Another delicious dish from the western coast of India or the Konkan region is the Goan Cashew curry or Kaju Curry. This dish turns out really tasty or I should say heavenly. The dish is normally made using the best quality Goan cashew nuts and served as a vegetarian delicacy in Goan weddings and parties.
The Goan Kaju curry is made by following the traditional style of Goan cooking which consists of roasting grated coconut along with onion, garlic and spices. Later this is grinded by adding tamarind and turmeric powder. Tamarind is used as a souring agent in most of the Goan dishes. Traditionally the grinding of roasted grated coconut mixture was done using a big mortar and pestle or on a grinding stone and those curries tasted heavenly. But nowadays people grind using the mixer or grinder.
The ground gravy is then added to stir fried onion, tomatoes and capsicum. Some people even add boiled potatoes here, but I did not use it. After this the soaked cashew nuts are added to the gravy and simmered. The taste of cashew nuts makes the curry rich. Since I have added tomatoes to the curry I have used only ½ marble sized tamarind ball.
Cashew nuts are good for health as it is packed with energy, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are rich in calories and protect the heart by lowering the bad cholesterol in the body. However it is recommended to eat cashew nuts in limited quantity. Anything in excess is not good right?
In Goa we get “bibe” in summer which we love to eat as it is. This Kaju curry tastes great with those “bibe” or raw cashew nuts. We also get cashew nuts directly from the cashew fruit. These are roasted on charcoal. Then the outer shell is crushed using a stone or “khalbatyacho dando” meaning pestle. The cashew nut which lies inside tastes awesome. I went into a flashback of the past where the smell of roasting raw cashew nuts with shell intact would fill the atmosphere… Gone are those days…
Serve this curry for parties along with bread or rotis. You can also have this curry with jeera rice or veg pulao. This curry is considered as a replacement for vegetarians who normally don’t eat Chicken dishes during the parties. Also do try the Mushroom xacuti (coming soon) which we make in a similar way.