This dish is easily doubled and it can be made up to a day in advance if required.
2 cups desiccated coconut
2½ cups hot water
1½ Tbsp grated peeled ginger
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 fresh medium-hot long red chillies, halved and deseeded
2 short lengths of lemongrass, smashed with a mallet, or 5-6 strips lemon peel
Small piece cinnamon bark
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 small stem curry leaves (optional)
½ tsp salt
250g (8½ oz) raw cashew nuts
1 Put the desiccated coconut in a blender or food processor and pour in the hot water. Blend for 30 seconds, then tip into a sieve set over a bowl. Squeeze with your hands to extract the milk (alternatively, use ready-prepared coconut milk).
3 Bring to a gentle boil, then cook, uncovered for 12 minutes. Add the salt and cashew nuts, then cook gently for 30 minutes, or until the nuts are tender and the liquid is reduced (partially cover pan with a lid towards end of cooking if liquid is evaporating too fast). Transfer to a bowl and serve hot.