This soulful curry comes straight from India.


Vegan Indian Roasted Cashew Curry 

Sure, we all love cashews in milk, ice cream, and cheese, but what about in a rich, soulful Indian curry? And I’m not just talking about the curry sauce itself. In India, cashew curry (known as kaju curry in Hindi)  is a beloved dish, where cashews star in both the sauce and as an addition to the sauce in their whole form. The cashews must be roasted to impart the best possible flavor, and my blend of spices (all easily found at natural food stores, Indian markets, and online) makes this aromatic curry shine. When a trip to India just isn’t possible, bring the cuisine to your home with this creamy and comforting recipe.

Serves 4

What you need:

For the rice:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

For the curry:

  • 2 cups raw cashews
  • 3 cups water, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped 
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick 
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 star anise 
  • ½ teaspoon chili flakes 
  • ⅓ cup tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons garam masala 
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt 
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish

What you do: 

  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add rice and salt. Bring back to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 15 minutes, or until all water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 15 minutes.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, toast cashews 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly brown. Set aside. In a pot over medium heat, heat ½ cup water. Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Cook 5 minutes until onions are translucent and fragrant. Allow to cool slightly.
  3. Carefully transfer onion mixture to a blender. Add ⅓ cup toasted cashews and blend until creamy. Transfer mixture back to pan over medium heat. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves, star anise, chili flakes, tomato paste, garam masala, and salt. Cook 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in remaining 2½ cups water and cashews. Simmer 5 minutes, or until mixture has reduced to desired consistency.
  5. Fluff basmati rice and add to four serving bowls. Top with curry (being careful not to serve cinnamon stick, star anise, or cloves) and garnish with fresh cilantro.

Healthy hints:

  • >> Fresh greens makes everything better! Add a handful of kale or spinach during the last five minutes of cooking. 
  • >>  Prefer a spicier stew? Add ground cayenne pepper to the curry.
  • >> For more oil-free indian dishes, try my Chana Masala and Fragrant Dal.