Skip to Content

Spicy Sri Lankan Fried Cashews

Sharing is caring!

These spicy Sri Lankan fried cashews are amazing! Great for any party snack.

You are about to be introduced to one of my all time favourite snacks and the great news is… These Sri Lankan fried cashews could not be easier to make. I was first introduced to them while on a boat ride through the backwaters near Negumbo. The guide took my wife and me to a little shack that wasn’t even visible from the water where we tried these and many other Sri Lankan dishes.

If you like cashews, you are going to want to make these Sri Lankan fried cashews. You can thank me later. 

Sri Lankan fried cashews

What are Sri Lankan fried cashews?

We all know how good fried cashews are. This fried cashew recipes takes them to a whole new and exciting level. 

The recipe is simple and although you will find many variations, these Sri Lankan fried cashews are quite similar no matter where you eat them. First you fry curry leaves in coconut oil. Then garlic and then you add the cashews to fry until crispy and light brown.

The fried cashews are then spiced with chilli powder, turmeric, salt and pepper. That’s it! Sri Lankan fried cashews might be easy to prepare but they are awesome. Especially when accompanied with ice cold beer.

Can you work ahead?

There really isn’t enough to do to actually need to work ahead. You could obviously get the spices and other ingredients together a couple of days ahead of frying. It’s always good to have all your ingredients ready.

Other than that, this is a quick, 5 minutes recipe.

How do you serve Sri Lankan fried cashews?

These deliciously spiced and salted cashews are best served hot or warm. For best results, toss everything first in a bowl lined with a paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Then serve in a bowl with cold drinks and perhaps a few other snacks.

How do you store Sri Lankan fried cashews?

  1. Cool Completely: You need to allow the fried cashews to cool completely before storing them. This will help prevent condensation and maintain their crispy texture.
  2. Use Airtight Containers: For best results, you need to transfer the cooled cashews to an airtight container such as a glass jar or resealable plastic bag. Make sure the containers are clean, dry, and tightly sealed to keep air and moisture out.
  3. Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Find a cool, dry area in your pantry or kitchen cabinet to store the containers of cashews. Avoid places with direct sunlight or high humidity, as they can accelerate the loss of crunchiness and cause the cashews to become stale.
  4. Avoid Refrigeration: You should not refrigerate your Sri Lankan fried cashews. Refrigeration can make the cashews lose their crispiness faster.
  5. Check for Moisture: You should regularly check the stored cashews for any signs of moisture. If you notice any moisture or condensation inside the container, it’s best to remove the cashews, pat them dry with a paper towel, and return them to fresh, dry containers.

How long can you keep the fried cashews?

Remember, you should always serve them hot for best results. If you do decide to store some, consume with a week or two.

Top tips for making Sri Lankan fried cashews

  1. Select High-Quality Cashews: Choose good quality cashews for frying. You want to use raw cashews. Pre-cooked cashews will not do.
  2. Watch the ingredients as they fry: When you make this recipe, you will see just how easy it is to burn everything. Don’t do that. Watch everything carefully and if the garlic or cashews begin to burn, get them off the heat. Stir regularly to ensure everything cooks evenly.
  3. Season to taste: There aren’t many ingredients in this recipes. Use them wisely. You should follow the recipe exactly and then taste them. Feel free to adjust the spicing and salt to taste.

Step by step photographs

Ingredients for Sri Lankan fried cashews

Get all your ingredients together before starting.

Frying the curry leaves.

Fry the curry leaves in the coconut oil for about 30 seconds. Transfer them with a slotted spoon to a plate when they turn crisp and shiny. 

Frying the garlic

Then add the garlic slivers and fry until they are crispy and just beginning to brown. Transfer to the plate with the curry leaves.

Frying the cashews and adding turmeric

Fry the cashews until golden brown. Be really careful not to burn them. Just before they are ready, add the turmeric. Transfer to a bowl lined with paper towels.

Adding the spices, garlic, curry leaves, salt and pepper to the cashews.

Soak up any excess oil with the paper towels and then add the salt, pepper, chilli powder, fried curry leaves and garlic.

Finished Sri Lankan fried cashews

Stir it all up really well so that the spices coat the cashews and serve hot.

Sri Lankan fried cashews

These fried cashews are addictive!

Yield: 6

Spicy Sri Lankan Fried Cashews

Sri Lankan fried cashews
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes


  • 250ml (1 cup) coconut oil
  • 30 curry leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 350g (12 oz) raw cashews
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the oil over a medium high heat in a wok or large pan. When visibly hot, stir in the curry leaves and let them sizzle in the hot oil for about 30 seconds. The curry leaves should look shiny and be a bit crispy.
  2. Transfer the curry leaves to a plate with a slotted spoon and then add the garlic slivers to the same oil. Fry for about a minute or until the garlic is just beginning to brown. Transfer the garlic to the plate with the curry leaves.
  3. Now add the cashews to the hot oil. Be sure to stir continuously so that the cashews brown evening. In Sri Lanka, the cashews are deep fried so that they fry evenly. You can use less oil with this recipe but watch them carefully.
  4. Just before the cashews are finished cooking, stir in the ground turmeric.
  5. Transfer the browned cashews to a bowl lined with a few paper towels. Use the paper towels to soak up any excess oil. Then add the fried curry leaves and garlic, followed by the black pepper, chilli powder and salt to taste.
  6. Be sure to stir the nuts well so that they are equally coated with the other ingredients. Pour into a serving bowl and serve hot. You can also serve these warm or at room temperature but hot is best.

Did you like this recipe?

Please join me on Facebook where I share all my latest recipes and videos. Just click that Facebook icon on the left and let's get to know each other!

By the way, if you happen to be a teacher, check out Twinkl! You will find this recipe and other delicious recipe ideas HERE

Skip to Recipe

Sharing is Caring

Help spread the word. You're awesome for doing it!