Creamy Sri Lankan Cabbage & Cashew Curry

An easy-to-make, Sri Lankan-inspired mild curry of thinly sliced cabbage, toasted cashews, spices and coconut milk, topped with a deliciously spicy coconut and lime sambal. A naturally vegan and whole food recipe.


1 tbsp coconut oil
1 small onion finely chopped
400 g cabbage thinly sliced
100 g carrot shredded/grated
3 garlic cloves minced
1 long green/red chilli split
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
10 dried curry leaves or fresh, if available
1 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 3-inch cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp ground fenugreek optional
1/2 tsp salt
100 g cashews
250 ml hot water
400 ml coconut milk full-fat or reduced-fat
coriander to serve
2 limes divided use

Coconut Sambal
33 g toasted coconut fresh or dried
3 tbsp boiling water if the coconut is dried
2 shallots or 1/3 small onion
1/2 lime
1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli or cayenne, or Sri Lankan chilli powder
3 curry leaves finely shredded
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar


Sauté the onion in the coconut oil with a pinch of salt for five minutes, stirring. Add in the minced garlic, split chilli, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, fenugreek, turmeric, cinnamon, pepper and cashews. Saute on a low heat for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the coconut milk and water. Bring to a fast simmer and cook for 10 minutes without a lid. Add in the cabbage and carrots, stirring well. Add a lid (or cover with foil/baking tray if no lid) and simmer for eight minutes. Squeeze in the juice of one lime and stir.

Serve with extra lime slices, and lime sambal (recipe given), plus warmed flatbread or rice

Coconut Sambal
If the coconut is dried, soak in hot water for 10 minutes, then drain. Peel and rough chop the shallots/onion. Add all to a food processor bowl and blend until you get a nubbly, rough paste. Adjust the flavours to your taste. Serve with the curry, storing any extra to use as a sweet-hot condiment.


Recipe by Kellie Food to go