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Cashew nuts info Tips and Information

Cashew nuts info and tips will help you in your cooking and food preparation.These are very useful and quite interesting information that you learn once and then apply at any time you need it.


cashew nuts info

Goa wellknown for its carnival in the early months of the year welcomes the hundreds of visitors who join in the revelry. Christmas too is celebrated enthusiastically by the largely Roman Catholic population. Traditional Christmas fare like roast turkey and Christmas pudding is spiced up with fish and pork curries coconut cake and meat vindaloo. Every Goan feast is washed down with feni a liquor made of cashew nuts. Strong and heady this drink is made only in Goa and the surrounding areas have vast cashew plantations which provide the raw material for this industry. The indian name kaju is derived from the Brazilian term acajau. It was the French who converted it to cashew.

how they grow
Cashew nuts thrive along the coastline of India. The trees are short and shnubby and bear beautiful orangey yellow bellshaped fruit. These fruits are fleshy juicy sweet but extremely astringent. The cashew nut is the seed which grows outside the fruit. The nuts are dried and then left in the shell or peeled.

appearance and taste
Good cashew nuts are about 2cm long creamy white and kidney shaped. The seeds have a little nib at one end and can be neatly split in 2 vertically. They have a creamy nutty taste which is refined and sweet.

buying and storing
Cashews can be used whole chopped broken or powdered. They are also available roasted fried salted spiced or batterfried. The best indian cashew nuts come from Goa or Kerala. They are large smooth and whole. Broken cashews are cheaper and good for curry bases. Store cashews in an airtight jar for up to 6 months. You can get the nuts in the shell but they require tedious skinning.

medicinal and other uses
The acrid oil of cashew is used as an anaesthetic in leprosy and as a balm to cure warts and corns. In western and southern India where cashew trees are common the cashew fruit has come to mean prosperity and plenty. Therefore the fruit is represented in a wedding necklace called jod pod where tiny replicas of local grains fnuits and nuts like coconut pineapple and mango are crafted in pure gold and strung into a necklace. This beautiful piece of jewellery is given to every new bride so that she brings good luck and plenty to her new home.

culinary uses
Complementary to both savoury and sweet dishes cashew nuts can be used whole in meat and vegetable curries or ground to a paste for rich grapes. They are often fried until golden and sprinkled over rlce or sweets as a garnish. Cashew nuts are also cooked in a sugar syrup which is cooled and cut into hard golden translucent squares called chikki. They are used in stuffings and crisp snacks like Bombay mix.
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