I've read a considerable amount about Sri Lankan cooking and Sri Lankan ingredients. I feel comfortable enough to call this recipe my own, although I borrowed ideas from about a dozen sources. However, the final combinations are mine, and I am so happy I was able to do this. I loved the way it tasted. The key here is not to overcook the vegetables.
When having dinner, Sri Lankans set the table with a variety of dishes that range from mild to really spicy. Usually, vegetable curries are mild but they do provide an another type of heat; the combination of spices tends to raise the body's metabolism. Vegetable and Cashew Curry is a nice accompaniment to Aromatic Sri Lankan Rice. Or vice versa.
5 curry leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped well
1/8 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 carrots, cut up
1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup of frozen peas (or fresh peas if available)
1 red onion, chopped
Sri Lankan Garam Masala; What follows is a basic combination. Sri Lankan Garam Masala is not roasted so it can be prepared on the spot, no need to make it way ahead of time (unless you want to):
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped, or use Italian parsley (sorry) if you are (as I am) allergic to cilantro (for life).
Juice of one lime
Rind from one lime
- In a medium saucepan add about one tablespoon oil and saute the curry leaves, garlic and mustard seeds. Sauté until the mustard seeds begin to pop.
- Add the water or vegetable broth, coconut milk, turmeric, and cashews. Mix and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes until the cashews are soft.
- Add the carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and cook until it starts to soften. Last, but not least, add the peas; they will not require a long cooking time.
- Don't overcook the vegetables. Remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, as the vegetables are cooking, get a large saucepan and add the rest of the oil to it. Place it over a medium-high heat, and when the oil gets hot add the onions. Sauté, mixing occasionally, until the onions are soft.
- Add some all or all of the Sri Lankan Garam Masala.
- Add the cauliflower mixture and shake to combine.
- Add the cilantro (or parsley), lime rind and lime juice, and fold gently.