Japanese Dry Curry

My mother is a phenomenal cook. I know everyone says this, but I’m dead serious, she is a GREAT cook. There are certain people who just know exactly what needs to be added to a recipe to take it up a few notches and my mother is one of those people. We could make the same exact recipe and hers will always turn out better. Every time I cook, I strive to be as good as she is but I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to compete!

Growing up, my mother, aka the best cook eva, had a few dozen recipes that were in rotation as her “go-to” recipes if we couldn’t decide what to eat for dinner. One of these recipes was her Japanese dry curry. If you’ve never had Japanese dry curry before, it is most similar to a Keema curry although it tastes slightly different. The curry is spicy, slightly sweet and best served with some hot white rice. The dry curry is super easy to make and is also a great filling for Curry Pan (curry bread- recipe to come soon!). You can always customize your recipe by adding more vegetables (corn is really good in this recipe) and making it spicier or sweeter depending on what you like.


  • 1 Large Onion chopped coarsely
  • 1.5 Carrots chopped coarsely
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • 2 Tbsp of Curry Powder
  • 3 Tbsp of Ketchup
  • 2 tsp of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 1.5 cups of Whole Milk*
  • 1 Bouillon Cube crushed to a fine powder
  • 2 tsp Red Pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

1) In a food processor, pulse the 3 garlic cloves a couple of times and then add the coarsely chopped onion and pulse until minced. Do not overly pulverize the onions or you will extract too much liquid.

2) In a medium sized Dutch oven on medium heat, add about 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil and add the minced onion and garlic. Caramelize the garlic and onions until they become golden brown. This step may take a while. Adding a tbsp or 2 of water to the pan when the onions start to stick prevents the onions from burning.

The finished caramelized onions should look like this


3) While caramelizing the onions and garlic, add the coarsely chopped carrots to the food processor and pulse a few times until minced. Again, do not over-pulverize the carrots.

4) Cook the vegetable mixture until the carrots have softened, and add the ground beef. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.

5) Add the curry powder and the bouillon powder into the pot and sauté with the meat and vegetable mixture for about 1 minute.

6) Add the milk (*the milk should cover the beef and vegetable mixture, if 1.5 cups is not enough add more), ketchup and worcestershire sauce (if using) and mix. Keep the curry on medium low heat and cook until the milk has evaporated. Stir every once in a while to prevent the curry from burning.

7) Once the milk has evaporated, add the red pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper to taste.

8) Serve hot with steamed white rice. I served ours with steamed broccoli because I like the texture of the broccoli combined with the curry 🙂




2 thoughts on “Japanese Dry Curry

  1. Kurobe Terry Jane October 2, 2022 — 3:54 pm

    Thank you, Sarah, for the compliment! You are a great cook!

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