Kaju maluwa

Cashew nut curry

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Lands of the Curry Leaf

Lands of the Curry Leaf

By Peter Kuruvita

Published 2018

  • About

Cashews are one of the only nuts that actually grow outside the fruit. They are very difficult to process because their shells contain caustic substances that can burn people’s skin, hence their expensive price tag. Luckily, you don’t need perfectly shaped cashews for this curry — you can use cashew pieces, which are more economical.

I love this curry: it is a solid dish, and very unusual. We always serve it with rice and two or three other curries, accompanied by poppadoms and a lime pickle.

Preparation 20 minutes + 1 hour soaking
Cooking 20 minutes


  • 250 g (9 oz) unsalted cashews
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fresh curry leaf sprig, leaves picked
  • 10 cm (4 inch) piece of pandan leaf
  • 2 Indian green chillies, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, dry-roasted and ground
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 300 ml (10½ fl oz) coconut milk
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) coconut cream, plus extra to serve
  • a pinch of Dark roasted curry powder


Soak the cashews in a small bowl of water for 1 hour. Once softened, strain and set aside to dry off.

Heat the ghee in a medium-sized frying pan over high heat. Once hot, add the onion, curry leaves, pandan leaf and green chilli and stir. When the onion is fragrant and starting to change colour, add the ground cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and cinnamon stick and stir for a few minutes, until the spices are lightly roasted.

Add the drained cashews and stir to combine. Stir in the coconut milk and boil for about 5 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced.

Stir in the coconut cream, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.

Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with an extra drizzle of coconut cream and a sprinkling of roasted curry powder and serve.