Tis the season for curry. Japanese households are said to eat curry once a week on average. “Curry rice” is one of the ultimate comfort foods and every family has their own “mum’s curry” or their favorite curry roux. But not so many Japanese cook on a full scale using a variety of spices.
Biople by Cosmekitchen has been promoting an organic and sustainable lifestyle through their inner care products and cosmetics at select shops across the nation. They launched a new campaign “Spicefull Summer for Healthy Life” on Aug 7, just in time for midsummer.
55 items including retort curries Photo: MAI SHOJI
A total of 55 spicy items of retort curry, seasonings and condiments line up to beat the heat. The main objective is to familiarize customers with the colorful range of spices, to experience new flavors, and make curry from scratch – the way they do it in India, the origin of the all-time favorite dish.
Chef Raja’s homemade Indian Spices Curry Photo: MAI SHOJI
Products of the campaign are made under the supervision of Chef Raja who has been widely promoting Indian cuisine and the deep meaning of spices to the Japanese people for decades. Recipients of his past culinary and advisory experiences include five-star hotels and Indian embassies across the globe. “Indian Spices Curry” (150g ¥626) consists of 16 kinds of spices including turmeric, coriander, cumin, and cayenne pepper.
Chef Raja never uses flour for his curry. Photo: MAI SHOJI
Chef Raja clearly states, “The biggest difference between Indian curry and Japanese curry is flour. I don’t quite understand why they put in flour.” He also advises, “Japanese chicken heats quickly. Cook it no more than 7~8 minutes in the curry sauce.” His handmade curry sauce is very simple – some garlic, ginger and browned onions and the rest is blended spices.
Spices such as turmeric and cumin are like Chinese medicines. Photo: MAI SHOJI
Spice connoisseur Monko Ichijo, an advisor for the new campaign, says, “The sweltering heat exhausts our bodies, but a prolonged stay in air-conditioned rooms can also harm our bodies. Spices such as turmeric and cumin are like Chinese medicines. They help boost our immune system and support digestion as well as maintain good skin condition. They also have detox effect, great for people on diet.”
If you’re sensitive to artificial flavors with over-the-counter roux, then try the additive-free retort curry by Biople or even making curry from scratch with their selection of spices. Authentic Indian curry has much less calories because they typically don’t include flour, fruits nor non-spice condiments.
Ready-to-eat Asakura Sansho Curry with Inaniwa udon make a great combo. Photo: MAI SHOJI
At home, I tried “Asakura Sansho Curry” (200g ¥529) from their retort curry line-up. The product is from Hyogo Prefecture and I combined it with Akita Prefecture’s specialty, Inaniwa Udon noodles. It turned out to be a perfect marriage. The spiciness of Japanese peppers is far different than that of Indian spices, so it’s fun to try various spicy cuisine even on the same day. After all, many people can relate to eating curry everyday, especially in hot weather.
A selection of refreshing beverages are also available at Biople.jp. Photo: MAI SHOJI
Biople website: https://www.biople.jp
Biople by Cosmekitchen webstore: https://store.biople.jp
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