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Cashew nut curry

  • 20 minutes
  • 20 minutes
  • 4
Cashew nut curry

My first encounter with a cashew nut curry was on a visit to Sri Lanka, where the cashew nuts are large, meaty and with that incomparable cashew nut taste that renders then almost impossible to resist. Adding pandan essence brings a captivating taste to this easy-to-make curry. It also gives a brilliant green hue to those chewy coconut pancakes regularly served in Thai and SE Asian restaurants.


  • 250 grams raw cashew nuts
  • 2 stalks lemongrass
  • 1 onion, peeled and diced
  • 2-3 green chillies, sliced, deseeded if wished
  • 1½ tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1x 400ml can coconut milk
  • 1½ cups water
  • 6 curry leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon pandan essence
  • fresh coriander leaves


  1. Soak the cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water for 20 minutes; strain well.
  2. Trim the white part from the lemongrass and slice finely. Keep the fibrous green of the stem to add flavour or use later to make lemongrass tea.
  3. Heat a dash of oil in a deep frying pan and cook the sliced lemongrass, onion, chillies and garlic for 3-5 minutes over moderate heat until fragrant and beginning to soften. Add the curry powder and stir into the hot ingredients to release the essential oils before adding the palm sugar, coconut milk, water, curry leaves and pandan essence. Simmer, uncovered for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the strained cashew nuts and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Scatter over fresh coriander leaves before serving with boiled rice.

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