From Dish Erin:
A few months ago I took a Curries of Asia class at the Brooklyn kitchen, which was fascinating because it completely changed everything I know about curry. In the West curry usually means the yellow powder, which is actually a blend of many spices that includes the curry plant, and it’s often an acquired taste. But in the East, the term “curry” refers to any dish that includes the actual curry plant in it, and is used similarly to how we use the terms “soup” and “stew” in the West. It’s completely subjective to the region, the ingredients available, and the cook that’s preparing it. There are literally billions of types of curries. One of the most interesting ones to me was Japanese curry because it’s still spicy but it has a bit of sweetness from an unexpected and secret ingredient.
You’ll need to make a roux for this dish, which is a fancy word for a mixture of flour and butter that is used as a thickening agent. This roux naturally has an Asian influence with tonkatsu sauce, which is halfway between a Japanese ketchup and oyster sauce. You can find it at most Asian grocery stores, but if you can’t find it, use oyster sauce instead. Garam masala is similar to curry powder, and available at most Asian and Indian grocery stores. If you can’t find it, you can use curry powder instead.
For the roux:
3 tbs butter
1/4 cup flour
2 tbs garam masala or curry powder
1/2 tsp cayenne
1 tbs ketchup
1 tbs tonkatsu or oyster
Make the roux first:
Melt butter on low heat, stir in flour and curry powder until a thick paste, add cayenne, black pepper, ketchup and tonkatsu, cook until crumbly (will look like a dry paste), remove from heat. Set aside. (This roux can be used immediately, kept in the fridge for 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.)
For the curry:
2 tbs oil vegetable or peanut oil
2 large onions sliced thin
1 package extra firm tofu cubed
3 carrots cubed
enough water to cover veggies
2 large Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 Fuji apple micro planed
1 pack white beech mushrooms
1 Japanese eggplant, diced
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp garam masala
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup frozen peas
Sauté onions in oil until caramelized. Add carrots and stir to coat, then water and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and add potatoes, apple, mushroom, eggplant, salt, tofu and garam masala. Stir to incorporate.
Whisk 1 cup chicken stock into roux to reconstitute it and pour into the curry pot. Stir until mixed in thoroughly and cover.
Simmer until potatoes are tender, about 30 min. About 5 minutes before removing from heat, add peas, stir and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve over jasmine rice.
Note: the longer this cooks, the more fragrant it becomes, so you can absolutely cook it really low for 1-2 hours in a slow cooker.