Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Japanese Vegetable Curry

I used to have the curry when I was in Singapore. Here, I did not have a chance to try the decent curry dish. I tried to make myself the curry like fish head curry , vegetable curry and Japanese curry poured on the rice. To tell the truth, none of them succeeded. Therefore, I gave up until now. Recently, I was looking for the perfect chocolate cake recipe and accidentally found this Japanese beef curry recipe on JustHungry website. I did visited this website before but I always have hard time finding the recipes I want. So, I only go to the site when search links bring me there. 

We sometimes watch  Twain cooking show on TV . One time, I saw the Chef did Japanese seafood curry which was thick gravy. I did not realize he used curry block that was different from Indian curry or Thai curry sold in supermarket. I bought those ready-made Indian curry and Thai curry and tried it out. My curry was always watery and I still did not realize I had to add something to make it thicken.

After that, I went to Japanese supermarket and looked for the curry block. I found the ready made S&B curry, vegetables already included. So, I bought two packets and tried them out at home. Firstly, the serving was small and secondly, the curry flavor was not strong enough for our  taste. So, I added more Thai curry I had. Today then I found Japanese curry recipe and knew what made the curry thicken. Let guess. It uses the flour to thicken the curry gravy. I knocked my head.

 My uncle will invite monk from Burma, who is vegetarian, to his place this coming Sunday. I volunteer to bring two vegetarian tofu dishes, two cakes and one kueh. I want to try this Japanese curry, vegetarian version and if succeed, I will make this dish for coming Sunday. This dish was not planned for today dinner so I didn't have some ingredients. As usual, I have to substitute those I have now.

Since I was going to cook vegetarian version, I omitted the beef. I replaced the crushed tomatoes with HEINZ tomato ketchup and omit potatoes as I did not have those on hand. My curry is a bit sweet and my guess was due to ketchup. I only added two very large onions. I have fried tofu & broccoli that I bought from market this weekend so I added them. I also added the cabbage as in Singapore, there are always cabbage in Malay vegetable curry and I like it. Other than that, the rest of the ingredients are the same. The brand of curry powder and garam masala will affect the taste of the curry. I used the ones I have but they are okay. This recipe yields 6 - 8 servings.

  • Omit {Original: 450-500g / about 1 lb stewing beef cubes (chuck works well; it should be a cut with a bit of fat in it and not too sinewy)}
  • 2 large onions {original: 6 large onions, or about 6 cups sliced}
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • An adult thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger
  • 2 cups of HEINZ Tomato Ketchup {original: 2 cups of crushed tomatoes (1 small can, or 400g)}
  • salt and mushroom seasoning {original: 1 beef or vegetable stock cube - Knorr }
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 tablespoons garam masala
  • 3-4 large carrots
  • 1 medium eating-type apple
  • Omit {original: 3-4 medium potatoes}
  • Oil or butter
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, Optional
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients(curry roux):
  • 3 tablespoons butter, ghee, clarified butter or oil, or a mixture
  • 4 tablespoons white flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder {original: 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons curry powder, or more to taste}
  1. Use heavy bottomed pot to avoid the curry burnt. The burnt curry is not nice.
  2. Omit {original: Cut meat into cubes about 2 cm / 1 inch square. Pat dry with paper towels, and brown in a little oil on all sides in a frying pan. Set aside.}
  3. Slice the onions thinly. Grate the ginger and either grate or finely chop the garlic.
  4. Peel and cut the carrots into chunks. Don't peel the potatoes yet: this will come later.
  5. Heat the heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, and heat up some butter, ghee or oil. (Butter or ghee will add some richness but oil is fine - you will barely notice the subtle difference since the curry will overwhelm it.) 
  6. Add the onions and a pinch of salt, and lower the heat to medium-low till onions are a light caramel brown in color. It might takes an hour or so.
  7. At this stage, add the ginger and garlic and cook a few more minutes. 
  8. Add the tomato ketchup and 6 cups of water,salt and mushroom seasoning, the bay leaf and the star anise. {original:Add the canned tomato and 6 cups of water,the browned beef, the stock cube, the bay leaf and the star anise.}
  9. Peel and grate the apple and stir in. to add the depth of flavor. 
  10. Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 40 minutes. {original: Bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for at least 1 hour, or more till meat is done.}
  11. {original: About 30 minutes into the cooking process} About 15 minutes, dry-roast about a tablespoon of garam masala powder in a small frying pan until it starts to get very fragant, and add to the stew pot. Add the carrots too.
  12. In the meantime, make the curry roux.
  13. {original: When the meat is about as tender as you want, peel the potatoes, cut them into chunks and add to the curry. Continue simmering until the potatoes are tender.}
  14. Take the pot off the heat and fish out the bay leaf and star anise. 
  15. Stir in the roux carefully until it's completely melted into the stew and the liquid is thick and very brown. Return to the heat and simmer a few more minutes. Add broccoli.
  16. At this stage you can dry roast another tablespoonful or so of garam masala and add it to the curry.
  17. At the last minute, add the optional frozen green peas, and stir - they should cook almost instantaneously. Serve immediately.
Direction(curry roux):
  1. In a small frying pan, melt the butter or ghee or clarified butter and heat until any foaming subsides.
  2. Add the flour, and cook the mixture over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it becomes a light brown in color. 
  3. Take the pan off the heat, and add the curry powder (the more the hotter.) Stir until the whole kitchen and beyond smells like curry. 
  4. Set aside. 
  1. There are two ways of serving curry . One is to put the curry in a sauce boat, and serve the rice separately. The other is to put the rice on the plate, and cover just one half with curry, You can of course just pour the curry right on the mound of rice.
  2. Usual garnishes are fukijin zuke, a sweet mixture of mystery pickled vegetables, and rakkyou, small pickled shallots. Other garnishes include chutney and grated cheese.
We just finished our dinner and like this curry. It has nice flavor except a bit sweet as I mentioned. Most curry contain coconut and that is one of the reason we don't want to have curry often. This Japanese curry is good enough for both of us. I sincerely thank JustHungry for sharing this wonderful recipe.

1 comment:

Related Posts with Thumbnails