Cashew Nuts/ Kaju
Esgee's Kitchen

Cashew Nuts/ Kaju


Cashews are popular for their creamy taste and find their way into many recipes of Indian cooking. This wonder nut has high nutritional value and is packed with minerals like magnesium, zinc, copper and iron. It also has monounsaturated fatty acids that promote healthy levels of good cholesterol- HDL.

1. Cashew Nut Curry

Cuisine: Indian

North meets South in this beautiful curry that delights the eyes as much as it does the palate. It is a sort of Cashew Nut Butter Masala Curry! This rich and creamy!!

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time:30 minutes

  • 1 cup cashew nuts soaked in warm water [fresh nuts turn out the best and require no soaking]
  • 3 onions chopped
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 3-4 pepper corns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi [optional]/dried fenugreek leaves
  • ½ cup fresh cream
  • Green coriander leaves chopped

Saute onions, green chilies and ginger with a little oil in a pan and puree it when cool. Puree the tomatoes separately and keep it aside. In a pan add a little vegetable oil and add bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and cinnamon and sauté for a minute. Add onion paste and continue sautéing [5 minutes approximately]. Add salt and sauté till the paste begins to leave the sides of the pan. Now add turmeric, chili, coriander and kasuri methi powders and fry on a medium flame. After 2 minutes add the tomato puree and continue frying. When the oil begins to separate, add a cup of water and allow the gravy to boil and then simmer for another 3 minutes. Now add the soaked cashew nuts and check flavor. Add the cream and stir well. Transfer into a serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander. Sliced onions and lemon wedges go well with this.

Serve with Parathas/ Pulao/ Jeera Rice/Garlic Naan

2. Prawn and Cashew Nut Curry

Cuisine: Kerala

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

  • ½ kg prawns
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil
  • 4 onions chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 200 grams cashew nuts
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon pepper powder
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green chilies slit
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 inch piece of ginger
  • 5-6 flakes of garlic

Wash and clean prawns thoroughly. Rub turmeric powder and some salt into the prawns and allow it to marinate for 10 minutes.

Heat a little oil in a pan and fry the coconut gratings to a light brown. Cool and grind to a fine paste.

Grind together garlic and ginger to a paste.

Next add onions and oil to the pan and fry till translucent. Stir in garlic- ginger paste and chopped tomatoes and fry for 2 minutes. Next add the prawns and cashew nuts and stir well [approx 5 minutes]. Lower the flame and add the spice powders, salt and half cup water. Cook for 5 more minutes on a low flame. Next add green chilies, vinegar and coconut paste. Cook well as the gravy thickens. Remove from flame.

Serve with Rice, Pathiri, Roti or Appam.

PS. Do remember that overcooking prawns makes them rubbery.

3. Creamy Cashew and China Grass Pudding

This is an easy to do recipe and is delicious. Excellent for warm summers!

Prep time: 15 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes

  • ½ cup cashew nuts soaked in warm water for at least an hour
  • ½ litre milk
  • 5 table spoons sugar
  • 5 grams China grass
  • 75 ml hot water
  • 75 ml water at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Grind the soaked cashews to a nice paste with a little water. Set this aside. Soak the china grass in room temperature water for a few minutes. Meanwhile boil milk in a saucepan. To the boiling milk, lower the flame and add the cashew paste and sugar and combine well. Increase the flame and cook for about 5 minutes or till the milk thickens. Keep stirring continuously. Allow it to simmer on a low flame.

Prepare the china grass by boiling the soaked grass in water on medium flame. It will melt completely. Strain and pour the china grass into the milk mixture. Combine well and remove from flame. Add the vanilla extract and stir. Pour into a pudding dish and cool. It will set on its own. This pudding is best served chilled, so place in a refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving.

Garnish as you please. I like to top it with a few glazed cherries and crushed cashew nuts.