Sri Lankan cucumber and cashew curry


Our Clem has a pretty long work day at Regather on Thursdays. Her lovely partner has taken on the regular task of preparing Thursday night dinners for the two of them after he pops over to Regather HQ to collect their veg box. By the time Clem arrives home, ravenous, he has transformed some of the box contents into a veg-packed, sometimes surprising but always delicious meal.

Last week it was this Sri Lankan cucumber and cashew nut curry – more surprising than usual! Clem was a bit sceptical: ‘cucumber’ doesn’t make you think of ‘curry’, but it turned out to be fabulous. With thanks to Meera Sodha for this culinary gem. Recipe and photo originally published in The Guardian.


  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil (or other)
  • 10 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 stick lemongrass, bashed and bruised
  • 1 green finger chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 cucumbers, cut in half lengthways, seeds removed with a teaspoon and the rest cut into 1.5cm-wide half-moons (500g prepared weight)
  • 100g cashew nuts, roasted and unsalted
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
  • ½-1 tbsp lime juice (to taste), plus wedges of lime, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium heat and, once hot, add the curry leaves and leave them to crackle and pop for a minute. Add the onion, turn down the heat to low and sweat the onion for 10 minutes, until soft.
  2. Stir in the garlic, lemongrass, chilli and cinnamon, and cook for another five minutes, to soften.
  3. Add the cucumber, cashews, turmeric and salt, stir-fry for two minutes, then add the coconut milk and stir. Bring to a simmer and cook until the cucumber is tender (but not soft) and its flesh slightly translucent – this should take about 8 minutes; add more water, if need be, to thin out the sauce.
  4. Take off the heat, add lime juice to taste and serve in a shallow serving bowl with freshly steamed or boiled rice and lime wedges for squeezing over at the table.