I spent quite a while searching on the internet for a recipe for curry rice from whole spices and unprocessed ingredients, but was unsuccessful. Every article or blog-post about curry rice relied on pre-packaged "curry roux" to make the sauce. Perhaps this is only logical, since curry rice is just a simple convenience food and not something to be appreciated like a fine Indian stew.
The package contains a block of reddish-brown paste which is made up of dehydrated vegetables, curry powder, various oils, and other flavorings. I used 4 ounces cauliflower, 4 ounces of carrot, 1.5 ounces broccoli, 12 ounces of potato, and 7 ounces yellow onion, some vegetable oil, some water, and one box of curry mix to make a batch (Unit conversion page). I sauteed the vegetables in oil for a few minutes until they were lightly browned, added water to cover, then put a lid on the pot and let it simmer until the vegetables were tender. To finish the dish, I added the contents of the curry package to the pot and gently stirred the mixture for a few minutes until a smooth sauce had formed.
The Japanese-style curry was easy to make, but I give it a pretty low rating in terms of flavor and nutrition. The sauce was smooth---thanks to the industrially ground curry powder and other additives---and had a rich, pleasant flavor. But even though the box was labeled "medium hot", I found it to be rather bland. Finally, the mix was full of nasty ingredients like palm oil and MSG. I definitely will not buy this type of curry mix again. With a little bit of experimenting with the spices in my cabinet, I'm sure I could make a similarly flavored curry sauce using a freshly-ground masala, and a freshly made roux of flour and oil to create a smooth sauce.
- Top photo: a display case outside of a curry restaurant in a train station in Tokyo.
- Middle photo: the ingredients for my Japanese-style curry.
- Bottom photo: Stacks of curry mix at a discount grocery near Ueno Park, Tokyo.
Indexed under Japan