Cashew Curry | Kaju Maluwa
EVENT: SHHH COOKING SECRETLY
THEME: SRI LANKAN RECIPES
RECIPE: CASHEW CURRY | KAJU MALUWA
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
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.
- 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.
WATCH HOW TO PREPARE CASHEW CURRY AND THE SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER
CASHEW CURRY | KAJU MALUWA | SRI LANKAN KAJU CURRY
INGREDIENTS FOR SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER - MAKES ½ CUP
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tbsp pepper corns
- 1 tbsp raw rice
- 1½ tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cardamom seeds scant, about 8 cardamoms
- 8 cloves
INGREDIENTS FOR THE CASHEW CURRY
- 200 g cashew nuts unsalted and without skin
- 1 cup peas fresh or frozen
- 1½ 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
- 1½ tsp salt divided
- enough water for soaking
PREPARATION OF THE SRI LANKAN CURRY POWDER
- 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.
PREPARATION OF CASHEW CURRY
- 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.
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