Food is one of my passions and, when I have the time, I enjoy writing about it. Recently, while working on a project that involved finding the best autoresponder, I promised myself when I had a little time; I would share some fascinating information about the influence of Indian curry in Japan. We are all familiar with the idea that Indian country seems to have taken over as the national cuisine of Britain and the most popular dish in the country is the Indian “chicken tikka masala”.
Only recently did I find out that curry occupies a place in Japan in much the same level as it does in Britain. This is extremely unusual because Japan has no colonial ties with India and has its own unique and distinctive cuisine. The Japanese simply love curry and every food store in every shopping mall or railway station sells curry and rice which is locally known as karee raisu. And bakeries often offer a bread roll with curry sauce inside that goes by the name of karee pan.
Apparently, in 1982, schoolchildren chose curry as their favorite meal in the national program for lunch at school. In Japanese homes, the three most frequently cooked dishes for dinner are pork cutlets, stir fry vegetables and, believe it or not, curry. The Curry House Ichibanya, a nationwide chain with more than 300 outlets, serves curries with differing levels of spice. You can even find comic books where the leading characters seriously debate the best way of cooking curry.
The Japanese army found that curry and rice was an easy dish to cook in large quantities. Moreover they considered it as one method of feeding the troops beef which they believed would be strengthening. After the Second World War, curry and rice began to feature on school lunch menus. The introduction of pre-prepared curry roux made it easy for housewives who were tired after a day at work to cook curry at home.