Devilled Cashew Nuts

Devilled Cashew Nuts

My perfect evening in Sri Lanka always begins watching the sunset, with a G&T in one hand, and some hot nuts in the other!

Devilled cashews are a staple bar snack in Sri Lanka, prepared slightly differently in every establishment. My recipe is inspired by the spicy cashews served at the Colombo Swimming Club – where they are cooked with the addition of onion. Interestingly, the first time I tried them I wasn’t keen on them at all, but now, after devouring numerous bowlfuls, I’m convinced it’s an ingenious extra ingredient! The onion does inevitably make the dish slightly wetter than the more traditionally spiced nuts, so if you prefer them drier, simply remove the onion.

Super easy to make and perfect for any occasion that calls for drinks and nibbles.

Serves: 4


150 g raw and unsalted cashew nuts
Oil, for frying
Sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp chili flakes
1 small onion or 2 shallots (optional)
Salt, to taste (I usually use somewhere between ½ – 1 tsp)


  1. Heat some oil in a pan. Add the onions (if using) and fry until they begin to soften.
  2. Add the cashews to the pan and continue to fry until they begin to turn golden.
  3. Add the curry leaves and fry for a further 30 seconds.
  4. Take the nut mixture off the heat and drain on some kitchen towel to absorb any excess oil.
  5. Mix the chili and salt together and then toss the nuts in the mixture until well coated.
  6. Leave to cool slightly before serving.

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