Sri Lankan Vegetable Curry with cilantro and toasted cashews

A beautifully spiced vegetarian curry of cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and green beans, topped with toasted cashews and cilantro.



  1. Make the Curry: Heat 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a large heavy pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced onion, 1 tablespoon of the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the ginger, the two halved chilies, cinnamon, cloves and one sprig of curry leaves (about 7 leaves). Sauté everything, stirring frequently, about 4 minutes, until the onion starts to soften and everything is fragrant. Add curry powder, turmeric and salt. Cook, stirring, for one minute longer, until fragrant.
  2. Add sweet potatoes, water and 1/2 cup coconut milk. Cook for a minute or two, stirring with a wooden spoon, and coating the sweet potatoes, until the water starts to simmer. Add cauliflower and green beans. Stir, to coat, as you bring the pot to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are just tender. Add the rest of the coconut milk and cook, uncovered, for a minute or so, until hot. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
  3. Finishing: Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil or ghee in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, the thinly sliced chili, the remaining 1 tablespoon garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon ginger, mustard seeds, and 1 sprig of curry leaves. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or so, until the onion starts to brown. Stir the onion mixture through the finished curry or ladle the curry into bowls and spoon the mixture on top. Sprinkle with cilantro leaves and toasted cashews.
  4. Serve curry with white or brown rice or naan.
  5. Note: Remove cinnamon sticks. Curry leaves are edible but you might want to remove any that aren’t softened into the curry.