Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa

August 27, 2022mayurisjikoni




Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa is a mild, vegan coconut based Sri Lankan curry where generous amount of cashew nuts are used to prepare this dish. Usually prepared for special occasions, it is served with plain rice. And it is both gluten free and vegan.

In fact, this curry is very easy to make. I think for me the hardest part was to remember to the soak the cashew nuts overnight! Kept on forgetting for three consecutive days. Finally, left the cashew nut container out on the kitchen counter near my sink so I remember when I clear up after dinner.

Though I added homemade Sri Lankan curry spice, the curry was not hot at all. And absolutely tasty and a delightful treat especially for a cashew nut lover like me.

A Bit About The Group:

In brief, every month a new theme is chosen by members. Then, the participants are paired up. In turn, they give each other 2 secret ingredients to use in their recipe which is prepared fitting the theme.

As soon as their dish is ready, the photo is shared on our Facebook group. Then, other participants try and guess the secret ingredients. Towards the end of the month the recipe is shared on the group. Additionally, members get to know each other and interact with them.

This Month’s Theme:

Narmadha who blogs at Nams Corner suggested that we prepare a dish from the Sri Lankan Cuisine. I love egg cheese dosa which I was first introduced to by my son in law. A vendor just opposite  his apartment in Bangalore would be there 24/7 dishes these dosas for the college students. Back then I only knew my SIL as my daughter’s friend. Had no idea they were dating! He treated us to the dosa and after that it was every other day I would want to go to have it. No dosa vendor near me but now I can make it at home following Narmadha’s recipe.

Besides the famous hoppers from Sri Lanka, I have not tried cooking any other dish at home from this unique cuisine. I am so glad Narmadha suggested this theme as that gave me the opportunity to make this kaju curry which has become my favourite.


My Partners This Month

My partner this month is Rafeeda who blogs at The Big Sweet Tooth. I love the desserts that she makes. Most of them are simple but super tempting like her White Chocolate Sago Pudding. I don’t like white chocolate on its own but love it in desserts.

Coming to the theme, we decided to give each other common curry ingredients. Rafeeda suggested I use cloves and chilli while I asked her to use garlic and tomato.  With those two ingredients she has prepared a tempting coconuty Sri Lankan Egg Curry. I have a weakness for egg curries and I’m going to try out Rafeeda’s recipe soon.

I used cloves in the homemade spice mixture and added some green chilli paste to the curry.


My Other Partner

Radha who blogs at Magical Ingredients too was my partner for this theme. I gave her gourd and rice  flour as her ingredients to use. She came with a delicious Pathola Maluwa. She used snake gourd as the main ingredient for the curry and used rice flour to thicken it just a bit. Hop over to her blog to check out the recipe.

Is Sri Lankan Cuisine Similar To The Indian Cuisine?

Yes and no. While many dishes are from South India, the cuisine however has other influences too. Being the oceanic silk route, traders brought in new ingredients. Sri Lankan cuisine has Dutch and South East Asian influence too. Cinnamon grows naturally in Sri Lanka and therefore is heavily used in spice mixtures along with pepper. Palm jaggery which comes from the kithul palm tree is commonly used as a sweetener. Coconut is present in all the dishes either as milk or in the grated form. Pandan leaves and lemongrass are common in many of the dishes and so is goraka which is commonly known as kokum in India. Other unique flavours that are added to most curries are the Malabar fish and caramelized onion.

Sambols, uncooked condiments are an integral part of any meal.

Some More Curry Recipes You Can Check Out

Mughlai Egg Curry is an aromatic, rich, creamy, delectable curry that one can proudly serve during any festival or holiday.
Check out this recipe
Yogurt Potato Curry is a creamy, delicious, slightly spicy curry. Enjoy it with any Indian Flatbread or rice. Easy to make, this curry generally features on my table when I have guests over. It is relished both by adults and kids. 
Check out this recipe
Sabut Moong Dal is a nutritious, healthy, creamy and delicious that is usually enjoyed with some plain rice, roti or paratha. Easy to prepare, its the best way to include this new superfood in yoru daily diet.
Check out this recipe
Gobi Musallam is an exotic cauliflower curry where the whole cauliflower is roasted with a creamy sauce. Its usually enjoyed with some Naan, Parathas or Roti.
Check out this recipe
Do Pyaza means 2 onions. This curry base is made using finely chopped and chunky onions along with other spices, tomatoes, to create a naturally sweetish, creamy curry base.
Check out this recipe
A simple and yet very tasty curry that is made from semi ripe mangoes. Usually served with parathas or khchdi, it definitely is an unusual curry.
Check out this recipe
Rajma Masala or simply known as Rajma is a popular North Indian curry dish which is usually enjoyed with rice. Healthy, filling and rich in protein, it is comfort food for so many.
Check out this recipe
A mild but delicious curry with slight sweetness from the coconut, tanginess from the yogurt and flavours from the herbs and spices.
Check out this recipe

Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa

This curry is different from the rest of the fiery hot ones as it is mild. Also the spices required for the Sri Lankan Spice Mixture are easily available. Though the amount of pepper used in the spice mixture is huge, you feel the heat from it when added to the curry. Naturally, the cashew nuts have to be soaked so that are not hard when you bite into them. Neither are they too soft. The other reason for soaking them is that it absorbs a bit of the salt. Yes, they are soaked in salty water.

