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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
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
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 1/2 teaspoon ground star anise)
  • 2 teaspoon cloves (Indonesian: cengkeh), grind into powder (about 1/2 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
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
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, or over a bowl of boiled udon noodles. Occasionally, we prepare a batch of pasta and top it with Japanese curry.

Japanese Chicken Curry with Homemade Curry Roux

5.0 from 34 reviews

Author: Anita Jacobson




Prep Time: 30 mins

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins

Serves: 4

Print Recipe


  • 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
  • 500 gram skinless boneless chicken breast (Indonesian: dada ayam), cut into cubes
  • 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
  • 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)
  • 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. Sprinkle chicken breast cubes with salt and pepper. Set aside for 10 minutes.
    2. Heat oil in a pot and stir fry onions until translucent.
    3. Add garlic and ginger, mix well.
    4. Add chicken breasts into the pan and cook until no longer pink.
    5. Add carrot and mix well.
    6. Pour water or stock into the pot and bring to a boil. Skim off scum as needed.
    7. Add honey, salt, sugar, and grated Fuji apple. Simmer for 20 minutes.
    8. If you are making homemade curry roux, this is a good time to start cooking the roux.
    9. Add potatoes and simmer for another 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender.
    10. 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.
    11. Add tomato ketchup and soy sauce and stir until well combined. Adjust salt and sugar as needed.
    12. Turn off heat and serve hot with steamed white rice.
Indonesian Pantry
Indonesian Kitchen


  • erfi erfi says:

    do have any of cake recipe ?..tankyu.

  • Lydia 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 Lynn Arriffin says:

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

  • Muhammad Raffiudin Muhammad Raffiudin says:

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

  • calvin 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 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 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 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 Anita says:

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

  • Simon Templar 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 Anita says:

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

  • Taylor 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 Anita says:

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

  • Steven Steven says:

    Japanese curry roux worried a treat, thanks

    • Anita Anita says:

      You are welcome Steven :)

  • Taha 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 :-)

  • Tri 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 Anita says:

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

  • Raj 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 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 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 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 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 Anita says:

      You are welcome Jose :)

  • Dawn Dawn says:

    So delicious! Going to try cutting a tiny bit of the curry, but that’s just personal preference.

  • Michelle 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 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 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 Anita says:

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

  • jar jar says:

    thanks! this recipe works great

  • Sophia Sophia says:

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

    • Anita Anita says:

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

  • Debbie Debbie says:

    Love love love this!!!

  • Lulu Lulu says:

    I made some and everyone loved it!! I just doubled it to feed 8.

  • Sara Sara says:

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

  • Matt Ivan Matt Ivan says:

    Love the combination of textures and flavor!

  • Lizet Flores de Bowen 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 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 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 Claire Cary says:

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

  • Colleen 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 Nad says:

  • Alpana Alpana says:

    This looks great. I love all types of curries, from Indian to Caribbean to Filipino, but have never tried Japanese. Thanks for sharing this!

  • Vicky Vicky says:

    I want to try a variety of new recipes in the new year and this one looks like a good one to start with.

  • Taylor Kiser Taylor Kiser says:

    So excited to make this for dinner! Looks so delicious!

  • stephanie stephanie says:

    I made this for dinner and it turned out perfect!

  • Adrianne Adrianne says:

    I love how authentic and delicious this curry looks! You have explained the steps well which will be super helpful as I try and recreate!! Thanks for sharing a fab recipe.

  • lena lena says:

    Halo, untuk soy sauce nya apa harus merk jepang yg kikoman ato bisa pake kecap abc/bango? terima kasih sebelumnya

    • Anita Anita says:

      Halo Lena, aku sih lebih suka pake kikkoman, tapi kalo ga ada, kecap asin bango juga bisa kok, tapi kecap asin yah, jangan pake kecap manis. :)

  • Cathie Cathie says:

    This is a very good recipe and turned out beautifully, but just a little too spicy for me. Next time I will use less garam masala maybe 1/2 tbsp, and 2 tbsp mild curry.

  • Deborah Deborah says:

    This is so tasty! The chicken and vegetables were very tender!

  • Laurine Laurine says:

    This was amazing!

  • Ana Ana says:

    This is the best curry recipe EVER! Very easy steps and I had pretty much every ingredient in my pantry. The only different thing I did was not add Garam masala or chili powder at all simply because I did not have It, and put two table spoons of curry powder instead of 1. My parents and even my 1 1/2 year old LOVED it!

  • Imy Imy says:

  • Leah Leah says:

    This recipe turned out so good! It tastes like authentic Japanese curry. I love the taste the apple gives it!

    We didn't have fresh ginger so we used 1 1/4 tsp ground ginger and I can't eat tomatoes so we subbed the ketchup with strained sweet chili sauce. If anyone in the US is making this, the chicken is about 1 lb. worth. We used S&B curry powder and Rani garam masala seasoning.

    While this was absolutely delicious, it was a little spicy for those with sensitive tongues. If you don't do well with spicy foods, I'd recommend using 1/2 tsp chili powder instead!

  • Loida Loida says:

    OMG This brings back such great memories of my student years getting Japanese curry from a corner izakaya in Sydney. Thank you!!! A thorough & superb recipe 👌🏻👌🏻👌🏻 Big hugs from the Middle East x

  • Melissa Melissa says:

    Made it without the chicken in it this time and made katsu chicken on the side.

  • lishanld lishanld says:

    My teenage son LOVES LOVES Japanese chicken curry! I usually make the curry with a premade curry mix. I decided to branch out and make the entire chicken curry dish from scratch (except for the curry powder and garlic masala). I thought the ginger, garlic, apple, soy sauce, ketchup, and honey would maybe make the dish taste off from what were used to. I have to say this recipe will be our nee go to chicken curry recipe!! Delicious and super flavorful!!

  • KB KB says:

    Hi, May I know if there is a substitute for the nutmeg in the garam masala or can I just omit it? Thank you (:

    • Anita Anita says:

      Hi KB, if you have mace, that should be the best substitute for nutmeg. Otherwise, I would just omit it.

  • noah smith noah smith says:

    Authentic flavors made easy! This Japanese chicken curry with homemade curry roux brings a taste of Japan to your kitchen. Simply irresistible!

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