Cashew Nut Curry

Yellow rice and Cashew nut curry on a plate

My practice to include a super food into my diet, keeps changing every season. Somedays, I try to include it in the most simplest form. The other times, it comes with some experiments and exploring. This time around, I am going to go back to a traditional method.

I try my best to include more plant based protein into my diet. Today I am presenting you my most favorite vegetarian protein, that is loaded with heart-healthy fats – Cashew Nut. Cashews are an excellent source of antioxidants, magnesium, and are high in copper. Eating Cashews could even boost your immune system.

Let me quickly take you back to one of my childhood memories. When my dad used take me to visit my grandparents, I remember venturing out across the yard into my aunt’s house, that was close by. All I remember in their yard; was this huge, luscious tree that looked like it was from one of those fairy tales. And it was filled with lots of fruits. Some were green, some were yellow/orange and some were red. It took me a while to recognize, that it was a Cashew nut tree and those beautiful fruits were the Cashew Apples. No wonder I was not allowed to pick those apples, as the resin around the Nut was pretty toxic (it is compared to Poison Ivy). But nevertheless, I did get to enjoy the ripened Cashew Apples. If you ever come across them, do try it (with due care of course), it is a one of a kind; you do not want to miss out on it! So my Cashew nut love started way back, even before I knew how to eat them. Now back to the present moment.

I recently came across some Raw Cashew Nuts from Costco, and immediately remembered how much I missed making curries with them. My favorite way of making it is the easiest method too – it’s a one pot cooking method. You add all the ingredients into one pot and cook it until they are done. The cooking time though is a bit longer compared to other curries, simply because we want the cashew nuts to be tender, smooth and yield more like a creamy textured dish. The other special ingredient to make this special is the Coconut milk. Nothing beats a curry that was cooked with the use of coconut milk. You can take the girl out of the Island, but you cannot take the coconut out of her cooking!!

Ingredients- cashew nut, coconut milk and spices on a table.

Sidebar: eating Cashew nuts in its raw form is healthier than the more commonly seen roasted form. So, next time when you come across some Raw Cashew nuts, or you want to have a protein infused vegan curry, do give this a try. You can eat this curry as a side with some Rice or even with some Salad. You would not be disappointed.

Cooked Cashew nut curry dish on a table.

In most Sri Lankan curries, the use of coconut milk is vital. The use of thinner coconut milk and thicker coconut milk are very common ingredients/terms. Cooking a dish is started with a thinner milk and finished off by adding more of a creamier thick consistency coconut milk. So, if you are using a Coconut Milk from a Can; use only 1/3 of the Can for the first half of the cooking and add water to help the nuts to cook through. Once the Nuts are halfway cooked, add the remainder of the milk from the can and finish off the cooking.

Rice and Cashew nut curry.

Cashew Nut Curry

Serves 6 – 8 | Prep-time 8-10 hrs | Cook-time 1-1.5 hrs

Ingredients :

  • 2 Cups of Raw Cashew Nut-Soaked.
  • 1 Can of Coconut Milk, divided.
  • 2 Cups of Water.
  • 1 Medium Sized Onion, Sliced.
  • 1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds.
  • 2 Cloves.
  • 2-3 Chili Pepper.
  • 5-7 Curry Leaves.
  • 1/2 tsp Curry Powder.
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder.
  • 1 – 2″ Stick of Ceylon Cinnamon (not Cassia).
  • 1 – 2″ Pandan Leaf (Rampe).
  • Salt to Taste.

Directions :

  • Soak the Raw Cashew Nut in a bowl with some water overnight.
  • Take a heavy – bottom pan and mix in all the ingredients, except the coconut milk and salt.
  • Open the Coconut milk can and blend in the coconut water and cream together.
  • Pour only 1/3 of the canned coconut milk into the pan as well as the water and mix well.
  • Cover the pan with the lid and cook in a medium heat for 15-20 minutes.
  • Now add the salt and let it cook on medium for another 10-15 minutes.
  • Finally add the remainder of the Coconut Milk to the pan and cook on a low heat; until the Cashew nuts are soft and tender in texture.
  • Check for salt before taking it off the stove.
  • Optional: Remove the Pandan leaf, whole spices from the dish before plating.

Notes :

  • Buying Raw Cashew Nut is very important for the taste and texture of this curry. They are more nutritious in their raw form.
  • When Soaking the Cashew Nuts, make sure to submerge it well into the water.
  • Normally in a Coconut Can – Cream and milk are separated. So before opening the can; shake the Can really well and once opened, mix the cream and the thinner milk together.
  • If using Coconut Milk Powder; Take 1 cup of water and use 2-3 Tablespoons to make a thicker milk. Take another cup of water and use 1-2 tablespoons to make a thinner milk to cook. Use the thinner milk to start the Cashew Curry process. Add the thicker milk halfway into the cooking and cook until the nuts are tender.
  • Feel free to add more water and adjust the cooking times according to your stove settings. The final Cashew Curry should be tender and creamy.
  • If you can not find Pandan leaf or Curry leaves, you can leave them out.

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