Calling all lovers.. er.. ‘curry’ lovers!


There are lots of things different here in the UK as compared to India.

Like for example, many of us (Indian parents/grandparents) pride ourselves in saying our children are ‘Oh soooo naughtyyyy….’ whereas here ‘naughty’ indicates the kid is ‘bad’!

And when I say ‘tea’ I really mean the sweet, hot liquid with milk.. tea! Not the ‘London’ version of tea that means a nice evening snack (that tea is a part of!)

Or for example, ‘curry’, which to me, means vegetables, diced/chopped/etc, tempered with mustard seeds and seasoned with regular, mundane spices and not a thick gravy flavoured with cream or coconut milk! Which by the way, reminds me of what a local tour operator once said… ‘Britain’s favourite food isn’t Fish n Chips, but ‘Chicken Curry’!

So here is a dish, that we absolutely LOVE! With a Japanese/Chinese flavour, this is a one-course dish, scrumptious, filling, healthy (well, in part!) and absolutely droolicious.

Its actually a signature dish of Wagamama, called ‘Yasai Katsu Curry’ (Fried vegetables curry with rice). Obviously this is the ‘vegetarian’ version (actually, ‘eggetarian’ as you do need a little bit of egg to coat the veggies in). However, you could easily replace the veggies with slices of chicken and it would taste just as good (my non-vegetarian friends would claim it tastes even better!) The curry here refers to a Japanese style of curry. Wiki says it all!

First, let me post a picture.. to see if it tempts you!!

Did you like this, did you? Did you?

Ok, so I hope I have your very kind (stomach-growling) attention now!

Before I very generously share this magic recipe with you, let me give you an estimate of how much time this dish takes, to make. Er.. around an hour (more, if you make all the ingredients from scratch, and less, if you decide to play smart like I did, and buy some of it from the store).

The trick, really, is to get all the ingredients ready before-hand, and then the actually cooking/serving is actually quite quick.

I can guarantee you, the effort is really worth it, considering this is a one-pot meal, that your folks are going to LOVE!

So, for the ingredients.

We actually have FOUR sets of components here.

1) For the main Yasai Katsu:

(a) Vegetables like Brinjal (aubergine), Butternut squash and Sweet potato work best. Just slice them. This really depends on how you want your veggies. Wagamama serves thick slices, whereas I like em thin ;-) so I sliced a brinjal into 0.5 thickness.

(b) Half a cup of ordinary white flour with a pinch of salt

Crisp bread crumbs mixture

(c) Two full cups of a mixture of crumbs (Bread crumbs and plain salt crackers (I used Melba Toasts) ground into fine crumbs, to add a crisp texture to the veggies)

(d) One egg, beaten lightly.

You could add your choice of spices to any of these, really. I just added some salt to the flour, and some more salt, coriander powder and tumeric powder (Tee hee… an Indian cook after all!) to the bread crumbs mixture. But make it the way you like it. If you like your food spicy, then go for it!

2) The side: Now you could serve either crunchy vegetables or a side salad. I chose the veggies, simple because I had no salad at home ;-) Take your pick of colourful capsicum(peppers), baby-corn, mange-tout… vegetables that will suit a quick stir-fry.

Mmmm... stir-fried crunchy vegetables!

3) White rice. You could either use plain ponni rice/sona masoori rice or basmati rice. It tastes good either way. Wagamama serves this dish with some yummy sticky white rice, that I have NO clue how to make. So I faithfully stuck to our aromatic basmati :-)

4) And lastly, the curry sauce. Now, Google says it is to be prepared this way.

Onion, garlic, ginger, tomato, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder – Fry it all, simmer with a little water for about 15 mins, cool it, and grind it with a little more water. Simmer again for about 15 mins.

Now, how do you cook this delicious meal? Really , truly simple!

Step 1: Cook your rice. I washed 1 cup of basmati rice, added 2 cups of water to it, and chucked the bowl into the microwave, first for 10 mins, then a quick stir, and another 7 minutes.

Step 2: Now, while your rice is getting cooked, take a couple of minutes to grind the bread and the crackers together to get a fine bread-crumbs mixture. Beat an egg, and keep it aside. Keep the flour ready. Start heating up the oil. Don’t slice your brinjal until it is time to fry them.

The Yasai and Katsu stuff

Step 3: Get your curry sauce organized. I’ll be honest. I didn’t make the curry sauce myself. Just bought a pack of ‘curry sauce powder’ from the supermarket and added it to boiling water. Voila!! A nice, thick, sticky curry sauce.

Side aside

Step 4: Roughly chop your side vegetables into 1-inch pieces. Heat one teaspoon of mild/medium olive oil (for health reasons… well, don’t ask me why I insist on olive oil, when the bleddy veggies are going to be deep-fried!!), and throw the veggies in. Stir-fry on high heat for about 3 mins and take them off the pan. Puhlees, for heaven’s sake, don’t cook them soggy!

