Malai Curry

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.

1 cumin seeds

Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Chopped fresh tomatoes would make a nice addition, I had intended to do this, but forgot.

2 tomatoOnce the curry has reduced, add the cashew puree and thicken. Add 1 cup of water and reduce again.

3 cashew pasteI 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.

4 serveIngredients: 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.


  1. Soak the cashews in water for two hours
  2. Puree the cashews with ½ cup water
  3. Fry the cumin seeds until they sizzle, add the ginger, garlic and spices.
  4. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Reduce.
  5. Add the cashew paste, reduce, add 1 cup water and reduce again.
  6. 5 minutes before serving add the dumplings to the curry to heat through.
  7. Serve with rice, pappadums or naan.

5 curry



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