Japanese Vegetable Curry

Japanese Curry 2

love those Japanese curry packets, but I don’t like how the ingredients are all hydrogenated oils and MSG, so a year or so ago, I decided to try making Japanese curry from scratch. I found this recipe on No Recipes and played around with it a little and it turned out great! I actually used the spices listed in the description as well as garam masala, instead of just curry powder and garam masala. If I had a better curry powder in the cupboard I might have simplified the dish just using garam masala and curry powder, but the stuff is just so so. The funny thing is that tonight when I made it, it was different than the last time. I think I used less turmeric and coriander, and more of the sweet spices (cinnamon, fennel, clove, star anise). Anyways, both ways were yummy. For the recipe I gave a range of spice amounts.

The worcestershire sauce, ketchup and mustard replace the tonkatsu sauce in the recipe.

Instead of cooking the vegetables in the curry, I did them separately so that I could blend the onions. I blended them to get a really smooth sauce, but it isn’t necessary.

1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
2 big onions chopped or slices
2 garlic cloves sliced
1 piece ginger minced
1 apple peeled, cored and chopped
1-2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 to 1 teaspoon turmeric
1-2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2-1 teaspoon coriander
1/2-1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2-1 teaspoon fennel
3 cloves
2-3 star anise
1/4 of a nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetarian worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 squeeze mustard
4 cups water
1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
4-5 cups vegetables boiled (potatoes, carrots, okra, mushrooms, peas, etc.)
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup flour

  1. Heat olive oil or butter in a big saute pan and saute onions really slowly for about 15 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger and apple, and cook slowly for another 15 minutes to get everything caramelized.
  2. Grind all the spices together (you really only need to grind the fennel, cloves, star anise, and nutmeg, but I find that grinding them all together gives volume and they powder better), throw into the dish, and cook for a minute or so.
  3. Throw the onion mixture, worcestershire sauce, ketcup, mustard and 2 cups of water into a blender and blend until smooth.
  4. Add back to the pan and add 2 more cups of water, dark soy sauce and salt to taste.
  5. In another small skillet make your roux: melt the butter, add the flour, and cook stirring constantly until until nicely browned.
  6. Take a cup or so of the curry and mix it into the roux until smooth. Add back to the big pan and whisk or mix until all smooth.
  7. Add your vegetables and serve with Calrose or other short grain rice.

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