What is the Difference Between Red Yellow and Green Curry?

Last Updated on June 2, 2023 by Amanda P. Brown

The difference between red yellow and green curry is that Red curry is spicier compared to yellow curry, green curry is spicier than red curry, and yellow curry is less spicy than both the curries. Generally, curry is very popular in India and other countries such as Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, South Africa, and Indonesia. There are 3 major types of curry such as red, green, and yellow. However, if you are a curry lover, you need to know about these three curries. 

Moreover, this article discusses what red, yellow, and green curry is, their difference, which is more spicy and less spicy, whether yellow curry can be substituted for green curry, whether yellow or green curry is healthier, etc. Let’s check it out below.

What is Red Curry?

Red Curry

A famous Thai cuisine is a red curry, known for its deliciousness, aromatic spices, creaminess, and spiciness taste. This red curry has a variety of ingredients, including red curry paste, a mixture of galangal, shallots, red chili peppers, lemongrass, garlic, and other spices and herbs. 

The paste is usually cooked in a mixture of meat broth, coconut milk, or vegetable to make a creamy and rich sauce. This red curry can also be prepared with various proteins like tofu, shrimp, beef, or chicken and is frequently cooked with vegetables such as eggplant, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, and green beans. 

Additionally, the red chilies in the paste give color to the red curry. So, if the red curry is very spicy, you can decrease the heat by including coconut milk or using chili’s white inner flesh or seeds. Moreover, this red curry is enjoyed worldwide, including in Thailand. Also, you can serve this red curry over rice and garnish it with fresh herbs like Thai basil or cilantro.

What is Yellow Curry?

Yellow Curry

Yellow curry is a delicious dish which is very popular among Thai. They’re renowned for their light and little sweet taste. The turmeric and other spices added to the curry paste give them their yellow color. Its curry paste also usually contains a variety of spices like garlic, turmeric, ginger, coriander, and cumin, which is mixed with other ingredients like shrimp, lemongrass, and shallot paste to make an aromatic and flavorful base.

Also, yellow curry contains a mixture of vegetables such as onions, potatoes, and carrots and proteins such as tofu, chicken, or beef. It is frequently cooked in coconut milk, which gives the meal a creamy and rich texture. You can serve this flavorful yellow curry with rice or noodles, available in Thai restaurants worldwide. 

What is Green Curry?

Green Curry

Green curry is a delicious and spicy dish from Thailand, known for its aromatic and spicy taste as well as deliciousness, heat, and sweetness. It’s called “green” curry because of its vibrant green color, which comes from the green chilies used to create the curry paste. 

Also, to prepare green curry, a paste is created by grinding together ingredients like lemongrass, shallots, coriander roots, green chilies, galangal ( a kind of ginger), kaffir lime leaves, garlic, and different herbs and spices. This curry paste is also cooked using coconut milk, which offers the curry a creamy and rich texture. 

Moreover, green curry contains Seafood or meat (like fish, beef, prawns, or chicken), vegetables (like Thai basil, eggplant, and bamboo shoots), and spices like palm sugar and fish sauce.

You can serve this delicious green curry with steamed jasmine rice, sliced eggs, salted fried onions, noodles, etc. 

