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All About Cashew Nuts | Know Your Fine Kaju or Cashewnut

All About Cashew nut (काजू) | Know Your Fine Nut Kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Know more about Cashew nuts or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Cashew nuts – dried

Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale) Hindi: Kaju (काजू)  are the cashew seed and the cashew apple accessory fruit of the tree Anacardium occidentale, in the Anacardiaceae family.

Like the tree, the nut is often simply called cashew. Cashew Nuts also known as cashew apple have long been viewed as a delicacy.

Cashew allergies are triggered by the proteins found in tree nuts, and cooking often does not remove or change these proteins.

More recently, cashews or kaju have become popular throughout the world for their delicate flavour and extraordinary health benefits.

You have known cashew nuts in its various forms – raw cashews, roasted cashews, or cashews that have been seasoned with various flavourings.

What are the vernacular names for cashew nut?

The names of cashew nut or kaju in international languages are given below.

Indian Languages International Languages
Hindi: Kaju (काजू)
Bengali: Hijali bādāma (হিজলি বাদাম)
Gujarati:
Kāju (કાજુ)
Kannada: Gōḍambi (ಗೋಡಂಬಿ), Gēru Beeja (ಗೇರು)
Kashmiri:
Kaju (كاجو‎)
Malayalam
: Kappamavu (ಕಪ್ಪಮಾವು), Paringi mavu (പരിങ്ങി മാവു), Kasumavu (കസുമാവ്), Parangimavu (പറങ്കിമാവ്)
Marathi: Kaju (काजू)
Oriya: Lanka Amba (ଲଙ୍କା ଅମ୍ବା |)
Punjabi:
Kājū girī (ਕਾਜੂ ਗਿਰੀ)
Sanskrit:
Agnikrita (अग्निकृत)
Tamil:
Muntiripparuppu (முந்திரிப்பருப்பு)
Telugu:
Jīḍi pappu (జీడి పప్పు), Jīḍi māmiḍi (జీడి మామిడి)
Latin (Botanical): Anacardium occidentale
Arabic: Juz alkaju (جوز الكاجو)
Chinese:
Yāoguǒ (腰果)
Dutch:
Cashewnoot
French: Noix de cajou
German: Cashewnuss
Greek: Kásious (κάσιους)
Italian: Anacardi
Japanese: Kashūnattsu (カシューナッツ)
Portuguese: Castanha de caju
Swedish
: Cashew nötter
Tupi: Acajú

What exactly are cashew nuts?

Get to know more about Cashew nuts or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Cashew apple & cashew nut (anacardium occidentale )

The cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) is a tropical evergreen tree that produces the cashew seed and the cashew apple accessory fruit.

The tree can grow as high as 14 m (46 ft), but the dwarf cultivars, growing up to 6 m (20 ft), prove more profitable, with earlier maturity and greater yields.

The leaves are spirally arranged, leathery textured, elliptic to obovate, 4–22 cm (1.6–8.7 in) long and 2–15 cm (0.79–5.91 in) broad, with smooth margins.

The flowers are produced in a panicle or corymb up to 26 cm (10 in) long; each flower is small, pale green at first, then turning reddish, with five slender, acute petals 7–15 mm (0.28–0.59 in) long.

The true fruit of the cashew tree is a kidney– or boxing-glove–shaped drupe that grows at the end of the cashew apple.

The drupe develops first on the tree, and then the pedicel expands to become the cashew apple. The true fruit contains a single seed, which is often considered a nut in the culinary sense.

Did you know?

The largest cashew tree in the world covers an area around 7,500 m2 (81,000 sq ft) and is located in Natal, Brazil.

The cashew seed is commonly considered a snack nut (cashew nut or just cashew) eaten on its own, used in recipes, or processed into cashew cheese or cashew butter.

The species is native to Northeastern Brazil and Southeastern Venezuela, and later was distributed around the world in the 1500s by Portuguese explorers.

Portuguese colonists in Brazil began exporting cashew nuts as early as the 1550s.

The Portuguese took it to Goa, India between 1560 and 1565. From there, it spread throughout Southeast Asia, and eventually Africa.

What is the nutritional value of cashew nuts?

