Sri Lankan Cashew Curry Recipe and a Giveaway

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on April 14, 2014

sri lankan cashew curry

One of my favorite dishes that I had on a recent trip to Sri Lanka was this cashew curry. The hotel chef kindly agreed to show me how he makes it and I’m so excited to share the recipe with you! But first, here are some photos from my trip. (Make sure you also check out part 1 of my Sri Lanka trip with a two ingredient coconut roti)

Breakfast – My favorite meal in Sri Lanka

Red rice string hoppers, coconut roti, and potato curry with tea for breakfast

Hoppers for breakfast - fermented rice crepes

Curry leaf hoppers

Sweet string hoppers filled with coconut

Fresh pandan leaves add a herbal flavor to Sri Lankan cooking

Vegetable stuffed roti demo

Welcome drinks at Vil Uayana - coconut water, juice, iced tea

Climbing Sigiriya Lion Rock

Sigiriya lion rock

Climbing the Sigiriya rock, all 600 feet!

View from the top

At the end of the climb we treated ourselves to Old Arrack - distilled coconut toddy

Sri Lankan Cashew Curry Recipe

cashew nuts, pandan and spices for sri lankan cashew curry

This cashew curry uses soaked cashews and coconut milk, spiced with sweet cinnamon and cardamom, spicy green chillies, herby pandan and unraosted Sri Lankan curry powder. Unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder is lighter in color than the roasted kind, and is often used in vegetable curries and coconut milk based dishes. Unroasted or raw Sri Lankan curry powder contains coriander, fennel, cumin, cinnamon as the predominant spices. Sri Lankan curry powder is availableonline

frozen pandan leaves and unroasted sri lankan curry powder

Frozen pandan leaves and unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder

Pandan leaves are used in Sri Lanka, much like curry leaves are used in India. Pandan, also called screw pine, is a tropical tree. Its leaves are used in Sri Lankan, Malaysian and Thai cooking. In India Pandan is called Kewra, and although not used in cooking, it is used to flavor drinks. Pandan has a wonderful, herby, grassy flavor.

sri lankan cashew curry step by step

Making this cashew curry is easy. Just sauté the aromatics and onion and garlic, then add the spice powders, followed by soaked cashew, tomato and coconut milk. Then cook everything till the cashew soften. Remember, the longer you soak the cashews, the quicker they will cook. For cashew curry, never add salt while cooking. Salt won’t let the cashews cook quickly. Always add salt right at the end for cashew curry.

sri lankan cashew curry

Serve Sri Lankan cashew curry with white, brown or red rice. It also goes well with string hoppers. Sometimes I even serve this curry with quinoa!

Sri Lankan Cashew Curry Recipe
serves about 4

Ingredients
3/4 cup raw cashew nuts
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds, optional
6 curry leaves
2 one inch pieces of pandan leaf, optional. Available frozen at Asian markets.
1 Thai green chili, slit
1 cardamom pod, cracked open (gently smash it with the back of a spoon)
1 thin sliver of cinnamon
2 shallots, chopped
1 fat garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon unroasted Sri Lankan curry powder, available online
1/4 teaspoon pepper powder, optional
1 small tomato, chopped. I used 6 cherry tomatoes instead.
1 cup coconut milk

Method

1. Place the cashews in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them soak for 1 hour. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in a saucepan, and add mustard seeds if using. When they pop, add in the curry leaves, pandan leaves, green chili, cardamom and cinnamon. Stir for 30 seconds. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about a minute, or till the shallots are soft.

3. Add the turmeric, curry powder and pepper powder. Give it a quick stir. Then add the soaked and drained cashews and tomato nd stir to coat. Then pour in coconut milk and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil. Cook on a lively simmer till the cashews are very soft – about 40 minutes. If the curry is too thick, add more water 1/4 cup at a time and boil again.
4. Stir in salt and serve hot with rice.

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Sri Lankan Curry Powder and Tea Giveaway

I’ve bought back some curry powders and tea from my trip and will be sending it to one lucky winner!
One randomly picked winner will receive
1. A 100g packet of roasted Sri Lankan curry powder
2. A 100g packet of unfrosted Sri Lankan curry powder
3. Basilur tea flavored with papaya and marigold, in a book shaped tin

Enter below! US and Canada shipping only! a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Comments

comments

{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 dhwani April 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

love this curry.. i really want to try.
i havnt really tried any authentic home made sambhar masala. i would love to make my own at home..

