Thai Red Chicken Curry with Green Beans, Cherry Tomatoes and Basil

Unlike many Indian curries, Thai curries are quick and easy to cook. This one uses a simple homemade curry paste, and coconut milk, seasoned at the end with the classic seasonings of Thai fish sauce and lime juice.


Serves 6-8

Preparation Time

Cook time

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Cook's NoteA fresh curry paste, like the one for this recipe, will give your curry a much better, fresher taste. Commercially produced curry pastes are more concentrated in flavour so you will only need to use about 200g instead.
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  • 4 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 5cm peeled fresh ginger, cut into short thin matchsticks
  • 3 garlic cloves- thinly sliced
  • Thai red curry paste (see below)
  • 2x400ml canned coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 175g fine green beans, topped, tailed and halved
  • 700g chicken breast fillet, cut into long thin strips
  • 225g small cherry tomatoes
  • 200g canned bamboo shoots, drained
  • 3 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • The juice of 1 large lime
  • 25g fresh basil leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Red Thai Curry Paste:

  • 7 medium-hot red chillies, stalks and seeds removed and the flesh roughly chopped
  • 75g peeled fresh ginger, roughly chopped
  • 6 lemongrass stalks- outer leaves removed and the core roughly chopped
  • 9 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 100g shallot, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground coriander seeds
  • 1½ tsp freshly ground cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp Thai shrimp paste
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil


For the Thai red curry paste, put all the ingredients into a food processor with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 tablespoon of water and blend together for 1 minute into a smooth paste.

For the curry, heat the sunflower oil in the casserole over a medium heat. Add the ginger and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes without letting it brown. Add the curry paste and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until it starts to smell fragrant. Add the coconut milk, sugar, lime leaves and stock and simmer for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, put the green beans into a pan of boiling salted water and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Drain well.

Stir in the chicken and green beans into the curry and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes, green beans and bamboo shoots and simmer for a further 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are just tender.

Skim off the excess oil from the surface of the curry, then stir in the Thai fish sauce, lime juice and a little seasoning to taste. Scatter over the basil leaves and serve with some steamed basmati rice.