Compared to Indian Curries that are naturally thickened with use of pureed onion, nut powders, roasted legumes etc this curry requires no thickening agent. Therefore the curry is a bit runny but goes perfectly well with the plain rice.

Surprisingly, the curry is not called cashew nut curry. Either it is Cashew Curry or as in the local language Kaju Maluwa.

Ingredients Required For The Sri Lankan Curry Powder

  • Coriander Seeds
  • Black Peppercorns
  • Cumin Seeds
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Raw Rice – any white rice.
  • Cloves
  • Cardamom Seeds – remove the seeds from the pods. Don’t throw away the pods. Add them to the tea leaves. Your tea will have a lovely fragrance.

Ingredients Required For Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa

  • Cashew Nuts– without the skin and unsalted.
  • Green Peas – optional. use fresh or frozen.
  • Coconut Milk – use fresh homemade coconut milk or canned one. I have used canned coconut milk.
  • Garlic – peeled and finely chopped or minced.
  • Onion – peeled and sliced. Use any of your choice, red, white or yellow.
  • Curry Leaves – 1 sprig. As I don’t have fresh curry leaves I have used dried ones.
  • Cinnamon – 2 inch stick snap into smaller pieces.
  • Cumin Powder
  • Turmeric Powder – haldi, hardar. You need a little.
  • Sri Lankan Curry Powder – homemade or ready made.
  • Salt – to soak the cashew nuts and for the curry.
  • Tap Water – to soak the cashew nuts.
  • Green Chillis – chopped or paste.
  • Red Chilli Powder – add according to your taste. Remember, add a little only as this curry is not suppose to be fiery hot.





Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa is a mild, vegan coconut based Sri Lankan curry where generous amount of cashew nuts are used to prepare this dish. Usually prepared for special occasions, it is served with plain rice.
5 from 14 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 30 minutes
Course festival recipe, Main Course, Main Meal
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Servings 4



  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp pepper corns
  • 1 tbsp raw rice
  • tbsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cardamom seeds scant, about 8 cardamoms
  • 8 cloves


  • 200 g cashew nuts unsalted and without skin
  • 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
  • cups coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 medium onion peeled and sliced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp green chilli paste
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 inch cinnamon snap into smaller pieces
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder optional
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1-2 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
  • tsp salt divided
  • enough water for soaking



  • Heat a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Reduce the heat and add the rice. Roast, stirring all the time till it turns light brownish in colour.
  • Add peppercorns and cloves. Roast for a minute or so, stirring all the time.
  • Add coriander, cumin, fennel, mustard and cardamom seeds.
  • Roast till you get the aroma of roasted coriander and the cumin seeds and mustard seeds begin to pop. Remember, keep stirring all the time.
  • Remove the roasted spices from the pan into a plate.
  • Allow the spices to cool down.
  • Grind the spices into a powder in your spice grinder or with in a mortar using a pestle.
  • Store the spice in an airtight container. Can be used for other Sri Lankan dishes.


  • Add the cashew nuts in a mixing bowl.
  • Add water till it is about 1 -2 inches above the level of the cashew nuts. Add 1 tsp of salt from the measured amount.
  • Gently mix and cover the bowl. Allow the cashew nuts to soak overnight or for at least 6-8 hours.
  • Next day drain out the water. Gently split the cashew nuts. Gently rub between your thumb and finger and it comes apart.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
  • Add cinnamon sticks.
  • When the cinnamon begins to sizzle, add the sliced onion.
  • Stir fry the onion till it becomes soft. Do not allow it to turn brown as that will make the curry taste bitter.
  • Add curry leaves, chopped garlic and chllli paste. Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add turmeric powder and the peas.
  • Mix well.
  • Add the cashew nuts, remaining salt and coconut milk. Mix well.
  • Bring the curry to a gentle boil. Lower the heat and allow it to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the peas are cooked.
  • Add cumin powder, curry powder and chilli powder if using any. Mix well gently.
  • Serve piping hot cashew curry with some plain rice.


  • Add more coconut milk or water if you find the curry has become thick or dry.
  • Adjust the spices according to your taste.
  • Don't allow the curry to boil over high heat. It may cause the coconut fat to separate.
  • Allow the cashew nuts to soak well for that plump, soft but with a bite kind of curry.
Keyword cashew curry

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A Little Request:

If you do try this recipe then please either

  • add a comment below,
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  • tag me as #mayuri_jikoni on Instagram
  • or tag me on Twitter as #Mayuri1962













  • Renu

    August 31, 2022 at 10:46 am

    5 stars
    That looks like an interesting curry with cashew. The coconut milk would add so much flavour to the dish as well and with freshly made curry powder, it would have tasted delicious.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 2, 2022 at 7:25 pm

      Thank you so much Renu. This curry is definitely very flavourful. We simply loved it. Give it a try.

