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Delicious Curry: 5 BEST Substitutes for Yellow Curry Paste

Are you tired of buying yellow curry paste at the store?

Do you find that it doesn’t last as long as you’d like? If so, then this article is for you.

Here, we’ll reveal five alternatives to yellow curry paste that you can use instead.

You’ll learn what these substitutes are and how to use them in your next recipe.

Get ready to add a new twist to your cooking.

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Yellow Curry Paste

The quantity of spices in the mix varies depending on the region and can include lemongrass, chilli pepper, garlic, galangal, shallots, coriander seeds and cumin amongst other ingredients.

If you are looking for alternatives to yellow curry paste or simply don’t have any on hand you might want to consider the following 5 substitutes:

1 – Red Curry Paste

red curry paste

Red Curry Paste is a popular substitute for Yellow Curry Paste as it provides similar flavor with a bit of added heat.

Red Curry Paste is made from red chili peppers and other aromatic herbs and spices, including lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), kaffir lime leaves, garlic, shallots, coriander seed powder and cumin powder.

It’s most commonly used in spicy Thai curries such as Massaman and Panang.

Red Curry Paste can be found in many Asian supermarkets or online.

To use this substitute in place of Yellow Curry Paste, simply add a little less than the amount called for in your recipe.

2 – Green Curry Paste

green curry paste

Green curry paste also works amazingly as a substitute for yellow curry paste when you don’t have any.

It is usually made from dried green chilies, coriander root, garlic, onions, lemongrass, galangal (Thai ginger), shrimp paste and some other spices.

Green curry paste has a vivid earthy taste and unique smell due to its heady mix of spices – but it’s not as spicy as red.

This type of curry paste gives your curries a smooth texture and creamy feel that one finds with yellow curry paste.

As with red and yellow curry pastes however this too needs to be cooked or it can be very overpowering in flavor.

Green curry pastes contain some of the same ingredients as yellow but are also flavored with lime leaves giving them an unmistakably tanginess.

When looking for the best substitutions for yellow curry paste look for green ones that are thick like their yellow counterparts and if possible which contain split mustard seed or garlic in their ingredients list – linked commonly with the yellows.

3 – Vindaloo Paste

vindaloo paste

Vindaloo paste is an Indian-style spice paste made primarily with red chilies, garlic, clove, garam masala, vinegar and salt.

The key ingredient in Vindaloo paste is the red chili powder – it provides the heat that gives it its signature taste.

As with many Indian pastes, you may find additional ingredients depending on the region and family recipe.

Vindaloo paste can provide a complex flavor profile to any curry dish but will generally have an assertive heat level.

When used as a substitute for yellow curry paste, keep in mind that Vindaloo curry will be more spicy than yellow curry and should be used in small amounts to start until you get a handle on its heat level.

4 – Massaman Curry Paste

massaman curry paste

Massaman curry paste is a traditionally Thai condiment that is made from a blend of spices, including chiles, ginger, garlic, coriander seeds and cumin.

It’s sweeter than some other types of curry pastes and features a milder spiciness.

The flavor is perfect for curries with chicken, beef or lamb as it adds notes of sweetness to the richness of the meat.

Unlike yellow curry paste which also includes turmeric and curry powder among its ingredients, Massaman curry paste does not provide a distinct yellow hue when added to dishes.

If you need an alternative to yellow curry paste but don’t want to sacrifice on flavor then consider using Massaman curry paste as your go-to in recipes calling for this spice blend.

5 – Panang Curry Paste

panang curry paste

With an array of aromatic spices, Panang curry paste provides a punch of intense flavor to any dish.

Preferred by many Thai chefs, some find it more versatile than its yellow curry counterpart.

The main elements that make up this paste are red chilies, kaffir lime peels, coriander seeds and lemongrass, giving it the ability to infuse complex flavors.

To substitute Panang curry paste for yellow curry paste in a recipe try adding a few more red chilies and cumin into your mix – this gives the same hint of sweetness like yellow curry pastes but brings with it an extra layer of spiciness that can only be found in Panang.

substitutes for yellow curry paste

The 5 BEST Substitutes for Yellow Curry Paste

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes


  • Red Curry Paste
  • Green Curry Paste
  • Vindaloo Paste
  • Massaman Curry Paste
  • Panang Curry Paste


  • Choose your preferred substitute from the list of options.
  • Organize all of your ingredients.
  • Use the proper substitute to cook your recipes.
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