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Japanese dry curry with rice

Japanese Dry Curry (ドライカレー)

A flavorful Japanese curry that is made without a gravy. This version was developed by Akemi Tsuchiya, the amazing nutritionist at Tsuboi Elementary School in Funabashi, Japan. I modified it slightly to be plant-based.

Author Modified from a recipe from Akemi Tsuchiya, Tsuboi Elementary School Nutritionist, Japan


  • 3 ounces brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons oil (I use avocado oil)
  • 1 large onion, chopped small
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped small
  • 3 medium yellow potatoes, peeled and chopped small
  • 1 cup water
  • 12-14 ounces meatless ground
  • 5-6 cremini mushrooms, chopped small
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeds and membranes removed, chopped small
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire (make sure it is vegan if you are vegan/plant-based)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice


  1. Put the lentil and 2 cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring the water to a rapid simmer, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape. Remove the saucepan from the heat and set it aside while you start cooking the curry.

  2. Heat the oil in a wok or large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute until they are translucent.

  3. Add the carrots, potatoes, and 1 cup of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium/medium-low (high enough to maintain a simmer). Simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Then add the garlic, ginger, mushrooms, meatless ground, and bell pepper. Cook for 1 minute.

  5. Pour off any excess water from the lentils, then add them to the wok/saucepan.

  6. Now add the ketchup, Worcestershire, soy sauce, curry powder, salt, and allspice. Mix everything together.

  7. Simmer until most of the liquid has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt, if needed.