Indian Cuisine in Japan…and the Biggest Naan Ever!

I’ve had Indian cuisine in Canada, Japan, and of course, India. Nothing could ever compare to the huge variety of foods and the stunning flavours of actual dishes cooked in India, but the curries in Japan are still delicious and a very neat experience.

I recently went to a nearby restaurant called “Ram”. It’s owned and run by Nepali people, but they serve Indo ryori, which translates to “Indian cuisine”.

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We opted for a dish of aloo palak (spinach curry with potatoes) and another order of tomato-based veggie curry. Each comes with an option of either naan or saffron rice so we asked for one of each.

Before our order came to the table, they brought over complementary poppadom and a bowl of chutney. I call it chutney, but it seemed to be  onions, garlic, and ginger in a red hot sauce that tasted a lot like the spice used in Korean cuisine. I guess they make the best of what they’ve got! Either way, it was still fantastic…we got three refills!

That’s actually what makes going to an Indian restaurant in Japan so interesting. Some of the ingredients that they use are imported directly from India, whereas others are fashioned out of locally available foods. The saffron rice was cooked with jeera, or cumin seeds, giving it a very authentic taste. But on the other hand, instead of using long grain rice, Indian restaurants here typically use domestic short grain rice, resulting in such an interesting fusion of textures and flavours.

The naan is also made with Japanese flour and very little oil so that it’s almost like dry toast on the outside, but fluffy inside, and with a mildly sweet flavour almost like a pancake! Not to mention, the naan in Japan is always huge.

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20 thoughts on “Indian Cuisine in Japan…and the Biggest Naan Ever!

  1. Definitely looks tasty, with a Japanese touch perhaps? Haha… but you are so right, just the thought of having Indian cuisines in Japan is fabulous. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. Yeah it was so surreal. I was in a suburban area of Japan with very few foreigners but as soon as I stepped into the restaurant it was like I was in a whole different country! All of the workers were Nepali, with heavy accents, and wearing traditional clothes from Nepal. The food was definitely a very intriguing fusion of cultures as well. It’s well worth a visit!

      1. Yeah, for some reason there are a lot more Nepali people in Japan that Indians. And yet, they almost always call their restaurants “Indian” instead of “Nepali”. I guess it’s because more people are familiar with India? I would like to try an authentic Nepali restaurant too, though! haha

    1. Yeah definitely! Equally interesting was India’s take on Chinese food. All the stirfrys and sweet and sour dishes were soupy like curry and were arranged on a thali platter haha 😛

  2. Oh, I didn’t know that you can get Indian food in Japan! We don’t have restaurants serving Japenese in India. That doesn’t mean the opposite can’t happen, of course 😛

    Everything looks delicious in your pictures, except the rice which looks more like khichdi than pulao!

    1. Recently, Indian restaurants are everywhere in Japan! You just have to choose carefully. Most are run by Nepalis, so the food is good, but not what you would expect of Indian cuisine. Also, most Indian restaurants use Japanese spices and Japanese rice, so the taste is inauthentic (but tasty in its own way!). Recently, I spent a long time in Tokyo, and I had a lot of luck there. Tokyo has many authentic restaurants with true Indian ingredients. I felt like I was back in India!
      Also, I know what you mean about the rice haha! It’s nothing like khichidi, though. It’s Japanese rice with some yellow coloring! But, in Tokyo, it’s possible to find genuine Basmati rice. And yes…naan in Japan are always huge! Most restaurants give unlimited free refills, too! If you ever go to Japan, I recommend visiting an Indian restaurant. I have been to so many. It’s an interesting experience, for sure! 🙂

      1. Yes, fusion cuisine is so much fun. Like the time I had Chinese food in India…So different from anything I pictured!

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