For anyone that’s wondered how curry’s made, it tends to be pretty simple! You make a curry paste and then fry it with your vegetables and a little coconut milk! This recipe for curry paste (and curry dish) is intended as a low-FODMAPS alternative, since more traditional curry pastes tend to have lots of onion and garlic in them, potentially along with other alliums like shallots and green onions. Despite the substitutions, this curry paste is every bit as warm, aromatic and umami-hitting as a regular curry — not to mention the nutty flavor of the black rice and the sweetness of the squash! Another very fall-esque recipe to curl up in bed and forget about midterms with. 

This curry paste recipe is adapted from Karlijn’s “Thai Yellow Curry With Shrimps (Low FODMAP)” with slight substitutions and quantity changes. If you would like to make a more traditional curry paste, or even want to buy one premade, just substitute that in for the curry paste in the recipe! Additionally, this curry paste recipe makes more than is called for in the dish, so feel free to freeze the excess in a jar, and it’ll stay good for months!

Alice Bilyk / Daily Nexus


Curry Paste

  • 1 red chilli pepper
  • 4 stalks of spring onion (only the green part) or 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped lemongrass or 1 teaspoon ground lemongrass powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder 
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons garlic-infused oil or normal neutral oil
  • 5 to 6 stalks of fresh cilantro leaves
  • 3 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ large carrot
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala (optional)
  • Pinch of salt

Yellow Curry

  • 1 cup black rice
  • 2 chicken thighs
  • ½ carrot
  • ½ small squash
  • ½ zucchini
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons curry paste
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 lime
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cilantro leaves to garnish


  1. Cut all the fresh ingredients for the curry paste into half-inch pieces (if using a mortar and pestle, cut smaller so that there’s less work to do when grinding). Add them into a blender and blend, or grind with a mortar and pestle. Add the spices, oil, fish sauce and sugar, and stir to combine. If it is too dry, add more oil or water.
  2. Cut the carrot, zucchini and celery into thin slices. Cut the squash into rough cubes. 
  3. Add the rice into a small pot with one and three-quarter cups of water or the amount listed on the bag.
  4. Fry the chicken thighs in a medium sauté pan until golden but not cooked all the way through, and set aside. In the same pan, add the celery. Fry until fragrant.
  5. Add the squash cubes and fry for approximately 5 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown in some areas.
  6. Add the zucchini and carrots, and fry for approximately 2 to 3 minutes (or until also lightly golden).
  7. Cut the undercooked chicken thighs into cubes and add them to the pan.
  8. Add the curry paste and combine it with the vegetables and chicken in the pan. Let it fry for a minute or two before you add in the coconut cream and water. If you feel that the ratio between the two isn’t to your liking, feel free to adjust the amount of either one. Freeze the unused curry paste for another time.
  9. Simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the squash is tender. Turn off the heat and squeeze half a lime into the pan.
  10. Add paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.
  11. Plate with the black rice and garnish with the second half of the lime and a little paprika (optional).

I hope you enjoy this recipe! It’s not too difficult, though the ingredients list can look a little daunting. It also doesn’t take as long as you would think — the full recipe came together in the time it took the rice to finish cooking. This curry would work wonderfully with shrimp or even just over rice.

A version of this article appeared on page 10 in the December 2, 2021 print edition of the Daily Nexus.