A few years ago, I was at a t-shirt release party for my friend Chamindika Wanduragala (www.chamindika.com). Chamun is an amazing visual artist, a stellar clothing designer, and a wonderful cook. She has also saved my ass financially on a couple of occasions.
I walked into her party and asked her what was on the menu for eats. She said cashew curry, and I did my best not to turn up my nose too far. I mean...really....for real....for real for real? Cashew curry...I was doubtful.
But, my Mama taught me to never turned my nose up at food unless I try it first. So I scooped a bit of basmati rice on my plate and then planted some cashews on top of it. I took a bite...and I didn't move from that damn spot for about an hour. I have a problem with portion control, and Lord have mercy I overate that night yes I did.
It's been a couple of years since I've had the curry, and I moved away from Minneapolis, so I figured that if I wanted it, I would have to figure out how to cook it myself. I tried to summon Chamun's recipe, but she has had a baby and is not so much the Facebook addict that I am. So I scanned various cashew curry recipes and settled on one that seemed closest to the Sri Lankan delight that Chamun whipped up for us.
I changed very little to this recipe, so this is not an original creation of mine, but it is damn good.
Cashew Curry Sri Lankan Style As Interpreted by a Negro From the Midwest
16 oz roasted Cashews
3 Cups thin Coconut milk (or water)
1 medium Onion, sliced
2 fresh green Chilies, sliced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
5 cm Cinnamon stick
3 tbs Vegetable oil
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
2 tbs Raw Curry powder (see recipe for raw curry powder)
1 tbs crushed red pepper
1 Cup thick Coconut milk or fresh milk
- Place the cashews in a bowl, add boiling water, close with lid and
soak for about 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain the water from cashews and add salt, turmeric, raw curry
powder, goraka and mix well until cashews are well coated.
- Heat the oil in a medium saucepan then add onions, green chilies,
crushed garlic, cinnamon and fry until onions are soft and golden
- Add the cashews and keep stirring until well coated with oil and
- Add thin coconut milk (or water), close with lid and cook on slow
heat until cashews are soft and cooked.
- Add the thick coconut milk (or fresh milk) and bring to a boil on
- Turn off heat. Adjust salt to taste.
Here is my interpretation of the above, which is from the original recipe that I found at http://paradisaya.tripod.com/recipes/cashewc.txt.
First of all, do soak the cashews overnight.
Second of all use the coconut milk at the end along with two cups more water, bring to a boil and then turn the heat down low, and simmer covered for FOUR HOURS at minimum.
Then turn off heat, serve with brown rice, and enjoy.
Let me tell you....David LOVED LOVED LOVED this recipe.
This recipe will easily feed a crew of 6-8 for about $15. Also, it is a completely vegan recipe.
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