Saturday, 21 January 2012

Homemade Japanese Curry Rice - カレーライス

Japanese Chicken and Vegetables Curry Rice
Roll cut the carrots
Sauté the vegetables 
Cooking the curry
Japanese Curry Rice カレーライス

Curry has over the past years become one of Britain's favourite food. The popular ones remains the Indian curry vindaloos or the newer addition to the curry reign, the aromatic Thai green curry. Japanese curry is altogether quite different and quite underrated, in my view. It is thicker and slightly sweeter than both the Indian and Thai curries. It is not as spicy as the two but still retains the unmistakable flavour and taste of a curry. It is great for those who always shunned away from curry thinking that all curry are as fiery as they come.
Very often, the Japanese curry are serves with Tonkatsu/ Pork cutlets on a bed of rice, but of course any meat or vegetables can be thrown into the mix which makes this an extremely versatile dish.  I have recently made a chicken, carrot, potatoes, onions and peas version for my colleagues in work for our nightshift and they loved it!

(Serves 4)

For the Roux:
25g butter
3 tbsp flour
3 tbsp good quality curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp tonkatsu sauce or worcestershire sauce

For the Curry:
1 tbsp sunflower oil or any vegetable oil
2 large onions, diced
8 large chicken thighs, boned and skinned and chopped into large pieces 
2 carrots, either diced into 2cm cubes or roll cut (hold the whole carrot and roll it as you cut diagonally, this give a much more beautiful presentation, see photo above)
800ml water
2 large potatoes, cut into large chunks
1 large apple or pear, peeled, cored and finely grated (do this in a food processor if wish)
50g peas, frozen or fresh
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

First make the roux. Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the flour and curry powder and cook for a minute or two, until you get a thick paste. Add the cayenne pepper, tomato paste and tonkatsu sauce and combined. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove fro heat and set aside,

In a large saucepan, heat up the oil over medium heat and sauté the onions until golden brown and caramelised, about 25-30 minutes. Careful not to let it burn. Add  the chicken and cook for another 6-7 minutes until browned. Add the carrots, potatoes, grated apple or pear and top with water. Bring to the boil, Ladle some of the cooking liquid into the roux and whisk until smooth, then pour the smooth paste into the saucepan and gently stir until thicken. Turn the heat down and simmer for 30 minutes or until the carrots and potatoes are cooked. Finally add the peas and heat through.

Serves over a bed of rice.

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