Magical dried fruit & nut curry

The first fruit curry I tried was from one of Camellia Panjabi’s recipe books and it was a magical experience – not at all as odd as I thought it would be. This is my version and it’s a stand out if you’re looking to expand your repertoire of vegetarian meals.

  • 1 hr cooking
  • Serves 6
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Magical dried fruit & nut curry
  • 100 gram cashew nuts, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes or overnight
  • 2 medium onions, chopped roughly
  • thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • water
  • 4 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 200 gram canned tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 water
  • 1 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened yoghurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon each salt and ground white pepper
  • 4 tablespoon rice bran oil
  • 120 gram (2/3 cup) almonds
  • 75 gram pistachios, shelled
  • 1 cup dried apricots, soaked in hot water until plumped up
  • 1/2 cup yellow raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • extra yoghurt, to garnish
  • fresh coriander, to garnish
  • cooked basmati rice, to serve


  • 1
    In a food processor, blend half the cashew nuts, onions, ginger, garlic, chillies, coriander powder, cumin and paprika with a little water to make a paste.
  • 2
    Heat the oil in a large saucepan with the bay leaves, cinnamon stick and cardamom.
  • 3
    Add the paste and fry, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until deep brown and fragrant. This takes about 20 minutes, so be patient – much of the taste and colour of the dish rely on the onions being well cooked.
  • 4
    Add the tomatoes and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
  • 5
    Add 1 cup of the water, yoghurt, salt and pepper, then simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens. Add more water if you need to.
  • 6
    Meanwhile, in another pan, heat the second measure of oil and fry the nuts, apricots and raisins for 5-7 minutes. Add the garam masala during the last minute of cooking.
  • 7
    Add the fruit/nut mixture to the curry sauce and cook for a further 10 minutes until the nuts are tender. Taste and season with salt and pepper if required. Transfer to a serving dish.
  • 8
    Drizzle with extra yoghurt, garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve with cooked basmati rice.

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