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TASTE: As a couple who love to cook and eat, when the Chandras planned their vacation to Japan, they were looking forward to enjoying authentic Japanese cuisine during their travels. They didn’t anticipate that the most memorable dish would be something quite familiar – curry! By Smita Chandra and Sanjeev Chandra Authentic Curry in Japan.
TOFU FEAST ©SMITA CHANDRA AND SANJEEV CHANDRA
TEMPURA ©SMITA CHANDRA AND SANJEEV CHANDRA
travelling on British ships and associated this exotic dish with European rather than Indian cuisine. The recipe for English curry followed a well-tested formula: meat and onions were fried in butter, curry powder and stock added, an apple thrown in for tartness, and the mixture slowly simmered. Japanese curry was similar, with soy sauce, honey and the all-important browned roux (made by combining flour, curry powder and butter) added in,
There was nothing in the décor or name of the restaurant that hinted at an Indian connection, so why was a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo serving Indian food? Curry has become such an integral part of their cuisine that most Japanese are surprised to learn it did not originate in their homeland. Curry arrived in Japan in the late 19th century, when for the first time, many Japanese began to travel to the west and were captivated by the culture and food they encountered. Most Japanese first tasted curry when
We first discovered Japanese curry in Tokyo’s chic Shinjuku district at the famous Nakamuraya restaurant, where chicken and seafood curries are prominently displayed on the menu. For Indian visitors like us, this was irresistible – we had to try them! The curry came in a sauceboat, accompanied by a plate of white rice, grated Parmesan cheese and little dishes of fukujinzuke , pickled vegetables. The flavours of the curry were distinctly Indian, which only deepened the mystery.
TOKYO, TSUKIJI FISH MARKET @SMITA CHANDRA AND SANJEEV CHANDRA
60 • Vacations ® • Winter 2018
Vacations® • Winter 2018 • 61
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