Find out about the nutritional value of cashew nuts or kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Although commonly referred to as tree nuts, and nutritionally comparable to them, cashews are really seeds.

Kaju are rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and make for an easy addition to many dishes.

Cashew nuts are abundant sources of essential minerals. Manganese, potassium, copper, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium are especially concentrated in them.

Cashews are also good in many essential vitamins such as pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1).

100 g nuts provide 0.147 mg or 32% of daily recommended levels of pyridoxine.

Kaju also hold a small amount of zeaxanthin, an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant, which selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes.

It is thought to provide antioxidant and protective UV ray filtering functions and helps prevent age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) in the older adults.

What is the chemical composition of a cashew nut or kaju?

Know and understand about chemical composition of a cashew nut or kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Total fat was the major component accounting for 48.3% of the total weight, of which 79.7% were unsaturated FA (fatty acids), 20.1% saturated FA, and 0.2% trans FA.

Proteins, with 21.3 g/100 g, were ranked second followed by carbohydrates (20.5 g/100 g). The average sodium content was 144 mg/kg.

Fourteen FA were identified among which oleic acid was the most abundant with a contribution of 60.7% to the total fat, followed by linoleic (17.77%), palmitic (10.2%), and stearic (8.93%) acids.

The mean energy content was 2525 kJ/100g. β‐Sitosterol with 2380 ± 4 mg/kg fat was the most occurring sterol.

Glutamic acid, with 4.60 g/100 g, was the amino acid with highest presence, whereas tryptophan with 0.32 g/100 g was the one with lower presence.

Vitamin E with an average contribution of 5.80 mg/100 g was the most abundant vitamin. Potassium with a mean value of 6225 mg/kg was the mineral with highest amount in cashew samples.

This was followed by phosphorus with 503 ± 50 mg/100 g, magnesium with 249 ± 12 mg/100 g, and calcium with 41 ± 10 mg/100 g.

Sodium with 10.0 ± 3.2 mg/100 g, iron with 5.7 ± 1.1 mg/100 g, zinc with 5.3 ± 0.5 mg/100 g, and selenium with 0.039 ± 0.045 mg/100 g were the heavy metals with lower content.

What is the history of cashew nuts or kaju?

Know more about the origins & the story behind cashew nuts or kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Cashews are expensive because there is just one nut per fruit. Cashews trees have to be farmed, harvested, separated from the false fruit, roasted, cooled, cracked open, peeled, sundried and sorted – and only then can you sell them as raw nuts. 

The cashew was first discovered by Europeans in Brazil around 1558. Because of the irritating shells, they were thought to be inedible at first.

Over time it was realized that it was the fruit skin and not the seeds that were irritating.

It was the local native tribe, the Tupi-Indians, that showed the Europeans otherwise. The Portuguese were given instructions on how to roast the cashews to get the irritant off.

In India, locally it called as a “Kaju” the name adopted from the Portuguese pronunciation: [kaˈʒu]), which itself is derived from the Tupian word acajú, literally meaning “nut that produces itself”.

The Portuguese brought cashews to Goa in about 1560. Ultimately, the nut thrived in the new climate and then travelled to India soon after.

It spread to the rest of the costal part of India during the later half of the sixteenth century for afforestation and soil conservation due to heavy rainfall in the region.

However, from its humble beginning as a crop intended to check soil erosion, it has emerged as a major foreign exchange earner for small and marginal farmers in the region.

The Indians discovered healing properties in the nut and cashews became very popular. In the second half of the 16th century, cashews spread to Southeast Asia and Africa.

Though cashews reached the United States in around 1905, they did not become popular until the mid-1920’s when the General Food Corporation started to ship them regularly to the US & Europe.

Ultimately, the cashew became popular and by 1941, about 20,000 tons of cashews were shipped from India annually.

What are the uses of cashew nuts or kaju?

