Kaju Masala Curry (Cashew Curry)

Rich and creamy curry made with cashews! Ghee roasted cashews are cooked with onions, tomatoes and a whole bunch of spices in this Kaju Masala Curry, goes so well with naan!
Jump to RecipePrint Recipe

Rich and creamy Kaju Masala Curry is the perfect curry for special occasions. Ghee roasted cashews are cooked along with onion, tomatoes and a whole bunch of whole and ground spices to make this flavorful curry.

cashews with spices served in a copper kadai

In India, we can make a sabzi out of anything. It doesn’t have to be vegetable, it can be papad ki sabzi (made with papadums) or gatte ki sabzi (made with gram flour dumplings) or this kaju masala made with cashews! If you have never had a cashew curry, then you are in for a treat.

This kaju masala can be made in several ways. One way to make it is in a restaurant style makhani gravy like in this paneer makhani recipe. But I wanted some texture here and so I have made it with finely chopped onions, tomatoes and lot of ginger and garlic without pureeing the gravy.

What is Kaju Masala

It’s a curry made with whole raw cashews. The cashews are first roasted in ghee until golden and then cooked along with onions, tomatoes and spices. It’s a great dish to make when you want a creamy curry but are out of vegetables or paneer!

This is a really rich and creamy curry and so it’s perfect for special occasions and festivals. It can definitely be a part of your Diwali, Holi or Raksha Bandhan menu.

Ingredients

This recipe uses a whole bunch of ground and whole spices for that extra flavor.

ingredients for making cashew curry arranged on a board

Cashews: for this recipe you need raw, unsalted, unroasted cashews.

Onion & tomatoes: the base of the curry is made with onions and tomatoes. I recommend using an onion chopper here as we want the onions to be really fine here (or grated). Similarly, the tomatoes can be pureed or chopped/grated. I used the same chopper for both onions and tomatoes.

Garlic & ginger: using fresh ginger and garlic is the key here. I use lots of ginger and garlic and pulse them fine using a food processor or any hand food chopper that you may have.

Spices: we use whole spices like cinnamon stick, star anise, shahi jeera and ground spices like kashmiri red chili powder, coriander, and ground fennel in this recipe for lot of flavor and aroma.

Yogurt & cream: yogurt adds to the tanginess in the curry and one can adjust the amount to preference. If the tomatoes being used in the curry are quite tangy, then cut down on the yogurt. Cream adds to richness and also add a touch of sweetness to this curry.

How to Make Kaju Masala Curry

1- To a pan on medium heat, add 2 teaspoons ghee. Then add 1 cup whole cashews and sauté, stirring often until the cashews turn light golden brown in color, around 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cashews from pan on a plate and set aside.

2- To the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon ghee and 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the whole spices- 1-inch cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 2-3 whole cloves, 1 star anise and 1 teaspoon shahi jeera. Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds.

3- Then add 1.5 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder and cook the chili powder in the oil for 10 to 15 seconds until you see a nice bright red color.

4- Then add the finely chopped onion (from 1 medium red onion, I used my food/onion chopper to chop it really fine). Stir well and cook the onions for around 5 minutes, stirring often.

step by step picture collage of making kaju masala

5- Add the finely chopped ginger and garlic (from 5 large garlic cloves and 1.5 inch ginger), stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

6- Then add the tomatoes (sorry I lost the photos for this step :(). But puree or grate or use your food processor to really finely chop/blend 3 medium tomatoes and add that to the pan. Stir, then cover and and cook the tomatoes for 7 to 8 minutes until they are completely cooked and oil is oozing from the sides.

7- Add the spices- 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fennel powder (start with 1/2 and add remaining 1/4 if you prefer more of the fennel flavor, I do add 3/4 teaspoon), remaining 1/4 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder (this is optional if you want a brighter red color), 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Also add 1/4 cup (2 oz) water along with. Stir and cook the spices for 1 minute.

8- Then add 3 tablespoons yogurt (make sure it’s whisked and at room temperature) and stir continuously until it’s all well combined. Reduce the quantity of yogurt to 2 tablespoons if the tomatoes are very tart/sour. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes.

step by step picture collage of making kaju masala

9- Now add 1/2 to 3/4 cup (4 oz to 6 oz) of water to the pan. Mix well and let it come to a light simmer.

10- Add kasuri methi and stir.

11- Finally add in the fried cashews and stir well. Cook for 30 seconds.

12- Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Cook for 1 more minute and then turn off heat. Sprinkle garam masala and cardamom powder on top. Serve warm!

step by step picture collage of making kaju masala

You can serve this kaju masala/kaju curry with so many breads like garlic naan, spinach puri. You can even serve it with jeera rice. It can also be served as a part of a rich Indian meal along with dal makhani.

I hope you guys enjoy this recipe of Cashew Curry because it’s:

  • really rich!
  • so creamy
  • seriously good
  • packed with flavors
  • so good with naan!

