A Gaeng Daeng Thai Red Curry That Never Fails to Satisfy

This fragrant red curry is one dad's Sunday staple.

by Fatherly
Originally Published: 
Joy Velasco for Fatherly

Gaeng Daeng is a fragrant Thai red curry served over rice or thin noodles and traditionally eaten for either lunch or dinner. When Balint Horvath, founder of the parenting blog Project Father, backpacked through Southeast Asia in 2015, he stayed at a hotel in Bangkok called the Tints of Blue Residence. It was operated by a young Thai couple and he was their very first guest. It was a memory that stuck with Horvath and while there, he happened to purchase a book of traditional Thai recipes. This Gaeng Daeng recipe — albeit tweaked a bit to cut back on the heat so his kids don’t get overwhelmed with spice — became a staple in his household. He frequently prepares it on Sundays, when there’s time for it to simmer, and it’s beloved by not only his daughter but also his sister’s children as well.

“This dish looks like a difficult meal to prepare, however it turned out not to be the case,” he says. “It takes me nowadays on average about 30 mins.”

If you’ve never had a Thai curry before, this dish — hearty, healthy, and layered with flavor — is a great introduction. Perhaps it will conjure memories of your backpacking adventures or youthful pursuits, stories which you can share with your kids as you enjoy it.

“The Dad Special” is a celebration of food, family, and fathers who cook. Featuring chefs, celebrities, and kitchen crazy dads, this collection highlights meals — from family secrets to quick kid delights — meant to honor time spent at the table.

Gaeng Dang Thai Red Curry Recipe


  • 500 ml coconut milk
  • 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn not sliced
  • 4 tablespoons of fish sauce (or 1 tablespoon of salt)
  • 300g chicken/pork/beef
  • 200g pumpkin (cubed)
  • 250ml water
  • 20 Thai basil leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of red curry paste


  1. Add 250ml coconut milk to saucepan and bring to the boil
  2. Add curry paste and stir for 2 minutes
  3. Add torn kaffir lime leaves
  4. Add fish sauce and meat and simmer until meat is cooked
  5. Add pumpkin, remaining 250ml coconut milk, and water until pumpkin is soft
  6. Add sweet basil and mix for 1 minute
  7. Serve with rice or fresh vermicelli noodles

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