How are cashew nuts or kaju (Anacardium occidentale) used?
  • The cashew tree produces wood that is useful in local economies for such practical items as shipping crates, boats, and charcoal.
  • The resin within the shells of the fruit is used as an insecticide and in the production of plastics.
  • The cashew resin is also is important in traditional medicines.
  • The cashew apple is used locally in beverages, jams, and jellies.
  • Most of the cultivation is directed toward production of the valuable seed crop or the nut.
  • Cashew leaf and bark tea is used in Brazil and Peruvian herbal medicine.
  • Its extracts are also used to treat diabetes, weakness, muscular debility, urinary disorders, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, scrofula, dyspepsia, genital problems, bronchitis, cough, intestinal colic, leishmaniasis, venereal disease, as well as impotence.
  • Cashew pulp is the residue of the separation of the nut from the pseudofruit, and cashew bagasse (cashew pomace, cashew apple waste) is the residue of the juice extraction from the pseudofruit. Both products are used for
  • Cashew nut testa are the red skins that are manually or mechanically removed in the final step of preparing cashew nuts for confectionery. for livestock feeding.
  • Cashew tree leaves can be cut and eaten fresh or cooked.

What does cashew nut taste like?

What is the taste of cashew nuts or kaju?

Cashew nuts are aromatic and have a mild flavour and taste sweet. The buttery, creamy, rich texture has a similar mouthfeel to peanuts or almonds.

Many people define the flavour as sweet & tropical mixed with an astringent taste. Some also consider the flavour of kaju to be a blend of cucumbers, strawberries, mangos, and bell pepper.

How many cashew nut or kaju should I use?

What is the the recommended quantity of Cashew nut or Kaju for a day?

Its ideal to eat cashews to how much you can hold in a closed fist. Which comes to around 8–10 gms per day for an adult or 5–6 gms for a child. Anything more or less depends on the lifestyle of the person.

Cashew is a primary source of fat and secondary source of protein. Not all fats are bad, some types of fat can actually help your heart health.

What are the ayurvedic properties of cashew nut or kaju?

Information about ayurvedic details of Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale).

According to ayurvedic studies, kaju have Ushna property, which is beneficial for removing Ama, which is the body’s toxic remains. Cashew nuts help remove bad toxins from the body by clearing the bowels as it has rechana property.

Rasa (Taste): Kashaya (Astringent), Amla (Sour), Madhura (Sweet)
Guna (Qualities): Guru (Heavy)
Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Cold)
Vipaka (Taste conversion after digestion): Sheeta (Cold)
Karma (Actions): It balances Vata and Pitta. Nourishes Kapha

What can I use Cashew nut for?

Learn how to use Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) in your food & beverages.

Ground Cashew nut add spicy depth to various recipes. As a culinary nut, cashew nut impart a strong aroma and pungent taste that have enhanced the human enjoyment of many foods in cuisines all over the world.

  • Add cashew nut garnish to cakes, pastries, bread, cookies, muffins, cakes, and other sweets.
  • Cashews are protein-packed and great for snacking. Try them roasted.
  • Roasted and raw cashews make an excellent nut butter that you can use to replace peanut butter.
  • Blend cashews with water and a sweetener of your choice to obtain one of the creamiest nut milk.
  • Ground cashews form the base of the creamy, nutty sauce known as korma.
  • Make a white sauce with cashews.
  • Cashews can be finely powdered or coarsely powdered in a grinder. Fine powder can be sprinkled on any sweet preparation.
  • Add kaju to your rice preparations to give them a crunchy textures.
  • Make your favourite Indian desserts using kaju. Find the list below. Add them either whole or chopped to your sweets.
  • Use them as a stuffing for even idlis.
  • Kaju can be used as a thickener for Indian gravies. It serves as an healthier alternative to maida.

What Indian desserts are made with kaju or cashew nuts?

Learn how to use cashew nut or kaju for Indian mithai or desserts.

Most of the cashew nut desserts or kaju mithai recipes are really simple. They needs just three basic ingredients – cashews, water and sugar.

Ghee may appear in some recipes but is optional, though recommended. Absence of ghee will surely make these recipes vegan.

Additional ingredients may vary with the type of kaju mithai being made. However, like with most Indian sweets it takes some practice to get these right.

Some of these cashew nut desserts or kaju mithai include kheer, seviyan, kaju katli or kaju burfi, kaju pista roll, kaju paan, kaju gulkand ladoo, kaju cake, kaju anjeer burfi.

A lot of these desserts mentioned above use cashew nuts as a base, while some of these may use them as a garnish or a stuffing.