      1. Priya Iyer

        September 16, 2022 at 11:50 am

        5 stars
        I don’t think I have ever had a curry made entirely using cashews. It looks fabulous and sounds super flavourful. With the coconut milk, curry powder, chilli paste, garlic and onion going in, I’m sure it would be a real beauty. 🙂

      2. mayurisjikoni

        September 16, 2022 at 2:26 pm

        Thank you so much Priya, initially I had planned on making seeni sambol but came across the kaju curry. So I had to try and we loved it. It actually makes a delicious mild curry especially when you have guests over.

  • Radha

    September 1, 2022 at 11:06 am

    5 stars
    I guess we landed on similar curries. We loved the simple and mild maluwa. This curry with cashews sounds and looks rich and delicious. I have some curry powder left and would love to try this curry too!

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 2, 2022 at 7:15 pm

      Thank you so much Radha. My family prefers mild curries over overtly hot ones. You’ve got to give this one a try, especially when you make the whole Sri Lankan spread again.

  • Kalyani

    September 11, 2022 at 7:00 am

    5 stars
    I love kaju too, and have a small batch of the Srilankan curry powder I made for Hath Maluwa! I am sure to try this Kaju maluwa soon for lunch, Mayuri !

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 12, 2022 at 2:29 pm

      Thank you so much and enjoy the curry when you make it.

  • Shobha Keshwani

    September 13, 2022 at 7:08 pm

    5 stars
    Interesting curry with whole cashew nuts. I have never tried making or tasted it. This will make a nice party dish. Loved it.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 14, 2022 at 12:57 pm

      Thank you so much Shobha. Give this recipe a try, it is mild but very flavourful. I made for my guests and they loved it.

  • Archana

    September 15, 2022 at 5:22 am

    5 stars
    Wow! This cashew curry will taste so yummy with fresh cashew nuts too! In the coming season, I will make it with fresh ones but for now, I will make some with dried ones. We like mild curries these days so will be highly appreciated. This goes on tomorrow’s menu.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 15, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      Glad you’ll be able to try out the recipe with fresh cashew nuts. Am sure it will work well for this recipe.

  • Preeti Shridhar

    September 15, 2022 at 7:10 am

    5 stars
    Kaju Malwa is definitely a rich and flavourful curry. What I loved most about it is that it’s not very hot. I am glad you shared the recipe for Sri Lankan curry powder also .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 15, 2022 at 2:44 pm

      Thank you so much Preeti. I too loved the curry as it is not too spicy. It allows the flavours of the coconut and cashew nuts to come through.

  • Jayashree T.Rao

    September 16, 2022 at 6:17 am

    5 stars
    Kaju Maluwa Curry looks tasty. The fresh spice mix and the coconut milk must have made it an ideal accompaniment .

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2022 at 2:34 pm

      Thanks Jayashree, goes really well with plain rice.

  • Rafeeda – The Big Sweet Tooth

    September 16, 2022 at 7:58 am

    5 stars
    A curry with cashews as its main ingredient sounds really delicious… I am intrigued by the texture of the cashews in gravy… Beautiful color…

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 16, 2022 at 2:30 pm

      Thank you so much Rafeeda. The cashews are soaked so that it does not taste hard in the curry. Imagine how a cashew piece tastes in a biryani..soft and flavourful but still with a bite.

  • Seema Sriram

    September 16, 2022 at 11:49 pm

    5 stars
    The cashewnut curry brings such an exotic feel to the meal, yet is that perfect coastal country feel. Paired ith rice this delicate curry is yum.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 17, 2022 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Seema and you are absolutely right, it gives the perfect coastal feel and is delicious with rice.

  • Narmadha

    September 18, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    5 stars
    Cashew maluwa looks so interesting, rich, and flavorful. It goes well with rice or roti. Never thought of making curry with cashews. Will try this out soon.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 19, 2022 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks Narmadha. Try it, it is so delicious. When I came across the recipe, I had to try it and am not regretting at all.

  • Anu

    September 20, 2022 at 1:12 am

    5 stars
    Cashews in coconut milk curry look so delicious. I am sure it would taste great with rice. This is one of the many dishes I am going to try from the SriLankan cuisine theme.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2022 at 5:11 am

      Thanks Anu. Enjoy the curry when you try it. Am sure it is going to be a hit.

  • Preethicuisine Preethicuisine

    September 25, 2022 at 1:33 am

    5 stars
    Sri Lankan cashew curry with freshly ground curry powder sounds flavourful and is absolutely irresistible. I love curries with coconut milk and I m book marking this one . It is too tempting.

    1. mayurisjikoni

      September 27, 2022 at 5:01 am

      Thank you so much Preethi. Am sure you’re going to enjoy this one.. it is so different from the other curries.

  • Catherine

    January 22, 2023 at 10:35 pm

    5 stars
    This is absolutely delicious sitting now with the flavours developing for serving up tonight to my vegan niece. Great to find a recipe that is relatively simple to prepare with readily available ingredients that results in complex flavours. Thank you

    1. mayurisjikoni

      January 24, 2023 at 11:01 am

      Thanks for stopping by and am so happy that you like the recipe.

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