Keema Curry キーマカレー

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Keema Curry | Easy Japanese Recipes at

Keema Curry (キーマカレー) is an Indian curry dish made of ground meat (usually lamb) and minced vegeteables. This type of curry started to appear in Japan in 1950’s and it’s been adapted to Japanese taste.

Keema curry is one of our family’s favorite dish. Not only it tastes so good, but it’s so easy to make. Chop vegetables to small pieces and stir fry vegetables and meat first, then add curry powder and Japanese curry roux. Simmer for just 15 minutes and it’s ready to eat.

This is a wonderful meal for a busy evening, and I hope you will give it a try. Enjoy!

Keema Curry | Easy Japanese Recipes at

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Keema Curry
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped finely
  • ½ - 1 carrot, chopped finely
  • 2 shiitake mushrooms, chopped finely (I used dried shiitake mushrooms. Soak in 1 cup warm water for 15 minutes ahead of time and use this liquid instead of 1 cup water below)
  • ¾ - 1 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup water or vegetable/chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. curry powder
  • 2 small pieces of Japanese curry sauce mix (roux)
  • 1 Tbsp. ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp. Tonkatsu sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. butter (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • fried eggs (optional)
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onion and celery until they are nicely golden brown.
  2. Add the carrots and shiitake mushrooms and mix well with onion and celery.
  3. Add ground pork and break up the meat with wooden spoon.
  4. When meat is cooked, add water or vegetable/chicken broth. Then add curry powder and bring it to boil. Skim the fat and excess on the surface with spoon.
  5. Lower the heat to medium, and add curry roux, Ketchup and Tonkatsu sauce. Mix well and simmer without cover for 15 minutes. If necessary, lower the heat or add water during simmering.
  6. Add butter and pepper. When butter is all melted, add cheese in the curry.
  7. Serve with rice and a sunny-side up fried egg.
Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

Editor’s Note: Photos updated in June 2013

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  1. Tara

    Hi Nami, I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing your incredible archive of tasty recipes and lovely stories about your family and experiences! I had been really intimidated to try cooking Japanese cuisicuisines then I came across your site and got inspired (and reassured). We actually felt confident enough to explore the local Marukai Marketplace, and came home and tried several of your recipes–the Curry Udon was an especial favorite, and just tried this recipe tonight (very tasty). The only issue I’ve run into is that I’m pretty averse to most seafood, and the combo of the fishy+seaweedy smell of the dashi, in particular, makes my tummy roil ;(. Is there a particular brand of dashi concentrate you might suggest that wouldn’t smell so strong? I feel like even with vegan/Kombu dashi that sea-smell would be present. Thanks!

    • Hi Tara! Thank you so much for your kind compliment! I’m so happy to hear you enjoyed my recipes.

      About the dashi question you have, it’s hard to remove the fishy or sweed smell as it’s the main ingredient. You can dilute more, if you like.

      Or there is actually another “dashi” that we use. I haven’t shared a specific recipe yet on my blog, but we use dried shiitake mushroom as a part of dashi (like how I used here). You can either increase that amount to add more “umami” in the food.

      However, if you do not like the flavor, you can completely omit. I wouldn’t substitute with chicken/beef/vegetable stock though. They don’t really go well with Japanese traditional flavor (some works).

      Hope I answered to your questions. Let me know if I can help you further! :)

  2. Wendell

    I eat Japanese curry at least once a week, and this is by far the best curry recipe I have ever tried. Thanks for offering your culinary expertise!

    • Hi Wendell! So happy you liked this. This is one of my go to meal too, and I cook pretty often when I’m busy. However, I haven’t had a chance to update my photo… it doesn’t look so tasty with the yellow dining room light! xD Hope I can re-take pictures soon. Thanks for trusting my recipe (besides bad picture) and making it. You made my day!

  3. Usman Makhdoom

    Wow, Japanese keema is so utterly different from Mughlai (Northern Pak-Indo) qeemah.

    We use a base of tomatoes, onions and the usual masalah stuff and then simmer the ground beef in it in a pot for an hour or so. Usually no veggies other than potatoes or peas.

    The way that dishes evolve into something else entirely when they’re handed down from a third or second party to a country’s cuisine (as ‘curry’ was from the Dutch and Anglos to Japan) is even more interesting to read about than where direct introduction by actual locals but lack of traditional ingredients (such as JP cuisine in Peru) result in very heavy modifications.

    Love JP food but never got on with JP curries, they’re just too different without the masalah and onion/tomato base. Can’t get on with cali rolls for the same reason – too much of a departure from the maki they arose from for me.

    • Hi Usman! I think just like Japanese food looks and tastes different outside the Japan, all the food from outside Japan tastes and look different in Japan… It’s more toward the flavors that Japanese would enjoy… Most people in Japan had never tried the real Keema curry (I had never tried it until I left Japan), so they have no idea. 😀 Just like Dragon Rolls and Spider Rolls are very foreign sushi to Japanese people. Thank you for your feedback!