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Japanese Chicken Curry with Homemade Curry Roux

How to make your own homemade Japanese curry roux, Japanese curry powder, and garam masala; and how to cook Japanese chicken curry with homemade curry roux.

I love Japanese curry, and this love affair started from my college days when cooking was a new thing for me. I chose to prepare Japanese curry because it’s fast, easy enough for a beginner cook, I can use a whole lot of vegetables and meat, and best of all, I make one big pot of curry that can last me for days. Like everyone, I started with store bought instant curry roux. Being a poor college student, a box of Japanese curry roux is not exactly cheap, especially since I went through so many boxes in a month, I finally decided to create my own Japanese curry roux to save money. So, here is my recipe for a homemade Japanese curry roux from scratch. ♥

What You Need for Homemade Japanese Curry Roux

How to make homemade Japanese curry roux

To make curry roux from scratch, you will need the following ingredients, which is enough for cooking one batch of Japanese curry (500 gram of meat):

  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter (Indonesian: mentega tawar)
  • 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour (Indonesian: tepung terigu)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder (Indonesian: bubuk kari), any brand of curry powder is fine
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (Indonesian: bubuk cabe), or more if you like spicier curry

Here is how to prepare your homemade curry roux:

  1. Melt butter in a sauce pan on low heat.
  2. Add flour into the pan, and cook until the mixture turns into a brown shade, stirring all the time. About 20 minutes.
  3. Add curry powder, garam masala, and chili powder into the pan. Stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then remove from heat. The curry roux is ready. ♥

If you make a lot of Japanese curry at home, you may want to make multiple batches at once and store them. I usually make 4 batches in one go. Once the curry roux is cool, I place each portion on a parchment paper and wrap it, then store them in a freezer safe ziplock bag. I simply take out one portion at a time when I need to prepare Japanese curry. If you store them in the freezer, they should be good for at least 2 months.

Homemade Japanese Curry Roux

How to make homemade garam masala

If you cannot find garam masala in store, you can follow my simple recipe for homemade garam masala. Most of the spices are already in powder form, so if you lack a good spice grinder, this should work. It is best to dry toast all the spices in a frying pan until fragrant before grinding/storing. This recipe should yield roughly ½ cup worth of garam masala:

  • 3 tablespoon ground coriander seeds (Indonesian: bubuk ketumbar)
  • 3 tablespoon ground cumin seeds (Indonesian: bubuk jinten)
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper (Indonesian: bubuk lada)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (Indonesian: bubuk kapulaga)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (Indonesian: bubuk kayu manis)
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (Indonesian: bubuk pala)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (Indonesian: bubuk cabe)
  • 3 whole star anise (Indonesian: bunga lawang/pekak), grind into powder (about 12 teaspoon ground star anise)
  • 2 teaspoon cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh), grind into powder (about 12 teaspoon ground cloves)

Place all the spices in a frying pan, and dry toast until fragrant. If you are using whole spices, grind into powder with a spice grinder. I usually use a spice attachment that comes with my blender for this. Once the spice is cool, transfer to a jar. The garam masala should keep well for up to 4 months if stored properly (i.e. wherever you usually store your spices). ♥

Japanese Chicken Curry with Homemade Curry Roux

How to make homemade Japanese curry powder

Like I said, you can use any brand of curry powder for making this homemade Japanese curry roux, but S&B curry powder is probably the one most widely used inside Japan. I have tried tinkering with the curry powder mix over the years, and I think this particular mix is quite close to S&B version. If you happen to love the particular taste of S&B curry powder and want to create your homemade version, you can try using the following spice mix, which will net you 100 gram worth of copycat S&B curry powder:

  • 40 gram ground turmeric
  • 25 gram ground coriander seeds
  • 15 gram ground cumin seeds
  • 5 gram ground cardamom
  • 5 gram ground pepper
  • 3 gram chili powder
  • 3 gram ground cloves
  • 1 gram ground fennel seeds
  • 1 gram ground cinnamon
  • 1 gram ground nutmeg
  • 1 gram dried yuzu peel (or dried lemon/orange peel)

Simply buy all the spices in powder form and make your own mix. Place all spices in a clean sterilized glass jar, and just shake to combine. You can then measure out 1 tablespoon to prepare homemade Japanese curry roux.

