Sri Lankan curry powder is found in Indian and Sri Lankan grocers – in London, there are many in Wembley and Tooting. Or alternatively, you can make your own (recipe given below). Curry leaves, too, can be found in Asian grocers. This spicy, unusual dish is ideal for dinner parties. Serves 6.

125 g/ 5 oz whole unsalted cashewnuts, soaked for at least 6 to 8 hours
2 tablespoons corn oil
1 large red onion, minced
20 fresh curry leaves
4-inch stick cinnamon, halved
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 green chillies, finely sliced
1 heaped tablespoon Sri Lankan curry powder (see below)
1 tablespoon desiccated coconut soaked in 300 ml/ ½ pint can coconut milk
300 ml/ ½ pint water
½ teaspoon turmeric
Salt
50g/ 2 oz frozen peas
Juice of 1 lime
Large handful coriander leaves

To make Sri Lankan curry powder, roast and grind together:
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoons desiccated coconut
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 dried red chilli
1 teaspoon rice
20 fresh curry leaves

1. Drain the cashew nuts in a colander.
2. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onions, curry leaves and cinnamon, and cook until they are a couple of shades darker. Add ginger, garlic, chillies and curry powder and cook gently for 2 – 3 minutes.
3. Add the cashewnuts and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add half the coconut milk mixture together with the water, turmeric, salt, and peas. Bring to the boil and cook, covered, on low heat for 20 minutes until the cahewnuts are tender.
5. Take the lid off, add the remaining coconut milk mixture and simmer, uncovered, for another 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. Add the lime juice and coriander leaves. Serve with vegetable pilau rice.

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