The colonizing Portuguese introduced cashews to Sri Lanka via Brazil in the 16th century. Today, the nuts are eaten in everything from curries to desserts. This rich yellow curry, adapted from chefs Jerome La’Brooy and Nishad Jayawardena of Asylum restaurant, is best served as an accompaniment. It can be made mild or spicy, depending on your hand with the chili powder and choice of curry powder. Soaking the cashews ahead of time gives them a tender, beanlike quality in the finished dish.
Featured in: "How to Make Fish Rice Like Sri Lanka’s Great Home Cooks."
- 10 1⁄2 oz. raw unsalted cashews (2 cups plus 2 Tbsp.)
- 1 1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 3 tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 large red onion, peeled and thinly sliced (2 cups)
- 2 sprigs fresh curry sprigs (about 16–20 leaves)
- 1 tbsp. yellow mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp. hot or mild curry powder
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric or ¼ oz. finely grated fresh turmeric root
- 1⁄2 tsp. red chile powder
- 1 1⁄2 cups coconut milk
- Lime wedges, for garnish