Curry for Comfort: Expanding your tastebuds and experiencing other cultures

Photo by Xxavier Robertson

Julia Fechter

It is the start of spring semester, and with that comes the inevitable, ever-changing phenomenon that is Georgia weather. Often enough, we may find ourselves in the mood to eat something warm to feel more comfortable.

Soup seems to be a viable option. There is one recipe, curry beef, that puts a unique spin on the soup variety. Now, when many people think of curry, they associate it with the spicy, Indian cuisines. However, this version of curry has a milder flavor, more like pot roast.

I originally learned this recipe from a Japanese friend several years ago, and I have been making it ever since. It is one of the first ways I learned to appreciate Japanese culture. By sharing this recipe, you now have the opportunity to enjoy a part of Japanese cuisine as well.

What you will need

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground hamburger meat (or other preferred beef)

  • 1/2 of a yellow onion

  • 6-8 small red potatoes

  • 8 oz. (1/2 bag) of sliced carrots

  • 2 packets of Golden Curry (available at Bi-Lo or Food World)

  • 2 bags/16 oz. of boil-in-a-bag rice or instant rice

Utensils

  • Large saucepan

  • Colander

  • Small pot

  • Cutting board

  • Large, straight-edge knife

Step 1

Defrost your hamburger meat, if needed. Make sure it is completely defrosted before cooking it, so it can be easier to break up.

Step 2

Fry the hamburger meat: You want the meat browned with no red, undercooked spots. Drain the hamburger meat in a colander.

It may help to put a bowl under the colander to catch the grease, so it does not go down your sink’s drain.

Step 3

Cut up the onion and potatoes using the large knife. Place the vegetables in a bowl to the side. Add the carrots into this bowl.

Tip: You can avoid being teary-eyed while cutting the onion if you soak it in hot water for a couple of minutes beforehand.

Step 4

Pour the colander of hamburger meat into the large saucepan, and then add all of the vegetables. Fill the saucepan with water until it reaches just above the contents of the pan. If you add more water, you can get more of a soupy or stew consistency.

Step 5

Turn the stove on medium-low. Add in the blocks of curry, spacing them out as you place them into the saucepan. Cover the pan and let it simmer. Stir the contents periodically. When you stir, taste the vegetables, particularly the carrots, to make sure they are cooking thoroughly.

Step 6

It should be thickening up now as the curry seasoning has dissolved. Continue stirring it periodically. When the vegetables are cooked and seasoned to your liking, turn the stove burner off.

Step 7

In your other pot, boil water for the rice and follow package directions for it. If you want the most traditional take on curry, you can make jasmine rice.

Step 8

After the rice is cooked, let it cool for a couple of minutes. Then, take out a regular-sized serving bowl and put your desired amount of rice into the bowl. Top it with the curry, and enjoy.

This recipe yields five to seven servings and takes approximately one hour to make. If you are only cooking for yourself or a few people, it can be convenient for leftovers. Additionally, if you have a crockpot, using one is another way you can cook the curry all in one.