DIY Curry Powder & Cashew Nut and Pea Curry

You know when you go to the doctor/dentist etc. and flip through a magazine only to find some swine has ripped out the article you wanted to read?  Erm, well, that might be me….

I cannot for the life of me remember which magazine I *stole* this from but maybe you’ll recognise it?  (Unless you were the person coming in after me…)

Anyway, this is a bit of a two-in-one because I am here to extol the virtues of the curry powder and go ‘Booooo!’ to the actual curry.

Since making these recipes I have gone out and bought a mortar and pestle (A bargain £7.50 in M&S).  This is because the muscles on my right arm are now larger than the left due to over an hour’s grinding/bashing/pummeling/rolling with my wooden rolling pin.  Talk about hard work!  Still, it was worth it and I have proudly made a really nice Sri-Lankan curry powder which has a lovely taste and just enough kick.  I also recommend trying to get the ingredients from a local whole-food type store rather than the supermarket as the spices are so much cheaper, having been bought wholesale and packaged up in-store.

sri lankan curry powder

Sri-Lankan Curry Powder


1tbsp coriander seeds
1½tsp cumin seeds
¼tsp fenugreek seeds
½tsp fennel seeds
2½cm piece of cinnamon stick
3 cloves
5 green cardoman pods
1 dries bay leaf
2 hot dried chillies

To make:

Heat a heavy-based pan over a medium heat.  Add all ingredients except the bay leaf and chillies.  Fry until well-browned, stirring all the time.  Add the bay leaf and chillies and continue stirring until they also go brown and the other spices are a dark brown colour – but don’t let them burn!

Then allow to cool for a few minutes and grind into a powder.  I STRONGLY recommend you use a mortar & pestle (see my above comment!).  Allow to cool completely and store in an airtight container.  When I made it I had 2/3 tbsp of powder.


Cashew Nut & Pea Curry

The curry was not a great hit – in fact Husband and I only ate a few mouthfuls each.  There were just far too many cashew nuts in it.  It tasted really nice (from the above curry powder) but the texture was all wrong, especially for a main dish.  The reason I am including the recipe is because it has potential with a few less cashews, a few more peas and as a side dish.  A dollop on the side would be perfect.  I might have another go one day, but in the meanwhile I’ll let you take it, leave it or amend it as suggested!

cashew nut pea curry


300g cashew nuts (soaked in cold water for 2 hours)
½tsp ground turmeric
2tbsp oil
2 onions, halved and sliced
2 chopped cloves garlic
½ cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves
¼tsp cayenne pepper
½tsp mild paprika
1tbsp Sri-Lankan curry powder
300ml coconut milk
150g frozen peas

To make:

Drain the cashews then add the turmeric and simmer in salted water for 30 mins.  Make sure they don’t get mushy.  Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok and fry the onions for 5 mins.  Add the garlic, cinnamon and bay leaves and fry for another 5 mins.  Then sprinkle in the cayenne, paprika and curry powder and fry for 30 seconds.

Add the coconut milk and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for 5 mins.   Add the peas and simmer for a further 2 mins.

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