Cashew Nut Curry (Bibbe Upkari)

cashewnut curry

“Raw or tender cashew nut curry” or “Bibbe upkari” is a seasonal delicacy in the Konkani community of Mangalore in the southern part of India.  “Bibbo” is cashew and “upkari” is a dry curry in the Konkani language. It is a stir fry of cashew nuts cooked with just cashews or sometimes with potato, a vegetable called ivy gourd or added to different coconut based curries of this community. It is traditionally served with poha chutney (another delicacy of Mangalore with coconut and beaten rice with some spices) or puris (deep fried wheat flour bread).

The traditional cashew curry or bibbe upkari makes use of fresh, tender cashew nuts, available for a very short time during summer. The cashew (which comes attached to the cashew fruit) is plucked before they mature fully.  The fruit is enjoyed with some salt and pepper and the nut is cracked to remove the cashew nut. We Mangaloreans devour this exotic fresh cashew nut in various delicacies of our community. They come with their skins, so we need to soak them in water, peel and cook them to use them in different curries.

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In this dish, I have used raw cashews available in any grocery or supermarket as I did not have access to fresh, tender cashews. So you can enjoy this precious dish of ours anytime (of course, nothing like having fresh cashews to make this favorite!!).

Raw or Tender Cashew Nut Curry (Bibbe Upkari)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw cashew nuts or tender cashew nuts (if using fresh, soaked overnight and peeled)
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon hing
  • 3 to 4 dry red chillies
  • 2 teaspoons oil (preferably, coconut oil)
  • ¼ cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. In a pressure cooker, place the cashew nuts with some water and salt and cook for about 10 minutes after 1 whistle if using raw cashew nuts or just one to two whistles if using tender cashew nuts.
  2. Once the pressure drops, check to see if the cashews have become tender and if necessary cook some more. They should become tender and soft but not mushy.
  3. In a large kadai or deep pan, heat the oil. Once the oil heats, add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering add the red chillies and hing and immediately pour in the cooked cashews.
  4. Add salt to taste (remember, you have already added salt while cooking initially) and some water if needed and cook for about 5 minutes to let the flavors seep through.
  5. Add grated coconut and mix well.
  6. Heat again for a minute or so and turn off the heat.
  7. Serve this exotic cashew curry or upkari as a side dish with puris or poha chutney.
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Step-by-step method:

In a pressure cooker, place the cashew nuts with some water and salt and cook for about 10 minutes after 1 whistle, if using raw cashew nuts, or just one to two whistles if using tender cashew nuts.

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Once the pressure drops, check to see if the cashews have become tender and if necessary cook some more.  They should become tender and soft but not mushy.

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In a large kadai or deep pan, heat the oil.  Once the it heats up, add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering add the red chillies and hing and immediately pour in the cooked cashews.

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Add salt to taste (remember, you have already added salt while cooking initially) and some water if needed and cook for about 5 minutes to let the flavors seep through.

Add grated coconut and mix well.

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Heat again for a minute or so and turn off the heat.

Serve this exotic cashew curry or upkari as a side dish with puris or poha chutney.

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Note:

If you do not have a pressure pan, the cashews can be cooked in a large pot in some water and salt till they are tender and soft.

Authentic upkari uses coconut oil.

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