How will this instant curry fare in India, the country with some of the best curry in the world?

When you think about Japanese cuisine, what are the first things that come to mind? Some of the obvious choices are sushi, ramen or okonomiyaki, but some people might not be aware of the existence of Japanese curry. While it hasn’t yet quite made its mark on the world like other Japanese food has, curry remains a firm favourite amongst Japanese people. But for those living outside of Japan, it’s much more likely that another country springs to mind when you hear the word ‘curry’: India.

▼ Be honest; how much is your mouth watering right now?

As delicious as Japanese curry most certainly is, Indian curry is quite different. While sampling the tasty local cuisine on a recent trip to India, our Japanese-language reporter Ikuna Kamezawa started to wonder what Indian people would think about Japanese curry?

As expected of any SoraNews24 writer, Ikuna never goes anywhere without a packet of instant Pokémon curry. She was keen to gather intel, so she decided to ask Feroze, the friendly manager at the hotel she was staying at, if he’d be willing to do a taste test.

Some of you might be a couple of steps ahead of Ikuna and thinking “But many people in India are Hindu and don’t eat beef, right? What if there’s beef in the Pokémon curry?!” Don’t worry; Ikuna made sure to bring a pack of pork and vegetable curry. However, she was immediately faced with an unexpected problem when Feroze checked the ingredients and told her, “I’m Muslim,” and so he can’t eat pork.

But Feroze was pretty keen to be featured in Ikuna’s article. “Japanese people would love this kind of picture, right?” he said, as he modelled with the instant curry.

▼ While eating pork was a no-go, it seemed Feroze had no problem posing with it.

But as luck would have it, Ikuna’s investigative dreams were about to come true, as Feroze’s friend Ravi showed up. Ravi just happened to be Hindu and was totally OK being Ikuna’s curry test subject.

▼ Thanks, Ravi!

Ravi skillfully scooped up the curry with a samosa, and Ikuna waited with baited breath. This was it… this was what she had been waiting for. She would finally get an authentic Indian opinion on Japanese curry. Would Ravi like it? Would his stomach twist in turmoil?

▼ ………….

For a long time, Ravi didn’t say a thing. His expression didn’t give anything away, either.

After what seemed like forever, Ravi left his seat, saying ‘Hold on a minute.’ Oh no… was he angry??

To Ikuna’s relief, Ravi wasn’t angry at all and soon came back with a bowl full of chickpea curry. And while Ravi’s curry was certainly delicious, Ikuna was still hungry for Ravi’s opinion on the Japanese curry. Even though he didn’t explicitly say it, Ikuna assumed that the chickpea curry was Ravi’s way of saying ‘This is real curry.’ However, Ravi pocketed the leftover Pokemon curry to take home, saying “I want my wife to try this, too.” So maybe this was an exciting experience for Ravi, even if he didn’t say as much.

So while Ikuna didn’t get the juicy soundbite that she was looking for, she learned something much more important. In a mostly secular country like Japan, it’s easy to forget that other people might have different dietary needs and requirements based on their religion. And while Ravi didn’t say whether he enjoyed Japanese curry or not, he will have the opportunity to taste it again with the CoCo Ichibanya curry shop opening up in India this year.

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