Malai is milk cream and is commonly used for malai curry and Indian sweets. Technically it isn’t malai curry if you make a vegan version using coconut cream or cashew nut, but it is based around the same flavours and textures. This malai curry is a vegan cashew version.
Malai curry is typically a tomato and cream curry, which is lightly spiced with cumin, garam masala and paprika.
For a vegan cashew malai curry you need to start by soaking a cup of cashew nuts in water for a couple of hours. Once the cashews have soaked puree them in a blender with one cup of fresh water until smooth. I started by using the food processor, but I couldn’t get the puree smooth enough. I transferred the mix to a jug blender and found this worked much better. Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures.
For the curry, fry 2 tablespoons of cumin seeds in hot until they spit and sizzle (approximately 30 seconds). Add 2 cloves of minced garlic, 1 tablespoons of minced ginger, 2 tablespoons of garam masala and 2 teaspoons of paprika.
Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Chopped fresh tomatoes would make a nice addition, I had intended to do this, but forgot.
I accompanied my malai curry with palak paneer kofta (spinach and cheese dumplings). 5 minutes before serving add the dumplings to the curry to heat through.
Ingredients: 1 cup cashews, 1 tablespoon cumin seeds, 2 cloves garlic (shopped), 1 tablespoon minced ginger, 2 tablespoons garam masala, 2 teaspoons paprika, 1 tin crushed tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste. (dumplings to serve)
Equipment: bowl, blender, knife, chopping board, cooking pot.
- Soak the cashews in water for two hours
- Puree the cashews with ½ cup water
- Fry the cumin seeds until they sizzle, add the ginger, garlic and spices.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce.
- Add the cashew paste, reduce, add 1 cup water and reduce again.
- 5 minutes before serving add the dumplings to the curry to heat through.
- Serve with rice, pappadums or naan.