Curry has been locally known in every Japanese kitchen. You can find it in vending machines in every grocery and convenience store. The Japanese have very well adopted the taste of curry and added it to their daily menu. Who has influenced and introduced them to this dish?
The British were the ones who brought curry to Japan. After Japan stopped its isolation strategy, the British took curry from India back to the UK and introduced it to the Japanese. Curry is considered a Western dish in Japan.
Where Did the Term “Curry” Come From?
There are several ideas about how the word curry came to be. The most likely explanations are that it is derived from a Tamil phrase for sauce or soup over rice or from a general name for spicy rice with soup, consumed regularly in India and Sri Lanka. However, the real origin is still unknown. (Source: S & B Curry)
The Origin Of Japanese Curry
In 1600, the British formed the East India Company and began colonizing the Indian subcontinent. At the same time, European powers like the Netherlands and France moved into Asia, resulting in increasing commerce. Many British citizens returned to the nation after experiencing Indian food, and it quickly spread throughout the country.
The seasoning garam masala was then imported to Britain, and a British firm called C&B began to create the world’s first curry powder in the early 18th century. When this was coupled with a roux from western cuisine, a thicker curry was created, subsequently forming the foundation of Japanese curry. (Source: S & B Curry)
How Did Curry Make Its Way To Japan?
Curry is supposed to have migrated to Japan from the west once the ports reopened at the end of the Edo era, and the first curry recipe was introduced to Japan around 1872. After 200 years of isolation, the entire country was anxious to adopt western civilization, including gastronomy.
Curry and rice, on the other hand, was a portion of pricey gourmet food, costing eight times more than the average commoners’ dinner, morisoba or buckwheat noodles served with a soy sauce-flavored broth), despite its rapid popularity.
The recipe for Japanese curry and rice, including onions, carrots, and potatoes, was created in the 1910s. The Japanese army embraced this dish because of its nutritious benefits and simple preparation. Minejiro Yamazaki, the founder of S&B Foods Incorporated, set out to create a Japanese curry powder in 1923. He ultimately achieved his aim after much trial and error. Curry powder is now in every household. (Source: S & B Curry)
Today’s Curry in Japan
Japanese curry has become one of the most popular dishes in Japanese households. According to studies, the typical Japanese individual consumes 62 curry meals each year, implying that most people in Japan eat curry more than once a week.
Onions, carrots, potatoes, and occasionally celery are included in the traditional Japanese curry, which is cooked in a big pot. Grated apples or honey are occasionally used for extra sweetness, and other vegetables are often substituted. (Source: S & B Curry)