Curry Diary 6/23/2013: Milestone Curry #2

Well this is unexpected.

Right after posting my Milestone Curry, I did a slight change of cooking – and it advanced how the Japanese Curry I’ve been working on for ages tastes.  In fact, it’s a significant change that I want to note here because it’s very educational.

In the last iteration of the Curry, I added Maple Syrup to the broth.  In this case I add it right to the roux and roast it along with the other ingredients   This roasting/carmelization adds a richer taste, makes a thicker sauce, and actually seems to amplify the tastes.

As I look at various curries, a surprising amount of odd things go right into the roux.  I think next I may need to try the cocoa powder earlier.

Anyway, on to the recipe – and there are some changes in how it’s put together.


Makes 3 servings or so.

  • 4 tablespoons butter or spread.
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder. (S&B curry preferably)
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste.
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic
  • 3 cups vegetable broth OR replacement broth below
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tbsp coaco powder
  1. Melt the spread over low heat in a pot of your choice.
  2. When the spread is melted, stir in the flour and curry powder, tomato sauce, soy sauce, maple syrup, red pepper, and black pepper into the sauce.  Mmix thoroughly; I mash, fold, and mix until the color is consistent. (Note this is a change from the last version.  I mixed everything in at once to avoid a chance of burning the maple syrup, and found it was actually just easy period).
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  4. Now, you want to brown the roux, and there’s a bit of an art to it. What I do is let it cook like a pancake, about 20-45 second until one side browns, then mix it up, fold it into a “pancake” and let it cool again. You may have to play with the heat, but the goal is to basically brown it/fry it slowly. This is needed to develop the flavors.
  5. Eventually it will get crumbly and crack – and you’ll see it visibly brown when it’s let to sit. At that point, it’s time to add the vegetable broth.  IMPORTANT NOTE: It seems when you add the maple syrup it gets to a deeper brown color.
  6. Add the vegetable broth to the roux, followed by the  cocoa powder. Turn the heat up so the mixture boils mildly.
  7. With a whisk, mix the broth and roux. It also helps to use a spatula to crush chunks of roux against the side of the pan. This can take a bit of effort. In general while mixing, I moderate the heat to get the mild boil.
  8. Stir regularly so it doesn’t adhere/burn.
  9. I wait until the sauce thickets – it reduces by about a fifth. The key I use is when it’s not “boiling” but has the bubbly “bloops” of a thicker sauce. This can take awhile.
  10. Serve or put in freezer containers.

Also if you don’t purchase vegetable broth a lot, here’s a decent substitute – but this only works for this recipe.

  • 3 cups water.
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp thyme, ground
  • 1/4 tsp basil
  • 1/4 tsp oregano
  • 1/4 tsp dill weed, ground

This recipe, with just a simple change of order, really is an improvement on the last one.  It’s a lesson that’s really given me pause as I’ve found “timing” issues are an amazing part of cooking; for instance I found in some soup recipes a dash of olive oil added after cooking ads smoothness and flavor – but it would be erased if cooked with the soup.

It’s a richer, thicker, more powerful sauce with this change.  Give it a shot!

I think I’m closer to my goals . . .

– Steven Savage

Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach.  He blogs on careers at, nerd and geek culture at, and does a site of creative tools at He can be reached at