Cashew Nut

Cashew nut  is the fruit from Cashew tree. It is  known as ‘ Kaju ‘ in Hindi. Like Coconut it is known for its versatility in Indian cooking.

Cashew – Names in different Indian Languages.

Hindi–   Kaju, Bengal –    Hijili badam, Gujrati - Kaaju, Punjabi –  Kaju

Urdu –    Kaju

Nutritional Information

It is a rich source of Carbohydrates, Vitamin B and C, Calcium and Iron.

Culinary uses

The cashew nut is a popular snack, and its rich flavor means that it is often eaten roasted, on its own, lightly salted or sugared, or covered in chocolate.

Cashew is very commonly used in Indian cuisine. The nut can be used whole for garnishing sweets or curries, or ground into a paste that forms a base of sauces for curries (eg.Korma), or some sweets. It is also used in powdered form in the preparation of several Indian sweets and desserts. The ‘ kaju Barfi’ is a very common sweet dish.

The cashew nut can also be harvested in its tender form, when the shell has not hardened and is green in color. The shell is soft and can be cut with a knife and the kernel extracted, but it is still corrosive at this stage, so gloves are required. The kernel can be soaked in turmeric water to get rid of the corrosive material before use. This is mostly found in Kerala cuisine, typically inavial, a dish that contains several vegetables, grated coconut, turmeric and green chilies.

In Goan cuisine both roasted and raw kernels are used whole for making curries and sweets. The cashew apple is eaten raw or used in curries. In Goa, the cashew apple (the accessory fruit) is mashed, the juice is extracted and kept for fermentation for 2–3 days. Fermented juice then undergoes a double distillation process. The resulting beverage is called feni. Fenny/feni is about 40-42% alcohol..

Storage

It should be stored in airtight containers. Moisture can spoil its taste and texture.

Precaution

To make cashew paste, it is recommended to either roast it lightly or soak it in water.

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