeric root for sale on Amazon. If you really can not find fresh turmeric you can use a powdered turmeric spice.
  • Kaffir Lime Leaves – This is something you may only find at your local Asian grocery store. They should also freeze quite well so you can use them for the next curry you make. You can also find them on Amazon by clicking here.
  • Palm Sugar – We use palm sugar in this recipe. Normally it comes in small rolls. You should find this at your local Asian market, but if you cannot, you can use cane sugar or white sugar. Start with about 1/2 cup of each and if you want it sweeter you can add a bit more. You can also find palm sugar on Amazon We recommend this brand and kind of palm sugar as it is more authentic, click here to find out more.
  • Fish Sauce – The fish sauce is a staple for Vietnamese and Thai food. This should be quite easy to find. A lot of supermarkets now carry it and the Asian Grocery store should also have it. Try to find a Thai or Vietnamese brand. This is a Vietnamese brand you can find also on Amazon.
  • Vegetable Oil – You need to use vegetable oil to make this recipe. Do not use Olive Oil as Olive Oil does not well in Asian food and in particular this Thai curry. It will change the taste of the curry.
  • Vegan or Vegetable Version – This curry does very well as a vegan or vegetable version. The only milk used in this is pure coconut milk. To make this recipe as vegan or a vegetable curry just cut out the chicken from the recipe and add more vegetables. Vegetables as green beans and cauliflower also do very well for this recipe. Also, try squash and sweet potatoes. The great thing about this basic recipe is that you can experiment and add whatever vegetables you want or prefer into the curry paste. In Thailand, a lot of Thai curries will always have eggplant in it.
  • Red Chilies – Those red chilies are hot and spicy. Even if you take the seeds out they are still spicy. That is why we put to use between 1 to 6 red chilies. Use as many as you like for your spices. If you want it a really spicy curry try for 6 or even more red chilies if you want just a bit of spicy 1 may be enough. These red chilies should be fresh and not dried. Again, a good Asian Grocery store should have them. We have also put ours in the freezer and they do fine if stored in the freezer. If you are looking to buy these online consider getting a variety as these green and red chilies as then you can use the green to make the Thai green chili and can freeze both of these. You can find out more by clicking here.
  • Peanuts – I added peanuts to my curry, but this not necessarily authentic Thai, but I happen to really like peanuts in a yellow curry. So if you like peanuts as I do, you can go ahead and add them in.
  • Coconut Milk – Only use coconut milk that is pure coconut milk. An
    Asian or Thai canned coconut milk should be good. If you are interested, check out this coconut milk that you can buy on Amazon.
  • Make-Ahead, Freeze, and Reheat – This is a great recipe that you can make ahead of time and reheat. It does really well frozen and as a recipe that you can reheat for a quick meal when you do not have a lot of time to cook.
  • Spice Pounder or Mortar and Pestle set – If you are planning to cook Asian food and in particular Vietnamese or Thai food, invest in a Mortar and Pestle Set. You can find these quite easily on Amazon like this set we have found.

I need to thank my dear friend Vong for helping me with this recipe. She was the one who guided me on how to make Thai Curry 100% from scratch. She also educated me about Thai curries. Vong is from Lao but has also lived in Thailand.

Thai Yellow Chicken Vegetable Curry Recipe
Thai Chicken Vegetable Yellow Curry Recipe

Thai Yellow Chicken Vegetable Curry Recipe

Serves 4 as a meal with rice, Serves 6 with other items being served

Thai Vegetable (Chicken) Yellow Curry Recipe From Scratch

Recipe by Anita L Hummel Course: Thai Food, Thai Vegetable (Chicken)Cuisine: Thailand, AsianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Total time






  • 1 to 6 Red Chilies de-seeded and cut into small pieces

  • 2 shallots cut up

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 small red onion cut up into small pieces

  • 2 lemongrass stalks cut up

  • 2.5 cm or 1” turmeric root it is best if you can buy it fresh but if you cannot you can use about 2 Tsp of the spice.

  • 8 kaffir lime leaves cut up in small pieces

  • 4 Tablespoons fish sauce use a Vietnamese or Thai fish sauce if possible.

  • 1 circle palm sugar or about 1/2 a cup of sugar (you can adjust according to what you want)

  • 2 Tablespoons Vegetable oil.

  • 1 Can of Coconut milk or about 2 cups

  • 500 grams chicken breast or 1.1 Pounds cut in small pieces (if you want to do the vegetable or vegan version you can eliminate this)

  • 2 potatoes cut into small pieces

  • 2 carrots cut into small pieces

  • 1 large eggplant or 2 small eggplants cut into small pieces.

  • 1 heaping tsp sea salt

  • 2 cups of water

  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts (optional)

  • Fresh Thai Basil to serve (optional)


  • Pound together the red chilies, shallots, red onion, lemongrass, turmeric root, kaffir leaves, and garlic until very small and in very small pieces.
  • Then add in 2 Tablespoons fish sauce and pound together. The mixture must be really pounded as fine as possible.
  • Put 2 Tablespoons oil in a pan and then brown the pounded curry mixture by frying it about 5 to 6 minutes or until it starting to become a golden brown color.
  • Then add the coconut milk and allow the mixture to simmer for a few minutes
  • Add the palm sugar and allow it to dissolve with the mixture.
  • Add the chicken and allow the chicken to simmer until fully cooked. (For vegetable or vegan versions you can skip this)
  • Then add the potatoes and carrots and allow them to cook.
  • Add 1 heaping teaspoon of salt to the mixture. Add 1 cup of water to the mixture. (You salt to your own taste, add more if needed)
  • Allow the potatoes, chicken, carrots, and the curry mixture to simmer. You need to simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes or until carrots and potatoes are soft. The amount of time will depend on how long it takes to cook the carrots and potatoes.
  • Then add the eggplant and have it cook for about 10 minutes. We then added another cup of water. Depending on how long it takes for your vegetable to cook you may or may not need this.
  • Allow them all to simmer and cook together. Curry is something you can simmer and cook together for a while.
  • like peanuts in my yellow curry so at the end I will add 1/2 cup chopped peanuts. If you are doing the vegetable version the peanuts are a great source for protein. Peanuts are optional and it depends if you like them or do not like them in your curry.
  • if you can then add some fresh Thai Basil at the very end to serve.
  • We serve our curry with brown rice

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Anita L Hummel

Hi, I live in Hanoi, Vietnam but spend time traveling the region. I love to share with you things I see and learn through my travels.

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