Why I make my own Japanese Curry Roux (and you should too!)

Japanese curry is one of my favorite comfort foods – growing up, my Mom often prepared it for me and my sisters. Recently, I’ve been battling with pre-packaged and readily prepared foods. Everything from frozen dinners to curry roux boxes. I have super mixed feelings about it. On the one hand I love how easy it is, how quickly dinner can be prepared, how great it is to not need to plan out my meals for the whole week. On the other hand I am really quite terrified of all the unpronounceable ingredients. What in the world is that stuff?! Plus, nothing beats a home cooked meal. Anyway, all this led to my decision to make my own curry roux.

Just for comparison’s sake, I have compiled ingredients that go into pre-made curry roux vs. ingredients that go into homemade curry roux.

Premade (S&B Golden Curry Sauce Mix):
wheat flour, edible oil (palm oil, canola oil), salt, sugar, curry powder, spices, colour: E150a, MSG, malic acid, disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate.

Homemade:
flour, ghee, curry powder, garam masala, chili powder, salt

I didn’t do well in high school chemistry, but those last two ingredients sound pretty scary to me. Not sure what it is, but it’s definitely not something I regularly add to my food at home!

Making the roux was actually really simple!

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons ghee or butter (use butter if you want to make roux blocks, because it will solidify better!)
1/4 c. flour
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin powder*
1 teaspoon ginger powder *
1 teaspoon chili powder (kenneth likes his curry spicy! add less for a milder curry)

*optional – I added extra because I love a bolder taste. Cumin and ginger powder should already be in your curry powder and garam masala mixes!

Directions:
Heat up butter over medium heat in pot. Add in flour and stir! Stir vigorously to ensure the bottom does not burn! After about 10 minutes the roux should turn a little bit brown. At this point, add in spices – stir to combine.

To make your curry, just follow the instructions that come on the box, but replace the roux with your homemade one! Stay tuned for step by step instructions for curry rice!

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Stir roux vigorously!

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Finished product!

 

Days 5 – 10 (Saag Mushroom)

Dear all,

I apologize for the absence. When I started the cleanse, I did not realize how life would get so crazy. I actually sat down and looked at my calendar and thought about when the most appropriate time for a cleanse would be… and of course life went and screwed things up. But the past is in the past now! I have officially finished the cleanse and I feel great! 

The last 5 days were definitely more of a struggle for me than the first five. I felt much more low-energy and going to the gym became much more of a struggle. I also caught a slight cold, so there’s no telling whether my exhaustion was due to my cold, the cleanse, or the lemons I’ve been making lemonade out of. 

Now, let’s talk results!

Over the course of the cleanse, I lost a little less than 6 pounds, dropping from around 108 to 102 lbs. I’ve never been much for sodas or unhealthy and sugary teas, so that was never a problem for me, but I have cut down my coffee drinking to one cup a day. I find myself reaching for water much more than I used to — which is great, because that means the weight I lost was most likely not water weight! Overall, I noticed that I suffered from fewer headaches than usual… which really is a huge plus for me. My goal now is to maintain my current weight by eating more normally (hello, eggs! I’ve missed your presence in my life…) and continuing my gym-going! This means Meatless Mondays and 6 to 8 oz of meat or tofu on other days. I’m excited! I hope to extend my healthy eating habits for as long as possible (BUT I LOVE FOOD!) so we will see how that goes.

 

On day 7 I was so hungry and I missed warm, cooked, and satisfying food a lot. After looking at the list of foods I was allowed to eat for a while, I realized something awesome: I can have Saag! 

After researching for a bit, I decided to follow this recipe from edible garden. Her recipe is so simple to follow and so easy. Since I can’t have paneer, I substituted with Mushrooms and opted out of all the cream/butter options. 

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I know it might not look super appetizing, but I love Indian food. This is a curry made primarily with spinach. It really is quite delicious! Image

Here is a blend of cumin powder, coriander powder, garam masala, turmeric powder, ginger powder, garlic powder, and red chili powder. It just looks so bright and beautiful! and the apartment smelled wonderful for the rest of the weekend. I know I’m supposed to use freshly ground herbs and spices and it makes a huge difference, but I didn’t have most of the spices needed… so I cheated and used the pre-ground spices. It was still delicious!

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Minced ginger, garlic, and tomato paste!

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Almost finished product… yummy! I can’t even tell you how good it smelled. It was hard to resist excessive tasting.

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Add in mushrooms, close the lid, simmer, and serve. 

It was so delicious! The best part is that it was that Ken could eat it too, even on keto! I think the most challenging part about the cleanse for me was that it was hard to find common ground… My diet consisted of mostly fruits and veggies, and his was mostly meats, protein, and very limited veggies (basically mushroom, broccoli, and leafy greens). Absolutely no fruits (too much sugar, too many carbs!) Now that I am finished with my cleanse, I am super excited to remake this with the cream and the yogurt. I think it will prove to be a much more rounded! 

 

Enjoy!