Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"Indo" Curry Rice

카레라이스[Carae Rice]

Of all things known about India, there is nothing that hits Koreans like "Indo-Carae" (Korean phonetics for Indian Curry), perhaps better known than Taj Mahal. Indian people may find this a bit puzzling because what is known as Indian curry in Korea is no where to be found in India. It takes some historical and fun fact tracking to explain what had happened to Indian curry along the way. In a nutshell, it is believed that the British turned the original Indian marsala into a form of yellow "curry powder", and this was brought into Japan by a student who then turned the curry powder into a Japanese style curry sauce. Shortly after, the curry sauce landed in Korea making it a popular dinner menu in every Korean household served with steamed rice. Thanks to a brilliant Korean businessman who came up with a TV commercial which showed an Indian man in turban serving the curry, the dish became even more popularized as Indo-Carae (Indian curry) and/or curry rice in Korea.

Even today, many Koreans recollect their first encounter, probably sometime in the 80s, with what was then known as Indo-Carae (Indian Curry) as a wholesome experience. And people still relate its exotic, sensational taste with the image of India as a mysterious and exotic country. Along its long journey from India, curry seems to have brought India much closer, otherwise distant and unknown country, to Korea than any ambassador from India could have.

For 4 servings

steamed rice (2 servings)
curry mix (4 blocks or 1/2 package)
water (3 cups)
potato (1, medium size)
onion (1, medium size)
carrot (1, medium size)
beef cubes (1/2 lb)
mushroom (1/3 cup, chopped coarsely) optional
bell peppers (1/3 cup, chopped coarsely) optional

Some Japanese curry brands (House or S&B) make curry sauce in small curry blocks making it easy to proportion by each serving. 4 blocks or 1/2 package makes approximately 4 servings.

Cut potatoes, onions, carrots and beef into bite-size. I like having them as big chunks.

If you have other vegetables like mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli or corns, add them too.

In a deep pot, stir-fry beef cubes in sesame oil, or in olive oil if you don't have sesame oil.

When the beef cubes are almost cooked, add rest of the vegetables and stir-fry quickly.

Add water (3 cups) and curry blocks (4).

After the sauce comes to boil, reduce to low medium heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the curry becomes slightly thick. Serve a scoop of curry sauce over steamed rice.


Min said...

Check out a funny review of Japanese style curry chain in NYC :)

Anonymous said...

Your curry rice looks just delightful! I'm so glad you blogged on this as I bought some Japanese curry blocks myself but have no idea how much of it I should use for so and so servings lol

Good job on your blog btw! I've been a long admirer and today is my much delayed posting hahaha.

Migi said...

Thanks for posting your comment, Anonymous. :) I hope your curry rice turns out successful.

Anonymous said...

I have tasted the Japanese Indo Kare when I lived in Japan. Well, it is easy to make the Japanese style curry at home without using the readymade curry bars.

All you need to do is fry about 5 tablespoon of flour in about 1 tablespoon of oil over slow fire till it turns brown. Add curry powder and garam masala half spoon each and fry for about 30 seconds till the aroma starts coming. You can use this mixture for making Japanese style curry.

If anyone wants to try making authentic Indian recipes at home, please refer to Indo Curry website.

Migi said...

Thanks for sharing "authentic" Indo Curry Recipe with us! I can't wait till try your recipe. Recently I picked up a bag curry powder from Indian grocer and now I just need garam marsala which I forgot to buy. Again, thanks for sharing the recipe.

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