Also, if you have a couple of minutes to spare, do peel a carrot, and slice slivers of it, for garnishing. It adds that ‘special’ touch, you see ;-)
Step 5: OK, now for the frying bit. By this time, you should have your rice, your curry and your side salad/veggies READY. So take those slices of brinjal (if you are using sweet potato/squash, please cook them in boiling water before frying them), coat them lightly in flour, dip them in the egg, and load them with the crumbs. Once you have about 3-4 ready, slide them gently into the hot oil. You know how to fry, don’t you? Just ensure it does not get burnt! And, drain excess oil onto tissue paper.
Step 6: Pile your plate and serve Hot Hot Hot!!!! Invert a cup of rice, arrange the fried veggies, add some side veggies, ladle the curry sauce, and garnish with carrot!! And.. Bon Apetit!!!
Mmmm.... Yasai Katsu Curry!

So, tell me, did you like it? Did you?

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25 thoughts on “Calling all lovers.. er.. ‘curry’ lovers!

  1. Drool! I love wagamama’s katsu curry! I go for the chicken katsu curry though. But I have never had the courage to try it home! It looks absolutely delicious ! Instead of trying it out, I will invite myself to yours:)
    Ah!! Smitha, I bought the curry sauce packet about 6 mths ago, but never had the guts to try this, until last week!!! Please do try, it’s going to be yum!!!

  2. When are you inviting me home Pal?
    You should start a blog for all your one dish meals. I am very impressed :-)
    Divs, we still haven’t met, and I still owe you a coffee at Starbucks, remember? Let’s plan then!!! And thanks Divs, a blog for one-dish meals sounds good!

  3. Likey likey likey..slurrp…drool!
    The picture was enough to pull me in. And your detailing ensured I stayed glued. Now that I am a veggie till the end of the “mandalakaalam”, I was looking to catch up on something unusual, other than the usual stuff; the everyday dishes. This promises to be mouthwatering. Thanks Pallavi :)
    Awww thank you so much Usha, you made my day :-)

  4. Drool…. It looks so yummm but its too much of effort, I’d rather come to your place and have some… :D:D
    Hee hee, thank you Tan, and you’re welcome home anytime!

  5. I’m not a fan of eggplant but seeing the pictures I am tempted to eat this! Maybe I’ll try it at a Wagamama here though…ot sure if I can cook it! :D
    He he, I hear you… its a bit of work!

  6. WOW! thats really really tempting…like Psych Balbbler I am not a big fan of eggplant..but this sure looks tempting eh?
    Me neither R’s mom, but this one is worth a shot!

  7. yumm – did you actually make it – it sounds so complicated! did it take too long? I love the idea of curry+veggies+fried brinjal :) and I also loved your pre-story!
    Aww thank u Urmi, yes I did make it, after mulling over the idea for more than 6 mths!!

  8. The look surely is attractive… now maybe one sunday I need to cook this an feed the rest of the family :) :) :)
    Oh yes Hitchy, do and let me know how it went Ok?

  9. I have just discovered a love for brinjal…this does look tempting! Yum!!
    Hee hee, I am yet to do so. Can’t just about tolerate it in this dish ;-) Thank you Vindee
    Btw, WELCOME here. And do you bake? I just bought a measuring beaker today, perhaps a visit to your blog will inspire me to actually try it some time?

  10. Like it?? I love it!! Am drooling here!! This looks so delicious, Pals! Have never tried making a Japanese dish at home, I am tempted to try this one though :-). And I love your presentation!
    Thanks a ton Deeps. Do try and let me know, I think you will love it! And so will Namnam :-)

  11. I had to read this now, right during the lunch hour!! Sigh!! Btw, what’s the alternative to egg in this recipe? The -ILs will faint if I mention even garlic!
    LOL! Sorry about that Vidya. Alternative to egg? Mmmm.. I’d like to know too. I did try without egg at first but the flour and crumble-mixture just did not stick! Besan-flour maybe?

  12. Loved the recipe! :D
    the pics are absolutely drool-worthy!!
    And the plate is gorgeous too! :D
    Thank you Pix!
    now, I’m hungry!! :P
    Hope you try it out some day, its really easy when you have all those bits & pieces ready!

  13. Good looking and yummy meal it is. Liked the crunchy stir fried side vegetables too.
    Thank you very much Sangeeta 
    A curry can be different in different parts of the world so it’s really interesting to find a different one every time you do.
    You’re so right, Sangeeta. I didn’t realise it until a few years ago.

  14. Sounds yummy though i dislike brinjal and we don’t cook egg. So I am thinking of substituting egg with corn flour paste and may be brinjal with hmmmm how about raw banana ? ah would it become something like vazhakai bhajji … but then the bread crumps should give a different texture right? What you think? any better idea? I might try it this weekend … :)
    LR, seriously you won’t get the mashy/yucky taste of Brinjal in this dish. Try it out. LOL, you changed a nice Japanese dish into our good ol’ vazhakkai bajji???!!! :lol:

  15. The brinjal procedure is sort of what we call “beguni” in Bongs. It is a common starter during lunch/dinner among us.
    Really? Wow, that is very interesting to hear, thank you for sharing Reema.

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