Vegan Variation

If you want to make this vegan, swap the plain yogurt with plain almond milk yogurt and the cream with coconut cream or milk. For the ghee, just use oil or vegan butter.

cashew curry served with parathas on a plate

Tips & Notes

  • If you want to not fry your cashews in ghee, you can also air fry them. Air fry at 325 F degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, shake often for even cooking.
  • You can adjust the consistency of this dish to your preference. I like it kind of semi-dry. If you want to make it more of a saucy consistency, add more water.
  • If you are not a fan of fennel flavor (it can get very prominent) start with 1/2 teaspoon of the fennel powder and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon later. I do use the entire 3/4 teaspoon as mentioned in the recipe.
  • The chili powder used here in Kashmiri red chili powder, it is not hot and is used mainly for giving the curry that bright red color. If you prefer spicier curry, replace 1/4 teaspoon of this with regular hot chili powder.
  • This will also be a great base for paneer- if you want to add some paneer. Just toss it up and cook for 2 minutes and serve hot!

If you’ve tried this Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen and on YouTube to watch my latest videos.

Kaju Masala

cashews with spices served in a copper kadai
Manali
Rich and creamy curry made with cashews! Ghee roasted cashews are cooked with onions, tomatoes and a whole bunch of spices in this Kaju Masala Curry, goes so well with naan!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 345 kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoons +2 teaspoons ghee divided
  • 1 cup cashews whole raw cashews, 140 grams
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon shahi jeera black cumin seeds or use regular cumin seeds
  • 1.5 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder not hot, used for bright red color
  • 1 medium red onion 170 grams, finely chopped using a food processor or chopper
  • 5 large garlic cloves 28 grams, finely chopped using a food processor or chopper
  • 1.5 inch ginger 16 grams, finely chopped using a food processor or chopper
  • 3 medium tomatoes 375 grams, pulsed in a food processor
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon fennel powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder optional, you can use hot chili powder here for a spicier curry
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3/4-1 cup water divided, as needed
  • 3 tablespoons plain yogurt whisked and at room temperature
  • 1.5 teaspoons kasuri methi crushed, dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream adjust to taste + more for serving
  • garam masala to sprinkle
  • cardamom powder to sprinkle

Instructions
 

  • To a pan on medium heat, add 2 teaspoons ghee. Then add 1 cup whole cashews and sauté, stirring often until the cashews turn light golden brown in color, around 2 to 3 minutes. Remove cashews from pan on a plate and set aside.
  • To the same pan, now add 1 tablespoon ghee and 1 tablespoon oil. Once hot, add the whole spices- 1-inch cinnamon stick, 1 bay leaf, 2-3 whole cloves, 1 star anise and 1 teaspoon shahi jeera. Let the spices sizzle for 30 seconds.
    Then add 1.5 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder and cook the chili powder in the oil for 10 to 15 seconds until you see a nice bright red color.
  • Then add the finely chopped onion (from 1 medium red onion, I used my food/onion chopper to chop it really fine). Stir well and cook the onions for around 5 minutes, stirring often.
    Add the finely chopped ginger and garlic (from 5 large garlic cloves and 1.5 inch ginger), stir and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Then add tomatoes, puree or grate or use your food processor to really finely chop/blend 3 medium tomatoes and add that to the pan. Stir, then cover and and cook the tomatoes for 7 to 8 minutes until they are completely cooked and oil is oozing from the sides.
  • Add the spices- 1 teaspoon coriander powder, 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fennel powder (start with 1/2 and add remaining 1/4 if you prefer more of the fennel flavor), remaining 1/4 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chili powder (optional, replace with hot chili powder for a spicier curry), 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon sugar. Also add 1/4 cup water along with. Stir and cook the spices for 1 minute.
  • Then add 3 tablespoons yogurt (make sure it's whisked and at room temperature) and stir continuously until it's all well combined. Reduce the quantity of yogurt to 2 tablespoons if the tomatoes are very tart/sour. Stir and cook for 2 more minutes.
  • Now add 1/2 to 3/4 cup (4 oz to 6 oz) of water to the pan. You can adjust the amount of water to preference here. Mix well and let it come to a light simmer. Add 1.5 teaspoons kasuri methi and stir.
  • Finally add in the fried cashews and stir well. Cook for 30 seconds. Then add 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream. Cook for 1 more minute and then turn off heat. Sprinkle garam masala and cardamom powder on top. Serve warm with naan or paratha. You may drizzle some cream on top before serving and garnish with cilantro.

Notes

  • If you want to not fry your cashews in ghee, you can also air fry them. Air fry at 325 F degrees for 6 to 8 minutes, shake often for even cooking.
  • You can adjust the consistency of this dish to your preference. I like it kind of semi-dry. If you want to make it more of a saucy consistency, add more water.
  • If you are not a fan of fennel flavor (it can get very prominent) start with 1/2 teaspoon of the fennel powder and add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon later. I do use the entire 3/4 teaspoon as mentioned in the recipe.
  • The chili powder used here in Kashmiri red chili powder, it is not hot and is used mainly for giving the curry that bright red color. If you prefer spicier curry, replace 1/4 teaspoon of this with regular hot chili powder.
  • The onions, tomato, ginger, garlic need to really finely chopped for this recipe, so do use a food processor or food chopper.
  • This will also be a great base for paneer- if you want to add some paneer. Just toss it up and cook for 2 minutes and serve hot!
  •  

Nutrition

Calories: 345kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 8gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 28mgSodium: 475mgPotassium: 566mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 1165IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 77mgIron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

4 thoughts on “Kaju Masala Curry (Cashew Curry)

  1. 5 stars
    This is excellent. We have dairy allergies so switched out yogurt for cashew yogurt & skipped the cream. Worked well but this took more than 30 min! I should have had everything chopped in advance for a smoother cooking process.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating