Kaju (cashew) nut curry is a no-onion, no-garlic, rich, creamy, mildly spicy and delicious tomato-based gravy with fried cashew nuts. It’s a scrumptious side dish to serve with paratha, puri or any bread and rice dishes.
For the kaju paste:
- 180 ml (3/4 cup) kaju (cashew) nuts
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) khas khas (poppy seeds)
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) muskmelon seeds (available in Indian grocery stores or online)
For the tomato paste:
- 3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 1.27 cm (1/2 inch) piece peeled ginger
- 1-2 green chilies, or to taste*
To finish and serve:
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ghee or clarified butter
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) kaju (cashew) nuts**
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) vegetable oil (or ghee or butter)
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground cumin
- 5 ml (1 teaspoon) ground coriander
- 1.3 ml (1/4 teaspoon) turmeric powder
- 7.5 ml (1 1/2 teaspoons) Kashmiri red chili powder
- Salt, to taste
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) heavy cream, or as needed
- 1-2 fresh green chilis, slit open
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) chopped cilantro leaves, plus additional for garnish
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) kasuri methi
- 2.5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) garam masala
*If you aren’t sure of the heat desired, begin with one chili and add cautiously to taste.
**If you wish to skip frying the cashew nuts, dry roasted cashews may be used instead.
- For the kaju paste: In a blender or small food processor, combine the cashew nuts, poppy seeds and melon seeds. Grind into a fine powder. Add 60 ml (1/4 cup) water and grind again to make smooth paste. Transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
2. For the tomato paste: In a clean blender or food processor, combine the tomatoes, 1-2 green chilies and ginger. Grind to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
3. To finish and serve: In a medium sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat, heat the ghee or butter. Add the kaju and fry until light golden brown. Transfer the cashews and ghee to a heatproof plate.
4. Return the unwashed pan to medium-low heat. Add the oil (or more ghee or butter). Add tomato paste, cumin, coriander, turmeric, Kashmiri chili powder, salt and sugar. Sauté until oil is visible on the sides of the pan.
5. Add kaju paste and 30 ml (2 tablespoons) cream. Sauté again until the mixture is dry and oil leaves the sides. Add 414 ml (1 ¾ cup) water and let it boil for 4-5 minutes on low heat. Stir constantly to avoid sticking to the bottom.
6. Now add the fried cashew nuts, reserving some for garnishing. Add green chilis and cilantro. Cook again for 3-4 minutes. Crush the kasuri methi with your palm and add to the gravy. Mix well. Add garam masala and remove from heat. Garnish with reserved cilantro, fried cashew nuts, and ,if desired, a drizzle of heavy cream. Serve with paratha, puri, or any bread and rice dishes.
I have used homemade Bengali garam masala. Get the recipe here.