Japanese Chicken Curry with Homemade Curry Roux

How to prepare Japanese curry from homemade roux

Once you have your curry roux ready, we can proceed with making Japanese chicken curry. Actually, you can use beef, pork, or even seafood if you prefer. We usually serve this with steamed white rice, but occasionally, we prepare a batch of pasta and top it with Japanese curry.

Originally published on January 25, 2014. Updated on March 27, 2019 with new photos.

Japanese Chicken Curry with Homemade Curry Roux

5.0 from 16 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 4


  • Homemade Japanese curry roux
  • 3 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste (optional)
  • Japanese chicken curry
  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 2 onions (Indonesian: bawang bombay), peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic (Indonesian: bawang putih), grated
  • 1 inch ginger (Indonesian: jahe), peeled and grated
  • 500 gram skinless boneless chicken breast (Indonesian: dada ayam), cut into cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside for 10 minutes
  • 2 carrots (Indonesian: wortel), peeled and cut into bite sizes
  • 1 liter (4 cups) water or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon honey (Indonesian: madu)
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Fuji apple, peeled, cored, and grated (optional, but really great if you can find this apple)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and cut into bite sizes, soaked in cold water to remove starch
  • 1 batch of home made curry roux (or 200 gram store bought)
  • 2 tablespoon tomato ketchup
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce


  • Homemade Japanese curry roux
    1. Melt butter in a sauce pan on low heat.
    2. Add all-purpose flour into the pan, and cook until the mixture turns into a brown shade, stirring all the time. About 20 minutes.
    3. Add curry powder, garam masala, and chili powder into the pan. Stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then remove from heat. The curry roux is ready.
  • Japanese chicken curry
    1. Heat oil in a pot and stir fry onions until translucent.
    2. Add garlic and ginger, mix well.
    3. Add chicken breasts into the pan and cook until no longer pink.
    4. Add carrot and mix well.
    5. Pour water or stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Skim off scum as needed.
    6. Add honey, salt, sugar, and grated Fuji apple. Simmer for 20 minutes.
    7. If you are making homemade curry roux, this is a good time to start cooking the roux.
    8. Add potatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
    9. Add some of the soup to the sauce pan containing the home made curry roux, stir until fully dissolve, then pour into the pot with chicken and stir until well combined and the sauce thickens from the addition of curry roux.
    10. Add tomato ketchup and soy sauce and stir until well combined. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
    11. Turn off heat and serve hot with steamed white rice.


  • erfi says:

    do have any of cake recipe ?..tankyu.

  • Lydia says:

    Yeah sista anita, akhirnya ketemu juga cara membuat garam masala. Di Banjarmasin ga adaa. Setiap kali ke Jakarta si kecil selalu minta makan japanese curry. Sankyuuu.

  • Lynn Arriffin says:

    Thanks for sharing this! Just made this for breaking fast just now and it tasted awesome :)

  • Muhammad Raffiudin says:

    Domo arigatoo gozaimasu! ^-^ Akhirnya ketemu cara bikin curry roux sendiri.

  • calvin says:

    wah senang ada juga orang indonesia yang posting resep karinya. saya baru nyoba pake formula 4 tbsp garam masalah + 1 tbsp coriander + 1 tbsp curry + 1 tbsp black pepper + mentega + tepung terigu. hasilnya sukses tapi baunya kok agak kurang meyakinkan ya, ga mirip kaya bumbu kari S & B yang dijual di pasar... nanti saya mau coba resep ini deh.

  • Alex says:

    I made this and a day later a friend took the leftovers out of my fridge and ate the entire pot cold saying it was the "best thing she's eaten all year" thank you!!

  • Alex says:

    Like your recipe can you share more about japanese food i like japanese food so i want to learn more about how to make it thanks :D

  • Simon Templar says:

    Hello Anita: My name is Simon. My hobby/passion is fine cooking. I live in Los Angeles. I have made a complete shopping list for your Japanese curry recipe. I will prep everything tonight and make this recipe tomorrow morning! Thank you for your recipe.

    • Anita says:

      Hi Simon, good job hunting down for the ingredients! Have fun with the cooking :)

  • Simon Templar says:

    Anita: I made this recipe exactly to your instruction. The result is very good. I also made the Garam Masala with excellent results. I will make your recipe again in the future. Simon thanking you from Los Angeles.:-)

    • Anita says:

      Yay! I am glad you love the recipe Simon :)

  • Taylor says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know, for those of us who can't have wheat flours due to gluten allergies/intolerances, plain white rice flour works in place of the wheat flour in the recipe above in the same amount the recipe calls for. Just make sure it's the regular rice flour, not the glutinous rice flour. If you use the glutinous rice flour, it would be like adding cornstarch and you'll get a gooey, stretchy and globby mess in this case! ALSO, make sure you do NOT use sweet rice flour, like Koda's mochiko.