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2 Shobana Arunachalam April 14, 2014 at 6:15 pm

The curry looks delish! Of course all of the Sri Lankan food bring wonderful memories :)

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3 Kimmie April 14, 2014 at 6:28 pm

What a beautiful country and beautiful pictures. I am new to these flavors, so many different things to begin to try. Thank you for having this giveaway! I enjoy your blog.

Kimmie
mama to 8
one homemade and 7 adopted

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4 Pallavi April 14, 2014 at 6:36 pm

I have heard so much about Sri Lankan curries, I am yet to try any, but I will. Very soon.
I have often wondered about Pav Bhaji Msasala and making it at home, but honestly do not want to face disappointment ( and waste a good amount of pav bhaji just because the masala sucks)

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5 Space Kitty April 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Looking forward to trying pandan leaf – and the tea looks gorgeous!

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6 Hari Chandana April 14, 2014 at 8:12 pm

Love this curry.. looks so delicious!!

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7 Gloria April 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm

I’ve never tried cashews in a curry before, but I am going to now. It looks delicious!

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8 Vaishali April 14, 2014 at 9:05 pm

Chinese all spice

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9 Beth D. April 14, 2014 at 9:07 pm

I am in LOVE with curry- I even put it in my eggs for breakfast, randomly enough.

A spice I have eaten, but have never cooked or experimented with, but want to, is Korean red chili powder.

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10 Ami@naivecookcooks April 14, 2014 at 11:27 pm

I have never heard of this curry! It looks amazing!!

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11 Lubna Karim April 15, 2014 at 12:26 am

I just started knowing more about Srilankan Cuisine…and this rich cashew as star ingredient sounds wonderful to me…..

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12 Ranjani April 15, 2014 at 5:55 am

I would love to try srilankan curry powder as im so new to flavours of sri lanka

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13 Jodi @ Dancing Carrots April 15, 2014 at 5:59 am

I LOVE tea and would like to experiment with making my own blends. I am going to be growing some herbs this summer and will be trying to make my own peppermint, chamomile and lavender tea.

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14 Don S April 15, 2014 at 6:13 am

What does pandan leaf taste like?
What does it add to the dish?
Is it similar to curry leaf?

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15 pavithra April 15, 2014 at 8:16 am

I have been meaning to try capers and star anise in my cooking.
the cashew curry looks rich and delicious.thanks for the giveaway…

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16 praveena April 15, 2014 at 10:37 am

Love the pictures.Going to try this curry this weekend

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17 veena April 15, 2014 at 10:59 am

curry looks amazing.

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18 Devi April 15, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Looks delicious!

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19 Marissa April 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

I will have to try this <3

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20 divya k April 15, 2014 at 3:47 pm

i want to try mace in my cooking.

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21 Coco in the Kitchen April 15, 2014 at 4:05 pm

Love this recipe – it’s so new to me.
I’ve used pandan extract, mainly in desserts, but never
seen the fresh leaves. Will have to stop by the Asian market
and see what I find!

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22 sarah April 15, 2014 at 4:27 pm

ginger paste curry!

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23 Dana April 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm

ive been wanting to experiment with ras el hanout

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24 Deanna April 15, 2014 at 7:55 pm

Both the curry and the tea sound amazing! Thanks for the fun giveaway!

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25 sathya April 16, 2014 at 5:38 am

Cashew curry looks so delicious .Cashew is rich but cashew curry is richest right .I want to try some dill leaves in my cooking ,but never got a chance to try it until now .

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26 Sanjeeta kk April 16, 2014 at 8:28 am

Sounds like a great trip filled with wonderful culinary discoveries…love the idea of making curry leaf hoppers…Sala, you are a lucky girl to get to travel and learn more about life and cultures of different countries. Hugs and best wishes.

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27 Anon April 17, 2014 at 8:59 am

Hi, I have drank wine and beer here in US. But never drank in India. Wondering how did “Sarayam” taste like? I always associate sarayam with bad smell and alcholic indian males…

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28 Andrea M April 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

I’ve been dying to try za’atar! And this curry, sounds awesome!

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29 Devi Annamalai April 17, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Looks so yumm! Your blog is so informative. Never heard of Pandan leaves before. I cant wait to buy them online and try them out. Thanks Sala!

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30 Cavin April 17, 2014 at 2:02 pm

cayenne

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31 Anu April 17, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Thankyou so much for the Srilankan roasted curry powder. I just made dry okra flavoured with the curry powder you sent me. I would love to try Ghost pepper salt… Actually any variety of salts with salads – i’d love to try out.

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32 Kanchana May 25, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Making this tomorrow. Thanks!

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