If you’ve eaten cooked nuts, you may be excited about the idea of a cashew nut curry–you may have had one before! If you’ve never eaten nuts that have been stewed down, you may be furrowing your brown as your eyes grow wide and you reach, absent-mindedly, for another carefully roasted, crunchy almond right now. Having grown up eating this curry, I didn’t have time to think about whether stewed nuts was kinda weird. If you are on the fence, let me assure you that you want to try this right now.
These nuts become mealy in the best way possible, retaining some body but mostly adding just-enough-but-not-too-much contrast in texture when scooped up with a spoonful of rice. And a ton of flavour too–this is a distinct but subtle curry, it’s rich and perfect with biryani or roti, or bread, actually. And no, I’ve never tried these with other nuts (cashews are considered queen in my family) but if you are so inclined, please, please report back.
2 3-inch pieces of rampe (pandan or screw pine leaves)
1 peel of cinnamon bark
2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground paprika
1/2 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
3 c water
1 c coconut milk
Soak the cashew nuts overnight or for at least 4 to 6 hours.
Drain the cashew nuts and add them to a large pot. Add all of the ingredients except for the coconut milk and mix well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook over medium-low heat until the cashew nuts are fully cooked, soft to the bite with a little body left–about 30-45 minutes-stirring occasionally.
Add the coconut milk, stir and and cook till gravy is thickened. Taste adjust seasoning if necessary.