Monday, June 13, 2011

Meatless Monday - Sri Lankan Cashew Curry

Emily, this one’s for you!  As I mentioned last Monday, Cashew Curry is my favorite dish my dear friend Migi prepares.  I've simplified the recipe since not all of us have access to curry leaves and other exotic spices and I used curry powder that Migi sends me. I think it still has the same basic (and yummy) flavor.  Here are two examples of Sri Lankan curry powder:

Although each are slightly different, both are Sri Lankan curry powders. It shows you have some leeway when making your own.  If you have a curry powder you like, by all means use it.

The only trick in the recipe is planning ahead.  The cashews should be soaked for several hours prior to starting the curry.  Just put a pound of whole raw cashews in a bowl of water to soak after breakfast.

It's that easy. What we buy as raw cashews have actually been heated to remove both their inner and outer shells so are not technically raw. This means they cannot soak as long as some other nuts and seeds.  See how plump they become?  They become sweeter as they soak, too.  Don't let them soak over six hours or they'll become slimy.

Years ago Migi explained that cashews should be soaked prior to cooking and I honestly didn’t get the “why” until reading Nourishing Traditions a few years ago. Soaking nuts and seeds before cooking makes them highly digestible as it neutralizes enzyme inhibiting phytic acid. Cashews don’t have as high a fat level as most nuts and are very high in many minerals so it's a healthy indulgence. 

Cashew Curry can be a main dish or a savory side and this recipe serves a lot and freezes well.

Sri Lankan Cashew Curry:

Soak 1 lb. whole RAW cashew in water for up to six hours.

In one tablespoon coconut oil sauté on large onion until just soft.


1 or 2 chilies, seeded and diced depending on how hot you want it.
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Ginger, minced
1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
1 teaspoon Curry Powder
½ teaspoon Salt

And continue to sauté until blended.  As the spice heat and and blend the aroma makes me so happy.

Add 2 cans (15 ounces) coconut milk.

Drain the soaked cashews and add to pot.  Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 30 minutes.  I like to simmer it an hour or so to really meld the flavors.

Serve as is over rice with a salad.  It’s an unusual side dish with grilled fish or chicken, too.  Migi serves it as one of many curries family style which is, of course, the very best way!  It's one of those dishes that tastes better the next day, too.  Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Thank you, Kath!!!!! You are so sweet! :o) I don't have the RAW cashews yet but hope to stop at Trader Joe's tomorrow. It sounds yummy! We do need to meet in person someday. I'd love to personally meet another FGer!! Thanks a bunch! Emily

Anonymous said...

I'm amazed by all these beautiful photos you have of food on this blog...wonderful! Thanks. EMily

chacha said...

Thank you for all the kind words Emily! I really appreciate them as this is all still pretty new to me.

Yes, that would be fun. The next couple of months are crazy full but when school starts back up it will actually be calmer. =D Maybe we can figure out an afternoon.

Anonymous said...

That would be great! Emily