    • Anita says:

      Hi Taylor, thank you so much for the feedback and for the useful tips.

  • Steven says:

    Japanese curry roux worried a treat, thanks

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Steven :)

  • Taha says:

    Hi Can you please tell me what is the curry powder? Is it turmeric powder or blend of few spices? I want to make it tomorrow. Thanks in advance :-)

    • Anita says:

      Hi Taha, most Japanese will use this S&B brand curry powder, but a more widely available (at least in the US) brand like McCormick is also okay.

  • Tri says:

    Hi anita, just want to let you know that i visit this chicken curry recipe more than 20 times in a year. And the result always a big hit. Thank you so kuch for sharing.

    • Anita says:

      You are very welcome Tri :) I am so very happy you love the recipe.

  • Raj says:

    Just thought I'd comment here, seeing as how this has become my go-to curry recipe for the past year. Probably the simplest and best description and method of cooking top-notch Japanese-style curry that I've found (and believe me, I've looked at a lot)... love it. I usually make about 3-4 batches of roux at a time, freeze it and store for later; unfortunately, it never lasts long here and I'm always making more! Thank you very much for sharing :) P.S. I love a lot of the other recipes you've posted here Anita, great job (especially the kayaku gohan)

    • Anita says:

      Hi Raj, thank you for the very sweet comment. I, too, usually make several batches and freeze the ones not used immediately :)

  • Dian Sekarini says:

    Hello mbak anita, thank you for sharing the recipe :) Mbak mau tanya dong, ini resep curry rouxnya apakah bisa disimpan dalam jangka waktu yang lama?Bagaimana cara penyimpanannya? Thank youu :)

    • Anita says:

      Bisa Dian, terkadang saya bikin beberapa porsi, dan porsi yang tidak dipakai saya bungkus dengan alumium foil dan simpan di freezer. Paling lama yang pernah aku coba simpan 2 bulan, sepertinya lebih lama juga oke, cuma belum pernah lebih lama dari itu saja.

  • Jose says:

    Anita, thank you for sharing this recipe. It's totally legit! Felt like I was back in Osaka as I was tasting it and evetually devouring it! Note worthy recipe! Again, thank you!

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Jose :)

  • Michelle says:

    I have made this several times. Leaving out the chili powder from the roux is our preference. Fantastic! Thank you for this wonderful recipe.

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Michelle. One of the advantage of making your own curry roux is definitely to control the chili heat level :)

  • Lydia says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. I've used it on a weekly basis for two years now and wanted to personally thank you! This is exactly the curry I ate growing up!

    • Anita says:

      You are welcome Lydia. I am very happy when any of my recipes matches the one people growing up with :)

  • jar says:

    thanks! this recipe works great

  • Sophia says:

    This recipe is better than the curry roux in japanese stores when making chicken curry because i made both and compared.

    • Anita says:

      Yay! I am so happy to hear that Sophia. I am so glad you like my version of Japanese curry roux :)

  • Sara says:

    This looks really delicious! I have never made japanese chicken before but it looks tasty!

  • Matt Ivan says:

    Love the combination of textures and flavor!

  • Lizet Flores de Bowen says:

    Love all the recipes in one place! I live in South America and really can't buy all the mixes. So this is great! Thank you!

    • Anita says:

      I completely get what you mean Lizet. When I was in Indonesia, I also couldn't find garam masala, so I rely on this garam masala mix myself. As for the curry powder, any brand of curry powder works, but I do have a bias for S&B curry powder when making Japanese curry, so this copycat mix is a good alternative since S&B can be quite pricey.

  • Adriana Lopez Martin says:

    I love a good curry but didn't know that Japanese cuisine includes curries. I learned something new today. Looks fantastic. I need to try it!

  • Claire Cary says:

    Curry has always been one of my favorite dishes! Love the sound of this simple recipe!

  • Colleen says:

    This Japanese curry chicken is one of my fave restaurant dishes, but have never tried it at home. Can't wait to make it now. Thanks for the recipe!

  • Nad says:

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