I grew up in the outskirts of Seattle and most of my immediate family still lives there. A handful of years ago, my brother took me to the 74th Street Alehouse and ordered their curried cashews for us. Well, I was immediately hooked! Unfortunately, I only make it to Seattle once, maybe twice, a year. I have to be able to eat these things more often than that! I've been making these little bad boys ever since. They are addictive, though. Don't say I never warned you!
Just a word about the curry powder... since curry is simply a spice blend and can have lots of variations, make sure you use a curry powder you like. I have, occasionally, made these things with an untried curry powder and had to throw them away. I now just stick with the McCormick brand and like them very well.
Yield: About 2 1/2 cups
1 approx 10 oz can roasted, salted cashews
2 tsp butter
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder
dash ground cayenne pepper
Put together spices in a small bowl and have at the ready. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add cashews. Stir occasionally, toasting them but being careful not to burn them. Toast for 3-5 minutes or until nicely browned and heated through. Remove from heat. Add spice mixture and stir to coat. You don't want to cook the curry powder, just heat it up with the residual heat from the cashews. Lay a double layer of paper towels on the counter and spread cashews out to cool. Be sure to only have them one layer thick so that they crisp up when cool.
If not using immediately, store only once completely cooled in an airtight container. I store them in a glass canning jar. The curry smell is very strong and a plastic container will hold the smell for some time after they are gone.
As for the cashews, you can use whole or pieces equally well here. I typically will use the whole ones if I am making this as an appetizer for company but will use pieces if it's just for myself. Do note that the salt content varies widely from brand to brand. I suggest tasting the cashews before you begin, if they are not salty enough for you, add a pinch to the spice mixture. Any seasoning you add needs to be added when the cashews are hot. Also, if you want your cashews a little spicier, just add more cayenne.