Difference Between Red Curry and Green Curry (with Table)

The red curry is made with red chilies and tomatoes which gives it a spicy and tangy taste. It is the most versatile curry and can be paired well with most food items.

Green curry on the other hand is made with green chilies basil and mint. This gives it a very distinct flavor. It pairs especially well with fish and rice. Green curry is pungent and has a thicker consistency than red curry.

Red Curry vs Green Curry

The difference between red curry and green curry is that Red curry uses red chili as its base, whereas green curry uses green chili as its base.

Comparison Table Between Red Curry and Green Curry

Parameter of ComparisonRed curryGreen curry
Type of chili usedThai red curry uses around 20 RED chilies.Thai Green curry uses around 15 Green chilies.
How it gets its colorIt gets its color from the enormous amount red chilies added to it. Tomato puree and chili powder also contribute to the colorIt gets its color from green chilies, mint and basil.
Spice levelIt is the spiciest Thai curry. Many restaurants make it using tomatoes instead of 20 chilies to reduce the levels of spice. It usually ranks a 5/5 in spice levels.It is also known as Sweet Thai curry as it uses the least amount of spice. Green chilies are comparatively lower in spice levels. It usually ranks between a 2 or 3 out of 5 in the level of spice.
ConsistencyThin soupy consistency.Thicker than red curry, can be made thinner with coconut milk or water.
Ingredients usedCoconut milk, red chilies, tomato puree, lime, coriander, cumin, lemongrass, peppercorn, garlic, shallots, ginger, chili powder.Coconut milk, green chilies, ginger juice, lemongrass, basil, mint, lemons, green bell peppers, peppercorn, cumin and shallots 
ToppingsBest topped with shrimp, baby corn, fish or broccoli. Best eaten with rice and rice noodles.Best topped with rice, fish or soya chunks. Used in a stew. Best eaten with steamed rice.
Flavour profileThis is suitable for people who have a high spice tolerance. It is the most versatile curry and goes with almost everything.It is suitable for those who are comfortable with distinct flavours. The sweet and spice from the basil and green chili give it a bold flavour profile. 
Alternative name Kaeng Phet    Kaeng Khiao Wan  

What is Red Curry?

Red curry is a Thai dish. This curry is used very often in Thai cuisine. It is the perfect curry for dinner. The best red curries use a wide variety of aromatics like shallots, star anise, garlic, and ginger. The best way to get a rich and creamy red curry is to use full-fat coconut milk.

The easiest hack to make red curry anywhere and anytime is to use store-bought paste and dilute it in full-fat coconut milk. It is available in a non-vegetarian version which includes shrimp sauce, and a vegan and vegetarian version that uses soy sauce. It pairs best with steamed rice and rice noodles. It can be topped with chili oil or garlic oil.

The easiest way to make red curry is to dilute red curry paste. The paste can be found in the market. The paste is usually diluted using coconut milk which provides it with a creamy consistency. The red curry paste consists of 20 red chilies, tomato puree, lemongrass, ginger-garlic paste, shallots, and kafir lime.

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What is Green Curry?

Green curry is a curry used in Thai dishes. It is made using green chilies. The curry is eaten along with rice for lunch or dinner.

Green curry is made using green curry paste. The paste is diluted using coconut milk which gives the curry a light and creamy consistency.

The paste is made using green chilies mint basil lemongrass, kefir lime, ginger, garlic, and shallots. Green curry has a tangy and lip-smacking taste to it. Green curry is best made with full-fat coconut milk. The vegetarian version is made using paneer, broccoli, and kale. The non-vegetarian version uses fish sauce and fish as an additional ingredient. The vegan version uses peas and tofu.

This curry is best served with a pot of warm steamed rice. It is topped best with coriander and Thai basil.

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Main Differences Between Red Curry and Green Curry

  1. Red curry uses red chilies as the main source of color and flavor. Some restaurants even add chili powder to get some additional flavor. Green curry uses green chilies as the base for color and flavor.
  2. Red curry uses tomato puree and coconut milk, whereas green curry uses basil mint and coconut milk.
  3. Red curry is very versatile as it has a neutral spicy flavor profile. It is served best with shrimp, rice, and exotic vegetables. Green curry on the other hand has a distinct minty flavor profile it is not as spicy as red curry. It is served best with fish, rice, shrimp, and mushroom.
  4. Red curry ranks a 5/5 in spice levels although some curry pastes use tomato puree, most stick to red chilies and chili powder. Green curry is also known as a sweet curry as it is comparatively sweeter. It ranks a 3.5/5 on spice levels. It gets the spice from green chilies; most recipes also use green bell peppers.
  5. Kaeng Phet is the alternative Thai name for red curry, and Phrik Kaeng Phet is the red curry paste. Kaeng Khiao wan is the alternative name for green curry.
  6. Red curry is best topped with fish sauce or a few drops of kaffir lime or a few drops of soya sauce, whereas green curry is best topped with Thai basil coriander and lime.


Red and green curries are Thai curries that pair well with steamed rice. If one has a good spice tolerance and prefers versatility red curry is the way to go. If one has a preference for a spicy minty taste, they should opt for Green curry.


  1. http://www.thaiscience.info/Journals/Article/TKJN/10507167.pdf
  2. http://www.tyginger.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Ty-Ginger-Dinner-Menu-Web-Carry-Out-130830.pdf

Last update on 2021-09-07 / Amazon Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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