When my youngest daughter was still in high school, my girls and I often spent the better part of our Saturday mornings during the warmer months at a local farmer’s market. Well, a local market at least. The market located in the parking lot of the Cherry Creek Mall is a bit too chic to really be called a farmers market; it was easier to find perennials, artisan breads, buffalo, local wines and homemade chocolates and pasta than to actually locate a stand that was put up by a real farmer. Still we loved it and would peruse the stalls each week for something fun to eat or put into our garden.
One of our favorite food finds was a booth that served Japanese Curry on rice. Nothing fancy really, just a scoop of rice ladled with pork, potatoes and carrots in a thick, sweet curry sauce. Curry is unmistakably in the dish, but I think less so than in Indian curry dishes. I won’t say we ran straight to that vendor each and every week but it was the one constant during the 6 months of the market that we always enjoyed.
Then one year, the fellows who owned that booth weren’t there. After some moments of being totally verklempt I knew it was on me to do some research and recreate the dish at home. Truth is, it was easy to make and even better? It tasted so very much like what we had come to know from our experience at the Cherry Creek Farmers Market. I think we benefited from the get go in that I was able to source a good curry mix at our local Savory Spice Shop. Their Medium Curry and Penzey’s Sweet Curry have both worked well.
The truth though is that this is not a very pretty dish and never will be. But it’s good; so good. I’ve served it over Japanese short rice but like it best when I use basmati…that slight nuttiness only adds to the overall flavor. Don’t let this ugly duckling fool you; make this dish!