How do I prepare cashew nut for eating?

Learn how to prepare Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) for your food & beverages.

You can use cashew as a garnish or a stuffing, incorporate them into a sauce after making a paste or blend them into a nut milk or butter.

For south Indian recipes with cashews, grated coconut is fried in coconut oil with spices and then ground to a fine, butter-like paste.

Cashews are one of the main Indian ingredients in Punjabi gravies and subzis.

When blended together with different types of masalas, cashews form a smooth paste which gives a great consistency and thickness to the gravy. This addition also balances the flavour of the curry.

Cashew powder is used as a thickener and as a replacement of refined flour or maida in soups and stews.

Can I use all parts of cashew nut?

What parts of Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) plant are used for food & beverages.

The kernel of the cashew nut, the pseudofruit (cashew apple) and the leaves are edible. The kernels are a nutritious food as they contain large amounts of fats, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

How long does cashew nut last?

Learn about how long does Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) last in storage.

Like other nuts, such as almonds or pecans, cashew nuts are high in oil, and that means they will go rancid at some point.

Raw cashews bought in bulk or retail stay fresh for about a month in the pantry, and close to 6 months in the refrigerator. For extended storage, you can freeze them.

How do I store cashew nuts?

Learn about how to store cashew nut or kaju (Anacardium occidentale).

Due to the high fat content, cashew nuts become rancid fast especially at room temperature. It is important to store them in airtight containers.

They will last for upto 6 months in the refrigerator and 1 year in the freezer.

For refrigerating cashews, remember they are hygroscopic. So make sure they are sealed tightly, as they tend to absorb moisture and pick up strong odors from the environment.

Health benefits of cashew nuts

Is there a substitute for Cashew nut or Kaju?

Learn how to use a substitute for Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) if unavailable

If the recipe you want to make calls for cashew nuts but you don’t have any, don’t worry. Here are some best substitutes for cashew nuts or kaju.

Sesame seeds, khus khus (poppy seeds) and peanuts are close substitutes. Fox nuts & dried watermelon seeds come next. Dairy substitutes include cream & think yoghurt. You can use cornflour too.

Where do I buy Cashew nut or Kaju from?

Where to Locate Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) in a Grocery Store?

You can purchase cashews at the grocery store, where they are sold deshelled and skinless. You will find them in the dry fruits aisle.

Buy cashew nut or kaju on Amazon: India | USA

What are the health benefits of cashew nut?

Learn more about health benefits of cashew nut or kaju (Anacardium occidentale)

Cashews are commonly referred to as tree nuts, but are really seeds. They’re rich in nutrients and beneficial plant compounds and make for an easy addition to many dishes.

Like most nuts, cashewnuts may also help improve your overall health. They’ve been linked to benefits like weight loss, improved blood sugar control, and a healthier heart.

Read on to find out about the health benefits of cashew nut or health benefits of kaju:

Health benefits of Cashew Nuts or Cashews – Cashews nuts are rich in protein and other nutrients and can offer some useful health benefits. They can help boost bone strength, heart health, and more. Here is a list of their potential health benefits and ways to incorporate them into your diet.

