Low-Oil Thai Green Vegetable Curry

It is no secret that the husband and I love Thai cuisine. We often choose Thai food when we go out for lunch, and I make Thai dishes at home quite often too. You will find a variety of Thai dishes – from Thai Tom Yum Soup and Thai Fried Rice to Thai Raw Papaya Salad and Thai Peanut Noodle Salad – on my blogs.

I have made what you would call ‘a cheat version’ of Thai Green Curry several times, substituting ingredients that I can get my hands on for the authentic ones. I would use lemon balm instead of lemongrass, for instance, or Indian ginger and paneer instead of galangal and tofu respectively. Recently, though, I went hunting for proper Thai ingredients like bird’s eye chillies, galangal, kaffir lime leaves, tofu and lemongrass, and a ‘proper’ Thai Green Curry came about. Of course, it tasted awesome – quite close to the Thai Green Curry we have sampled and loved in restaurants.

In case you have never tried making Thai Green Curry at home before, let me tell you that it is super simple. Just get together the right ingredients, and the cooking is a breeze! It is a super flavourful dish, too. What’s more, the curry can be made with just 1 teaspoon of oil – what more do you need from a dish, eh?

Here’s how to make Thai Green Curry with 1 teaspoon of oil.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):

To grind to a paste:

  1. A 2-inch piece of galangal, chopped
  2. 2 tablespoons coriander stems, chopped
  3. 1 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
  4. 4 Thai bird’s eye chillies, chopped
  5. 2 dry red chillies, each broken into two
  6. 2 kaffir lime leaves, torn up
  7. A handful of lemongrass leaves, cut up
  8. 6-8 garlic cloves, peeled
  9. 6-8 shallots aka small sambar onions, peeled and chopped
  10. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds (sabut dhania)
  11. 1 tablespoon cumin (jeera)

Other ingredients:

  1. Salt, to taste
  2. 1 cup thick coconut milk
  3. A dash of lemon juice
  4. 1 teaspoon oil
  5. 3 cups of mixed vegetables (babycorn, zucchini, capsicum, broccoli, carrot, beans)
  6. 100 grams tofu, chopped into cubes
  7. 2 kaffir lime leaves
  8. A few Thai basil leaves


  1. First, we will get all the vegetables ready. Peel the carrot and chop into batons. Remove strings from the beans and cut into batons. Cut the babycorn, zucchini, broccoli and capsicum into medium-sized pieces. Keep aside.
  2. Grind all the ingredients for the paste together till smooth, in a mixer, using a little water. Keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a pan. Add in all the chopped veggies, 2 kaffir lime leaves, and salt to taste. Cook on low flame till the vegetables are cooked, but still retain a bit of a crunch. Stir intermittently. Sprinkle a little water every now and then, if needed, if you feel the vegetables are sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the paste we ground earlier, to the pan. Add in the tofu cubes. Keeping the flame medium, cook for 2 minutes or till the raw smell of the paste disappears.
  5. Now, still keeping the flame medium, add in the coconut milk. Mix well. Cook on medium flame for 1 minute. Add a bit of water if you think the curry is too thick. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.
  6. Switch off gas, and add in the lemon juice. Roughly tear the Thai basil leaves and add them to the pan. Mix well. Serve the Thai Green Curry with steamed rice.


  1. I used a 200-ml store-bought pack of coconut milk to make this Thai Green Curry, which comes to just about 1 cup. Alternatively, you may make the coconut milk at home, too.
  2. The kaffir lime leaves can be replaced with lemon zest. Similarly, the galangal can be replaced with Indian ginger, and the Thai bird’s eye chillies with Indian green chillies. Lemon balm can be used in place of the lemongrass, too. Paneer can be used in place of tofu, and Thai basil can be substituted for Italian basil. However, if you want the taste to be authentic, or at least close to authentic, please stick to the original ingredients.
  3. Adjust the quantity of bird’s eye chillies that you use, depending upon how spicy you want the Thai Green Curry to taste.
  4. You can use any other vegetables of your choice to make this Thai Green Curry. Green peas, mushrooms and cauliflower are some veggies that would go well in this curry.
  5. It is important not to overcook the vegetables. They should be just cooked and should retain a crunch to them. Overcooked veggies will lead to a mushy, tasteless curry.
  6. Ensure that you cook the Thai Green Curry on a medium flame only. Do not cook the curry too much after adding the coconut milk.
  7. I have used jaggery to make the spice paste for this Thai Green Curry.
  8. You can make a zero-oil version of this curry as well. Add about 1 cup of water to a pan, then add in the vegetables and cook till are done but retain a bit of a crunch. Then, proceed to add in the tofu, the green curry paste and coconut milk, and make the curry as outlined above.


Foodie Monday Blog Hop

This recipe is for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for this week is ‘Vegetables Cooked In 1 Teaspoon oil’.

I’m also sending this recipe to Fiesta Friday #229. The co-host this week is Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons.


35 thoughts on “Low-Oil Thai Green Vegetable Curry

  1. Bookmarking this recipe Priya..the Thai curry sounds very flavorful and that it is cooked in just 1 teaspoon oil tempts me to try out this very soon. Hope I find atleast some of the ingredients here


    1. @poonampagar

      Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. This curry can be made with zero oil too – check my notes for details. πŸ™‚

      You can use Indian substitutes for the Thai ingredients. Do check out my cheat’s version of Thai green curry. I’ve linked to it in the post.


  2. Ha! I cheat with Thai Green Curry too – I use a paste from a jar! I’m actually surprised to see that I might be able to make my own so I’ll be trying your recipe very soon


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