“Just the same as cream” a vegan may say, but cashew cream is so much more than just a dairy-free substitute (though it really does make a good one).
Cashew nuts are widely used in Indian cuisine to add body and richness to gravies. Popular dishes like korma and butter chicken are commonly thickened using cashew paste with or without cream.
Soaking cashew nuts before blending them means you’ll have a super smooth and luscious end product. The natural sweetness and mild flavour of cashew nuts lend itself well to being used in place of cream, or as a sauce/dip/smoothie base.
If you want a versatile cream use un-roasted un-salted cashews. If you welcome a nuttier cashew flavour, then roasted work well but will be less usable as a cream substitute. If you only have salted, rinse them of their salt before soaking.
I added a pinch of salt and sugar to the cream at the end but this is totally optional, especially if you’re going to add it to something else. If you’re using it as a garnish or serving as-is I recommend it to round out the flavour.
How to make cashew cream
Take as many cashews as you like, I used 1 cup, and cover them with plenty of water. Set aside in a cool spot on the bench overnight (up to 2 nights) to soak.
They’ll absorb a bit of water and become pale.
Drain off the water and add the nuts with few extra tablespoons of water to a blender. Puree adding water as needed until you reach the desired thickness.
Add a pinch of salt and sugar and stir, if desired, then use in any dish you like.
I’ll be making a mushroom cream sauce for pasta with this lot!
The cashew cream will thicken slightly when cooked just like dairy cream.
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