When you sit down for a Thai meal you will be faced with a menu offering exotic dishes cooked with green or red curry. As a Westerner, you may be confused and a little worried! Which one is going to make you sweat and which one is mild?
Curry has a long history. The first traces were found in India dating back to 2500 BC. Indian curry was made using garlic, ginger and turmeric. As trade expanded and spice routes were established, the famous curry recipes of India were transported to Japan, China, Thailand and as far as Portugal.
The Thai people enhanced the recipes by adding a thickening agent in the form of kapi, or shrimp paste. This paste was made from dried shrimps and could be preserved for months, ideal for use before the invention of the refrigerator. Chillies were then added to the basic recipe, giving a colour and hence the name Kaeng khiao wan, sweet green curry or Phrik kaeng phet, red curry paste. Chillies were discovered by Christopher Columbus in the Caribbean and brought back to Western Europe. The Portuguese traders took them to their colonies in the East and although their presence in Thailand was brief, the chillies remained and the recipes were passed down the generations.
Thai curries contain a combination of base ingredients consisting of
shrimp paste, coconut milk, garlic, shallots, coriander , lemongrass, peppercorns, kaffir lime peel, galangal and cumin seeds and are them differentiated by the chillies and their colour. Green curry contains green chilli peppers and red curry contains dried red chilli peppers. Green curry is usually stronger and red curry milder, which is the opposite of what one would expect!
Pop into The Taste to experience our authentic, freshly prepared red and green curry dishes. For a special occasion we recommend our Duck Red Curry. This dish elegant and rich dish offers succulent duck with red curry paste blended with coconut milk, pineapple, tomatoes and then topped with a selection of fresh seasonal vegetables. Variations exist, but we prefer the classic duck and pineapple!
For seafood lovers. let us offer you Prawn Green Curry. This dish is made with creamy green curry paste, coconut milk, seasonal vegetables and succulent prawns.
Once you have sorted out red from green, we also offer yellow curry and Massaman curry, but we will talk about these later!