S. H. Fernando Jr.'s Cashew Nut Curry Recipe


The following recipe is from the May 9 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!

Perhaps the most unusual curry in S.H. Fernando Jr.'s guide to Sri Lankan cuisine, Rice & Curry, is made of an ingredient more often found in a bowl of mixed nuts than in a steamy pot of coconut milk and chiles. Cashew Nut Curry is a wonderfully rich vegetarian curry, with soft, fatty cashews floating in creamy coconut milk spiced with curry leaves, lemongrass, coriander, and just enough chile heat.

What Worked: Never thought of nuts as a curry ingredient? Give it a shot; this is a fascinating dish.

What Didn't: All clear.

Suggested Tweaks: This recipe has us wondering what other nuts can be stirred into the curry equation.

Reprinted with permission from Rice & Curry by S.H. Fernando Jr.. Copyright © 2011. Published by Hippocrene Books. Available wherever books are sold. All rights reserved.

Recipe Facts



Active: 30 mins
Total: 8 hrs 30 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

Rate & Comment


  • 1/2 pound (226 grams) raw cashew nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2-inch (5-cm) piece ginger, chopped
  • 2-inch (5-cm) stalk lemongrass
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 cup (250 ml) coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak cashews in water to cover overnight (ideally changing water a couple of times).

  2. Drain nuts and boil with the 1 1/2 cups water and turmeric powder until tender. Drain.

  3. Heat ghee in a pan. Fry onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, green chilies, and curry leaves until onions are translucent.

  4. Add coriander powder, coconut milk, salt, and cooked cashews.

  5. Cook on medium heat until liquid has almost evaporated.