Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kaju Shahlyachi Usal

Kaju Shahlyachi Usal (Tender Cashew & Tender Coconut Curry) is a popular curry made by Saraswat Brahmins (GSB). The Saraswat Brahmin cuisine is rich with uniquely flavoured dishes. Their curries use a lot of fresh Coconut, Jaggery, tamarind, curry leaves and last but not the least Coconut Oil, which adds a distinct flavour to the dishes.  

Approx. Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people

For the paste:
1 tspn Oil
2 tspns Coriander Seeds (Dhana)
2 tspns Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
3 dried Red Chillies
8-10 Black Peppercons
1 cup Sauteed Onions
4-5 fried Garlic Pods
1 cup roasted scrapped Coconut (fresh)
Water as required

For the Usal:
1 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Mustard Seeds
1/3 tspn Asafoetida (Hing)
10-12 Curry Leaves
1/2 cup chopped Onions
Coconut-Onion Paste (As above)
2 cups Coconut Water (Shahlyache Pani)
1 tbspn Tamarind Paste 
2 tspns Malwani Masala
1 tbspn Jaggery
1 cup Tender Coconut Flesh (Shahlyachi Malai)
250 gm tender Cashews (Ole Kaju)
1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
Salt to taste

For Garnishing:
Chopped Coriander leaves
Tender Coconut flesh (Malai)

1. Roughly chop four onions and saute it in a tablespoon of oil till it is brown in colour. Four onions yield one cup of sauteed onions.
2. Remove peel of garlic pods and saute it in a teaspoon of oil. 
3. Cut the tender coconut flesh into an inch strips
4. Dry roast the scrapped fresh Coconut till it becomes dry and starts changing its colour. Roasted Coconut gives a nice aroma to the Curry.

To make Paste:
Heat Oil in a pan. Add Coriander Seeds, Cumin Sedds, Red Chillies, Black Peppercons and saute it for approx. 4-5 minutes or till the Coriander Seeds becomes slightly pink in colour. Remove it from heat and let it cool. After cooling transfer it into a blender. Add the dry roasted Coconut and grind it into a fine powder. In that powder add Garlic and sauteed Onion. Add some water and blend it into a smooth paste.  Set it aside for using it in the Curry.

To make Curry (Usal):
Heat Oil in a pan. Add Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida, Curry Leaves and saute. Then add Onions and fry till the Onion changes its colour to pink. Then add the Coconut-Onion paste and saute. Then add half of the Coconut Water and mix. Thereafter, add the Tamarind Paste, Malwani Masala, Jaggery and Salt to taste. Mix well and add the Tender Coconut Flesh and Tender Cashews. Mix well and add the balance Coconut water to the Curry. Simmer it for approx. ten minutes or till the gravy thickens. Check and adjust the seasoning. Finish the curry with chopped Coriander leaves. 

Garnish it with chopped Coriander leaves, Cashews and Tender Coconut Flesh (Malai). Serve hot with Pav or Roti. 

1. In case of non availability of Tender Cashews, you may soak regular dried cashews for one hour in lukewarm water. 
2. In case of non availablity of Malwani Masala, you may use Garam Masala. 

Stepwise Pictures:


  1. Mastach......nakki try Karin.

  2. Super rich looking curry, just need some rotis to enjoy with this fingerlicking curry.


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