Cashew and Coconut Curry
This is probably the most popular dish in the curry house and has been on the menu since the days when I was cooking all the curries in my home kitchen. I served it up for my boyfriend at the time (a professional curry taster by this point) and, as he started to eat it, he went silent. Once the bowl had been scraped clean, he looked up at me and told me it was the best curry I’d ever made. So, I knew I was on to a winner.
Feel free to switch up the veg for whatever’s in season. I find this curry works best with one starchy vegetable and a mix of two or three fresher, green veg to cut through the creaminess.
|120g||cashew nuts, plus a few to garnish|
|½||large butternut squash, cut into 2.5cm chunks|
|3 tbsp||veg oil, plus extra for roasting the squash|
|1 tsp||cumin seeds|
|3||cardamom pods, crushed|
|1||medium white onion, sliced into half-moons|
|4||large garlic cloves, crushed|
|A thumb-sized piece of||ginger, grated|
|1||green chilli, slit lengthways|
|1 tsp||fenugreek seeds|
|1||small head of broccoli, cut into florets|
|1 x 400ml tin of||coconut milk|
|100g||green beans, topped and cut in half|
|A handful of||frozen peas|
|1½||limes, 1 quartered, to garnish|
Cover the cashews with cold water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Place the chunks of squash in a roasting tin, drizzle with veg oil and add a generous pinch of salt. Shake the tray so the chunks get evenly coated. Roast for 30–40 minutes, until the flesh is soft and the skin is golden brown. Set aside until ready to use.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan on a medium heat and add the cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods and bay leaves. Fry until the seeds are golden and aromatic. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of salt and turn the heat down low to cook the onion really slowly. When the onion begins to soften – after about 5 minutes – add the garlic, ginger, chilli and fenugreek seeds, and cook until the onion is completely soft and caramelised (10–15 minutes in total).
Turn up the heat and add the broccoli, the turmeric and the sugar, followed by a pinch of salt. Stir-fry for a couple of minutes until the broccoli is well coated with the onion mix and then pour in the coconut milk. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes until the broccoli is cooked through but still has some bite.
While the broccoli cooks, make the cashew cream. Drain the cashews and tip into a blender. Pour in 80ml cold water and blitz until a smooth cream is formed. Add the cream to the pan, along with the roasted squash and the green beans, and cover the pan with a lid.
While the beans cook, heat a small, dry frying pan on a medium heat and toast the leftover cashews until golden brown. Set these aside.
Add the frozen peas and allow them to cook through, then take the pan off the heat and stir through the juice of ½ lime. Taste for seasoning. Serve in a bowl, topped with the toasted cashews and a wedge of lime.