Monday, September 10, 2012

Sri Lankan Cashew Curry


This recipe for cashew curry has to start with a small confession first...I refused to eat or even try Cashew Curry until I was almost 30 years old.  It's a pretty popular Sri Lankan dish to entertain with, but I never wanted to try it because I avoided nuts in my savory food. 

 Now I realize that I have missed out on years of good eating.  I not only adore the cashew part of this dish, but the savory coconut gravy is simply amazing. My mother came over to show me her way of making cashew curry and it's really easy and absolutely delicious.   Traditionally cashews are soaked in water to make them tender before cooking the curry, but my mother avoids this step because we like our cashews with a little "bite" to them so they are not too soft or mushy.  I think they taste better with a little texture... you want to know you're eating a cashew after all.  

Of course you can cook the dish until you reach your desired texture... but don't cook away too much of the gravy because you will just love it.   I am glad that I am over my food hang-ups regarding nuts in my savory food.  Now,  I am finally getting to try all the dishes I didn't want to try as a kid and working hard at making up for lost time.

1lb raw whole cashews
3-4 green chilies sliced
1 medium onion chopped
1 (1inch) cinnamon stick
2 cloves garlic grated or minced
1 inch ginger grated or minced
10-15 curry leaves (optional)
1-2 pandan (rampe) leaves (optional)
1 Tbs curry powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chili powder
canola oil as needed
salt to taste
1 can coconut milk 

Heat about 1Tbs of canola oil in a pan.  Add chopped onions, green chilies, curry leaves, cinnamon stick, panda leaves, ginger, garlic and a little salt.  Saute until fragrant.  Next add the raw cashews and mix well with the sauteed ingredients.

 Now add the chili powder, curry powder and turmeric. Saute with all ingredients for 1 minute.  Next add more salt to taste and the coconut milk.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes until cashews are cooked to your desired tenderness. Taste for seasoning before serving.  Enjoy.

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