Difference Between Red Yellow and Green Curry

FactorsRed curryGreen curryYellow curry
SpicinessRed curry is spicier compared to yellow curry.Green curry is more spicy compared to red curry.Yellow curry is less spicy than both curries.
TasteSpicy, creamy, flavorful, and aromatic.Sweet, spicy, fresh, and creamy taste.They are slightly sweet, mildly spicy, and aromatic flavors.
IngredientsDried red chili peppers, coriander root, shallots, lemongrass, galangal, garlic, vegetables, meat, coconut milk, palm sugar, fish sauce, and other spices are used in making red curry.Green chili peppers, coconut milk, lemongrass, shallots, kaffir lime leaves, coriander roots, garlic, galangal, beef, chicken, fish, prawns, Thai basil, eggplant, and bamboo shoots are used in making green curry.Garlic, turmeric, ginger,coriander, cumin, shrimp, lemongrass, shallot, onions, potatoes, carrots, tofu, chicken, or beef make yellow curry.
HeatMild mediumHighMilder
Types of chili or pepper usedRed curry is usually made from dry red chilies. Also, you can add other chilies such as paprika, cayenne pepper, Anaheim chili peppers, and Kashmiri chili peppers.Green curry is typically made with Thai green chilies. You can also use bird’s eye chili.Yellow curry is made from turmeric and yellow peppers.
ColorRed curry is red because of the presence of red chilies in the paste.Green curry is green because of the green chilies in the paste.Yellow curry is yellow because yellow is present in the paste,

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Which Curry is Hotter: Green, Red, or Yellow?

Deciding which curry is hotter is usually tricky because it may vary depending on the specific recipe and the amount of spices used. However, in general, Green curry is considered to be more spicy than red curry. Red curry is more spicy compared to yellow curry, and Yellow curry is less spicy than both. 

Which Curry is Least Spicy?

Generally, all three curries, red, green, and yellow, are spicy. But the curry’s spiciness level may vary depending on the specific recipe and the quantity of chilies. However, yellow curries are generally considered less spicy. Because they contain mild spices like coriander, turmeric, and cumin, they also have coconut milk that helps balance the heat. Then red curry is considered less spicy. And then Green curry. 

Can I Substitute Yellow Curry for Green Curry?

Yes, you can substitute yellow curry for green curry. But their taste and spice levels may differ slightly because the ingredients used in green and yellow curry differ.

Green curry is renowned for its spicy, aromatic, and savory taste, whereas yellow curry has a mild and sweet taste. However, if you want a less spicy alternative or to include a sweetener in your meal, you can substitute yellow curry for green curry.


Why is Green Curry Hotter Than Red?

Usually, green curry is hotter than red curry because fresh green chilies are used in green curry, whereas dried red chilies are used in red curry. Green curry also often contains other hot spices like galangal, lemongrass, and garlic, which increases their heat levels. 

Why is Indian Curry Yellow?

Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian cooking styles, which brings a vibrant yellow color to their food. But yellow not only adds color to the food but also adds a distinctive flavor and has many health benefits. Turmeric is used as an Ayurvedic medicine to treat several ailments, which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, and also includes nutritional value to the food. 

Is Yellow Curry Really Spicy?

Yes, yellow curry is spicy but milder than the other two curries. Usually, turmeric curry is very creamy, slightly sweet, mildly spicy, and aromatic in flavor. However, the quantity of spices depends on your requirement. You can include more chilies to increase the spice level in your yellow curry. 

Is Yellow or Green Curry Healthier?

Generally, both yellow and green curry may be healthy and nutritious. Yellow curry usually contains turmeric and vegetables like potatoes, carrots, etc., and other protein ingredients like chicken. Yellow is an anti-inflammatory, Ayurvedic medicine and helps fight cancer cells. Green curry also contains other healthy ingredients like chicken, shrimp, and herbs, rich in protein, nutrients, minerals, and antioxidants. So, both curries are healthy. 

What Makes Green Curry Green?

Usually, green red chilies used in green curry make the curry green. Also, green curry spice comes from small Thai green chilies, which may be small but pack a lot of heat. However, If you are making a mild curry, you need to avoid these Thai peppers altogether. You can use only 1 Thai chili for a mild curry. 

Final Verdict

If you are worried about which curry is best for you, red, yellow, and green curry, then you can read this article. Through this article, you will quickly learn the Difference Between Red Yellow and Green Curry, which will help you ensure the best curry. However, if you want a very spicy dish, then green curry is excellent, or if you wish medium spicy red curry is perfect, or if you want a mildly spicy dish, yellow curry is best for you. It depends on your personal preference. 

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