Make This Summer Special Tender Cashew Usal; Recipe Inside
Image Credit: Just Eat Right/YouTube

The Konkan coastline thrives with the harvest of seasonal produce during the summers. From indigenous fruits, coconuts, ice apples and cashews, the abundance of seasonal bounty is upon us, along with ripe and juicy mangoes. The Konkani-Karwar specialty of tender cashew curry or olya kajuchi usal, is a common summertime preparation which is a feature in various homes at this time of the year. Tender cashews are harvested before the fruit is fully matured and have a softer texture, in comparison to the fully-grown dry varieties that is found in markets. Packed with healthy fats and a great source of plant protein, tender cashews are ideal to consume for good heart health as well as bone health.

That said, you could recreate this recipe, should you not have access to fresh cashews, by soaking regular cashew nuts in hot water for 15-20 minutes and follow the same process as you would for the tender cashew curry. This kajuchi usal is a common feature during summer festivities and special occasions in the Karwar community, can also have other additions to the curry like green peas, mushrooms and even chickpeas or cauliflower. But never forget, the cashew is the star of the dish!


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  • 1 cup tender cashews, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal
  • 3 dry red chillies, broken
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt, to taste

Image Credits: Tree Aid


  • Heat the oil in a kadhai and temper with mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Once they begin to splutter, add the onions and garlic to sauté for 3-4 minutes, until the onions start to brown lightly.
  • Add the red chillies followed by the turmeric and red chilli powder and stir to combine. Once the spices bloom in the oil, add the grated coconut and toast it until fragrant and devoid of excessive moisture.
  • Cool the mixture slightly before pulsing it in a mixer with a little bit of water. Add the masala paste back into the pan followed by the tender cashews. Mix everything thoroughly before seasoning with salt and sugar, to balance the spicy flavours.
  • Add some water to adjust the consistency of the gravy and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the cashews have softened considerably and absorbed all the flavours. Serve hot, garnished with freshly chopped coriander and hot phulkas on the side.