Mild prawn curry with cashew nuts

Mild prawn curry with cashew nuts

I Love Curry
4, can be halved
Jonathan Gregson

A lovely, delicate curry inspired by the Christian dishes and ingredients of Kerala. It is easy, quick and great for family (without the chilli) or friends. The cashew nuts are lightly roasted, then added to the prawns, but you can leave them out. The Keralans would use a thin extract of coconut milk to cook the prawns, then add thicker coconut milk at the end. Canned coconut milk should have its cream accumulated at the top, so spoon this off and stir it in at the end; it adds a lovely aroma and richness.


Quantity Ingredient
30g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, roughly chopped
6 fat garlic cloves, halved
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
60g raw cashew nuts
salt, to taste
1/2 scant teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 scant teaspoon mustard seeds
1 onion, sliced
1 rounded tablespoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon turmeric
3/4-1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4-6 red or green chillies, or to taste, left whole or slit for more heat
400ml creamy coconut milk
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, or to taste
350g large raw prawns, shelled, deveined and rinsed


  1. Blend the ginger and garlic to a fine paste, adding a little water to help. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a non-stick saucepan; add the cashew nuts and stir-fry until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon, toss in a little salt and set aside.
  2. Add the rest of the oil to the pan. Once hot, add the fenugreek and mustard seeds; they will start popping. Once the noise dies down a little, add the onion and cook gently until soft. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook until any excess moisture dries up, then reduce the heat and stir over a low flame for two minutes or so, until the garlic smells cooked.
  3. Add the spices and chillies, salt and a splash of water. Once the water has dried up, add 250ml of the thinner part of the coconut milk (see recipe introduction), 100ml water and the vinegar.
  4. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes. Taste, adjust the seasoning and tartness (if the garlic was still raw, you will be able to taste it here. If it is, cook for another five minutes, then check again). The sauce should have the consistency of single cream.
  5. Add the prawns and cook until done; in around three minutes they will have curled up and become opaque. Stir in the remaining, thicker coconut milk and the cashews. Serve with rice.
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