Vegan Japanese Curry

by - July 18, 2016

The first time I had a Japanese curry, I was in Japan and I was starving. My sister saw the curry place, raved about Japanese curry to me, 'sweet and saucy', and convinced me to give it a go. My father was less impressed, and kept on going on about the MSG and chemicals the curry was 'probably full of'.

Now I don't know if this is true, and I have found several japanese curry packets which were (a) vegan *yayyyy* and; (b) devoid of MSG. But I just feel like, anything you can get in a packet, you can make at home from scratch and have taste even better. Except puff pastry. That thing is the devil to make in hot&humid Singapore.

When I first found a from-scratch Japanese curry recipe, there were two things that stopped me from diving right into making it. Firstly, the roux. Now, I am a fan of fat. I adore peanut butter and every nut on earth (yes, even brazil nuts). But not so much a fan of pure, refined fats devoid of any nutrition. I mean, yes, sometimes oil is the only thing that's going to do the job. You can't have a raw vegan cheesecake without coconut oil. You can't have a block of chocolate without cacao butter. But, can you make a roux without a 1/2 cup of oil? (spoiler: yes, yes you can)

Secondly, the recipes all specified S&B oriental curry powder. Which I did not have and couldn't find anywhere. You'd imagine it to be easier to get in a country like singapore VS america, but alas! We have yet to have readily accessible amazon here. I think. SO i made my own curry mix with spices that are more common in asian style curry powders.

Here is the recipe fore my HCLF vegan japanese curry:

HCLF Japanese Curry
3 tbsp plain flour (you can use rice flour as a gluten free option)
1 white onion, chopped finely
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large carrot, cubed
1 large potato, cubed
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 tbsp ketchup
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of cinnamon
2 1/2 cups veg broth
1 tbsp rice malt syrup (or you can add 1 blended date with water)
1 tbsp tamari/ soy sauce for non-GF
1 medium fuji apple, grated
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt, to taste
Spring onions and sesame seeds for garnishing
A short or medium grain rice, cooked to serve with

In an oven preheated to 200C, spread the flour on a baking sheet and toast until brown, about 20 minutes, taking it out to stir about every 5 minutes. Leave to cool. Mix together spices.
In a large pot, add a thin layer of water and steam-saute the onions and garlic. About 5-10 minutes, until soft. Add the potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots, ketchup and mixed spices and toss to coat. Leave in pan for 5 minutes, then add the vegetable broth. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes until vegetable can be pierced with a fork. Next, add the syrup, tamari and apple. Add the peas. Boil another 2 minutes then add a scoop or two of broth into a blender with the toasted flour and blend to remove any clumps (you can also whisk this). Add it back to the pot and continue to simmer until the curry is thick and the veggies are tender. Garnish and serve next to rice.

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