Japanese curry


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

Jackfruit and Blue Ginger

By Sasha Gill

Published 2019

  • About

Japanese curries are sweeter and milder than Indian ones. Traditionally, they are made with a roux of flour, butter and a unique concoction of spices. This version skips the roux, but gives a very similar result. I’ve included instructions for making your own curry powder below, but if you can find Japanese ‘oriental’ curry powder, feel free to use that instead. Failing that, just use garam masala and a generous pinch of ground turmeric (most Indian curry powders will be too bold and spicy).

Use tamari instead of soy sauce, and rice flour instead of plain flour.


  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large potato, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons Japanese curry powder
  • cups (625 ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2–3 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1 Fuji apple, grated
  • ½ cup (80 g) edamame or broad (fava) beans
  • spring onions (scallions) and sesame seeds, to garnish
  • cooked short-grain rice, to serve

Japanese curry powder

  • tablespoons ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon five spice powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


Preheat the oven to 200°C. Sift the flour onto a baking tray and toast until brown, taking it out to give it a stir every 5 minutes or so – this should take about 20 minutes altogether. Leave to cool.

If you’re making your own curry powder, simply mix together all the ingredients. (This makes more than you need here, but the rest can be stored in an airtight jar in your spice drawer for several months.)

In a large saucepan over medium heat, fry the onions and garlic in the oil until soft and translucent, 4–5 minutes. Add the carrots, potato, ketchup and 2 tablespoons curry powder. Stir well and keep stir-frying for another 5 minutes, then add the stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender enough to pierce with a fork. Next add the sugar, soy sauce, grated apple and edamame and boil for another 2 minutes.

Scoop a ladle or two of the broth into a blender, tip in the toasted flour and blend until smooth and lump-free (you can also do this by hand – in a bowl with a whisk). Return the blended broth to the pan and simmer, stirring frequently, until thick and saucy, about 5–10 minutes.

Serve the curry with rice, garnished with spring onions and sesame seeds.