Cashew Curry Recipe

A simple, last-minute curry recipe - curry powder in coconut milk, deeply toasted cashew nuts, a handful of green beans, two handfuls of tiny cauliflower florets, and a bit of tofu for good measure.

Cashew Curry

There are a number of things I nearly always have in my kitchen. Top of the list: a can of coconut milk, onions, nuts, and spices. This puts me just a vegetable or two away from a flavorful pot of richly-colored curry. The one I'm featuring today is a favorite of mine and one I make often. I use a homemade Sri Lankan-inspired curry powder, deeply toasted cashew nuts, a handful of green beans, two handfuls of tiny cauliflower florets, and a bit of tofu for good measure. I might serve it over a bowl of grains, worked into an omelette or crepe, or like this - on its own.

Cashew Curry Recipe

I should mention that while I like this particular curry blend, other nights I might take the spices in a different direction entirely - for example, by using a Thai-inspired curry paste instead. I decide what to include in a curry by thinking about a few things. I like a hearty, substantial curry when the weather is cold. And a lighter, brothy one in warmer times. Root vegetables, potatoes, cabbage, chickpeas and the like when it is stormy. Fresh peas, asparagus and other farmers' market finds as spring comes around. I was just home from the airport when I made this one (no time to head to the market), and grabbed for some green beans from the freezer. Worked great. Play around with what you've got locally, seasonally. It's hard to go wrong.

Cashew Curry Recipe

I've included a recipe for one of the curry powders I like to make at home from scratch. It has evolved gradually from a recipe I jotted down years ago in a train station south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, featured in an English language publication. How authentic is it? I'm not too sure. But at this point I'm not splitting hairs. I love the warming spices accented with plenty of kick from the dried red chiles, and sometimes if I'm in the mood for more heat I'll add extra. The turmeric gives everything it touches a stunning golden hue while playing along with toasted cumin to deliver an earthy finish. That being said, feel free to experiment with or substitute your favorite curry powder here.

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Cashew Curry Recipe

There are few things as satisfying as cooking with your own freshly ground curry powder. I've included a favorite curry powder recipe below.* I use an electric spice grinder, and then sift the powder through a sieve to rid it of any remaining over-sized particles. Feel free to play around with other seasonal vegetables here. And as I mention up above, feel free to experiment with other curry powders as well. Because each curry powder is different, if you aren't sure about the amount of curry powder to use, start with a little on the front end, and add a bit at a time (after you add the water), until it tastes good to you.

1 cup whole coconut milk
1 - 2 tablespoons curry powder*
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 medium garlic clove, chopped
1/3 cup water
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into small cubes (optional)
1 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch segments
1 1/2 cups cauliflower, cut into tiny florets
1/3 cup cashews, toasted
a handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Bring half of the coconut milk to a simmer in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Whisk in the curry powder and salt, working out any clumps. Now stir in the chopped red onion and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir in the remaining coconut milk and the water, and then the tofu. Cook down the liquid for a couple minutes before adding the green beans and cauliflower. Cover and simmer for just about one minute, maybe two - or just until the cauliflower and beans lose their raw edge and cook through a bit. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the cashews. Taste and adjust the seasoning (salt / curry powder) if needed. Serve with a bit of cilantro topping each bowl.

Serves 2-3.

*I like to make my own curry powder on occasion using the freshest whole spices I can come by. This curry powder has evolved from one I read about in Sri Lanka a few years back - if you like more heat, add another red chile or two. In a dry skillet over medium heat toast 4 dried red chiles, 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seeds, and 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves. Toast for just a minute or two or until the spices are deeply fragrant. Now use a spice grinder to grind the chiles into a powder first, remove them, then grind the spices - it usually takes a couple minutes in the grinder for each. Place in a small bowl and stir in a scant tablespoon of ground turmeric, and 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sift through a medium-fine sieve to weed out any clumps and your curry powder is ready to use. Makes a scant 1/3 cup.

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The perfect recipe for whats in my fridge. I'm going to make a couple changes to it but nothing too drastic. (i.e. omit cauliflower) Thanks!


I love your recipes - everything I have made from your book and blog has been fantastic and many have become regulars in our house! A couple of questions about the homemade curry powder (I have never done this but am often disappointed by store-bought blends): What variety of dried chiles do you prefer? Do you split them open and remove the seeds or toast and grind them whole? Thank you! HS: HI Kristin - There is a wide range of dried red chiles in the markets here, so I often use what I have on hand. I like arbol chiles, and I think the last time around I may have used smoked dried serranos.If there is any stem left, I'll lob that off, but aside from that I use them whole.


I am such a huge curry fan...this looks great! I usually keep the Thai curry paste from Hot Sour Salty Sweet in my freezer, but this powder looks like a nice twist on my usual.


I can smell the curry just by the picture. Thanks for sharing.


I'm very fond of coconut milk curries and that's an interesting sounding powder mix. I often used toasted cumin seeds (sometimes whole, sometimes ground) and ground toasted coriander seeds in Indian-style recipes and just love them!

Daily Spud

Sounds wonderful. I love green beans in a curry, and the cashews are a great addition. Can't wait to try this.


I am working as a cashiier in Talkinfish Restaurant Islamabad. I saw a recipie And Transferred to the Chef. He was very hapyy with the recipie. We are thankfull to you Please keep it up

arif khan

It looks delicious. A very coloured and hotty dish, excellent for this cold season kisses


I just had curry last night and wished I had thought to put cashews in it! I have leftovers so I'll spruce up tonight's version. Love the color of red onion and green bean in a deep yellow curry.


I like adding some vegetable stock along with the coconut milk - it seems to add a depth of flavour which lifts the entire curry. Caramelised leeks in butter are another nice addition.


This looks and sounds amazing! I love curry and haven't made it in months as I was without all my pots and pans for our overseas move. My goods come in tomorrow...this is on the menu for the weekend. Thanks for posting a recipe with 2 of my fave eats...curry and cashews!


Mmmmm... thanks for this lovely recipe!


I love curry! This is such a wonderful, easy recipe and is a perfect winter meal. Thanks for sharing your curry powder recipe; I usually use store-bought curry, but I hope to give your version a try - it's always so much more satisfying when you make everything yourself from scratch :)


Love curry :)


I cant believe that I am actually seeing a Sri Lankan recipe on here. I am Sri Lankan so imagine my surprise. Of course the way I make it is a bit different and did not know that I could add vegetables to it, but I shall give it a try.

Tania K

Wish I would have had this for that gorgeous orange cauliflower I had last week! I'm fussy about my curries...looking forward to trying this one to see if it will beat out some old favorites! Cauliflower's a good start! I love it paired with potatoes and greens.

Laurel from Simple Spoonful

Curries with coconut milk are my absolute favorites--and this one looks divine. I've made curries with home-ground spices before, but never mixed up my own curry powder in a big batch, to store for later, before. Must try this one!


Looks so good... love that it has coconut milk and tofu. You always have the most wonderful recipes and I don't feel guilty using them because they're so healthy.

Rhea @ Experiencing Motherhood

LOVE curry - this looks fantastic! I really want to try it especially for my husband. I suppose you can make it less spicy by going easy on the chiles, right?

Tabitha (From Single to Married)

hi heidi! i have been loving your book for awhile now but recently went through it with serious attempts at making more of your recipes. i have to say this is the best cookbook i have ever bought (and believe me i have A LOT!) i made the bean burgers (and changed up my second batch a bit) to rave review from my family, as one example. i love your blog as well and just want to tell you thanks so much for all your awesome ideas!!! Thanks for the feedback Leslie, I'm glad some of these recipes are being put to good use :)


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