Sep 13, 2010

What is Jindai Curry?

Jindai Area is known as the producers of Japan’s #1 quality rice. Needless to say, the rice consumption is the most important in promoting the economy in the region. That is what the Jindai Curry is all about.

Now, Curry and rice is a signature home-style cooking in Japan. Japanese curry might not like you would expect from Indian curry. It is mainly made of curry powder, flour, and oil for the roux and served with various kinds of vegetables and meat. Some might say it is not as spicy as the Indian, but flavorful as much that it boosts your appetite to eat more rice. Rice and Curry are married and unseperatable forever.

Japanese curry was introduced by the British and Indians in the Meiji era (1869-1913). It was not until the Showa 30s (1950s) that curry became a common dish in the rural region. In Jindai Area, home-made solid roux of curry powder and flour fried in a pan was rather common. Vegetables, fish sausages, and canned whale or mackerel were the main ingredients to be stewed with the roux and seasoned with soy sauce.

Today the modern style curry has more intricate mixture of spices. Back in the 1950s, the lighter Jindai curry was more suitable for children and quite popular at home. As the solid curry roux was available at local grocery stores in the 1960s, the cooking methods became less common but still remains in a few homes as a Granma’s style!

Jindai Curry combines both the same ol’ Granma’s Style and today’s modern restaurant style. It is served side by side with a bowl of white Jindai Rice (神代米)a half-boiled onsen egg, and slices of iburi-gakko, another Akita's specialty, smoked-and-picked radish.

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