Red Curry vs Panang Curry: Key Differences

Red Curry vs Panang Curry: Key Differences

Curry is a dish made with a sauce seasoned with spices mainly included in south Asian cuisine. Its fundamental ingredient is the curry powder and in Southern India where the original recipe emerged, leaves from the curry tree may be contained.

Curries are the most famous Indian and Thai cooking meal that is loved by many people around these countries. Curries have the most different and delicious taste which makes them one of the most loved cuisines by Indians as well as Thai people.

Curry is categorized into three different colors: Red, yellow and green curry. All three of them have different spices with different unique tastes. Moreover, there are varieties of curry including massaman curry, pasang curry, and sour curry.

In talking about the distinction between red curry and Panang curry, the word, it’s easily understandable that red curry is based on full spiciness as it uses more red chilies and Panang curry is less spicy than traditional red curries as it includes fewer red chilly. Red curries are the hottest variety and Panang curry is the sweetest one.

What is red curry?

Red curry is a traditional Thai cuisine made with several varieties of spices such as hot pepper, and also some other spices to give it a unique taste. Red curry has a reddish color that comes from the pepper flakes which are used by the people of that country to spice it up. The red curry is considered the hottest type of curry.

Red Curry vs Panang Curry

Also, its paste which in Thai refers to as kroeung gaeng phet Daeng works as the base of so many dishes. Certainly, nowadays, several different recipes for this food involve this ingredient. Some ingredients to make the red curry are coriander, cumin, red bell pepper, red chile, lemongrass, and ginger.

What is Panang curry?

Panang curry is not as hot and spicy as red curry as it consists of fewer red chilies which are there in large amounts in traditional red curry. Panang curry is considered to be the sweetest curry as it has the flavor of both coconut creams and peanuts.

The traditional Panang curry paste is generally made of dried chili peppers, galangal, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime zest, kaffir lime leaves, coriander root, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds. It is a type of red chili having a thick consistency, with a salty-sweet taste. Panang curry has a less spicy flavor. Though having the same color as red curry, it has a milder color side. It is the best curry you will ever taste.

Red Curry vs Panang Curry

Red curries us vibrant and flavourful dishes made from dried red chilies while Panang curry has a nutty flavor from crushed roasted peanut grounds into a delicious paste. There are quite a few differences that distinguish these two curries. Though spices can be considered as one of the factors that differ from both red curry and Panang curry, their consistency and texture are also what matters.

Red Curry Vs Panang Curry: Key Differences

Let’s know about this delicious curry more to know the real difference between the red curry and the Panang curry.

1. Consistency

Surprisingly their consistency will make the difference. The parang curry is a  sweet curry that tends to be thicker because recipes involve coconut cream rather than milk and thicker curry pastes.

A thinner consistency is often characterized as ‘watery’ by some, possibly because recipes often call for tomato juice or coconut milk, which is lighter than coconut cream. This is what is considered hot curry.

2. Flavors

There will be a noticeable difference between these two types of curry. The original parang curry contains almonds as a staple and essential ingredient which gives curry a sweetest, warm, nutty, and different unique earthy flavor.

Red Curry, on the other hand, does not include almonds or similar kinds of nutty ingredients that can give it a sweet flavor but the red curry has a rare taste of bold spicy taste, including red chilies or chili flakes which makes it quite spicy.

3. Colour

As both red curry and Panang curry have the same red color, there is slightly a difference in the shade of both curries. Panang curry has a lighter shade of reddish color and sometimes it changes into pink. The shade in the curry depends on the tomato paste in this type.

Red curry hence is the hottest and reddish colored curry consisting of more red chilies and flakes, tomatoes, and its paste having a shade that makes it stand out.

4. Spiciness

Red chilies are the hottest and spiciest curry including the bold spicy sauces and ingredients.

Panang curry, Though not as spicy as traditional red or green curries. The heat stems from the red chilies that are in the red curry paste. Sometimes, cooks will add more red chilies to dishes like Gaeng Panang Gai (Panang chicken curry) itself to make them spicier.

5. Serving styles

It’s a simple basic idea of serving different cuisine and curries in different styles of serving. Each curry is served daily due to its varying consistency, spicy flavor. The heat level for red curry is too hot to handle, the bold spicy taste and flavors which are different. On the other hand, Panang curry has a mild heat level compared to hot curry.

What’s the Similarity Between Red Curry and Panang Curry?

Well, first of all, you will find similarities in the ingredients of these two curries. When you will find the recipes for these two curries, there is a variety of ingredients like hot peppers, garlic, curry powder, chili powder, lemongrass, cumin, shallot, coriander, and turmeric. Coconut milk is another common ingredient in these recipes.

All the mentioned ingredients are used in both Red curry and Panang curry. But, it totally depends on the chef when he will use which ingredients. So, the order for the ingredients may not be the same. But, these are the things that you should use in the recipes.

Which Should You Buy/Prepare?

Both Red curry and Panang curry are distinctive in their taste and specifications. So, I think, there are a very few factors that can suggest you pick one between two. It actually depends on your preferences. What do you like? Do you like Panang curry with the inclusion of turmeric? Or the Red curry with a hot and spicy taste?

Both of these curries are healthy and tasty. The recipes are available. You can get the recipes and cook the foods on your own. The ingredients are available at the local market.

But, if you don’t want to face the hassle and want the food itself, go to any restaurant that serves international foods.

Red Curry vs Panang Curry: Which Is Better?

If you are concerned about the health issue, I can assure you that both the curries are healthy. As I said many times above, these carriers are full of nutrition. So, health-wise, there is nothing to worry about. But, if you are talking about taste, that could be a discussion.

Panang curry is better than Red curry in terms of taste. It comes with mild heat and a creamy texture. If you are not a spicy person, Panang curry is the best thing you are going to find. But, if you like spices, Red curry is there for you.

You can also get the food prepared in your house. Ingredients are available in the local market and recipes are also easy to follow. So, you can cook Panang curry very easily at your home. Try it out!


Taking concern of all the flavors, the heat levels, the textures, and even what each type of pair sits adequately within a meal, it’s difficult to say which one is the best option.

The varieties differ so much, and everyone’s tastes or compassion can vary extensively; something delightful to someone more acclimated to spicy food might be too severe for another. Someone who favors savory over sweet might not enjoy Panang curry as much.

The best advice to follow when looking into various kinds of foods and which one might be better is to go out and try some for yourself! In terms of caring about health care, both red curry as well as Panang curry is good and healthy and has not had a great effect on them.

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