  1. Health benefits of cashew nuts for heart health – The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews can help decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.
  2. Health benefits of kaju for bone health – Cashews are one of the few food sources that are high in copper. One ounce of cashews contains 622 micrograms of copper. Severe copper deficiency is associated with lower bone mineral density and an increased risk of osteoporosis.
  3. Health benefits of cashew nuts for boosting immunity – In addition to containing high amounts of copper, cashews are a great source of zinc. Failing to get enough zinc compromises your immune system functioning since this mineral is important for the development of immune system cells, production of antioxidant enzymes and activity of immune system regulators.
  4. Health benefits  of kaju for lowering the risk of gallstones – Gallstones are made up of hardened cholesterol or a compound called bilirubin, and they can be extremely painful. In a study of more than 80,000 women, eating nuts such as cashews was associated with a 25 per cent lower risk of developing gallstones. Thus, enjoying cashews every day could lower your risk of painful gallstones.
  5. Health benefits  of cashews as natural nerve relaxers – Magnesium in cashews prevents calcium from over-activating nerve cells, therefore relaxing them. This action keeps your blood vessels and muscles relaxed as well. (You may notice that if your magnesium levels are low, you often get muscle cramps.)
  6. Health benefits of kaju aid in managing weight – Cashew nuts contain less fat than other popular nuts including peanuts, pecans, almonds, and walnuts. Yet! What makes them a winning “weight loss nut” is that they are nutrient- and energy-dense, and high in fibre, which makes them more filling — a boon for managing weight.
  7. Health benefits of cashew nuts as an excellent source of antioxidants – Cashew nuts are considered healthy nuts as they are rich in antioxidants such as tocopherols. Tocopherols help in eliminating free radicals and protect our cells from cell damage caused by oxidative stress.
  8. Health benefits of kaju as an anticancer agent – In general, studies have shown that regular nut consumption reduces the risk of cancer. Cashew nuts are rich in antioxidants compounds such as anacardic acid, cardanols, and cardols that may help reduce the risk of cancer
  9. Health benefits of cashew nuts for managing and preventing diabetes – a study has shown that the long-term consumption of cashew nuts may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by enhancing glycolysis and increase glucose uptake.
  10. Health benefits of kaju to reduce the risk of anaemia – Cashew nuts are rich in both iron and copper. These minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the circulatory system. Iron deficiency is a common cause for anaemia, and incorporating cashew nuts in your daily diet can help prevent it.

Are roasted cashew nuts good for you?

Where to Locate Cashew nut or Kaju (Anacardium occidentale) in a Grocery Store?

Of course, they are but keep your intake under control. Roasted cashews are soft and sweet flavoured. Roasting adds a little extra crunch to cashew nuts in the process.

It’s really easy to learn how to make roasted cashews. It will ramp up your cooking prowess with a very little effort. And, they are super to munch on for fun.

Bhuna hua kaju is undoubtedly a guilt-free snack and can be served to all gender and age groups without any fuss.

How to roast cashew nuts?

How to make roasted & salted cashew nuts?

The smoothest operator in the nut kingdom, cashews are even better when lightly roasted. Roasting enhances the flavour and aroma of the cashews. In my opinion, any nut is always better roasted.

Ensure you use fresh cashew nuts and roast them on low to medium flame to get a crunchy bite. It simply involves tossing them in a frying pan or a skillet on the flame.

You can also some add sea salt and/or red chilli powder if you like the spicy touch.

The recipe for Roasted Cashew Nuts or Bhune Hue Kaju follows below.

Print

Cashews - Roasted Cashew Nuts; Bhune Hue Kaju

Cashews | Roasted Cashew Nuts; Bhune Hue Kaju - Roasted cashews are soft, sweet flavored. Roasting also adds a little extra crunch to cashew nuts in the process. It’s really easy to learn how to make roasted cashews. It will ramp up your cooking prowess with a very little effort. And, they are super to munch on.
Course Snack
Cuisine World
Diet Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword Bhuna Hua Kaju, Bhune Hue Kaju, cashew, Cashew nuts, Cashewnuts, cashews, How to make roasted cashew nuts, kaju, Roasted Cashew Nuts, Roasted Cashews
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 7 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 287kcal
Author Sumit Malhotra

Ingredients

  • 250 gram Dried Cashew Nuts
  • 0.5 Teaspoon Sea Salt Optional

Instructions

  • Heat up a frying pan or a skillet over medium heat
  • Stirring frequently brown the cashews on the hot skillet.
  • They will be brown and fragrant in 2-5 minutes.
  • Add sea salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Plate and serve.

Cashew nuts – dried

What are the side effects of cashew nut or kaju?

What are the risks associated with cashew nut or kaju?

Both raw and roasted cashew nuts are good for you and provide health benefits. Both varieties of kaju contain similar amounts of calories, protein, carbs and fiber.

However, roasting cashew nuts may damage their healthy fat, reduce their nutrient content and lead to the formation of a harmful substance called acrylamide.

Cashews are rich in oxalate salts, which tamper with the way calcium is absorbed in the body. The excess of calcium left unabsorbed can lead to the formation of kidney stones.

An allergy that can be caused is known as contact dermatitis, which leads to rashes and itchiness on the skin when it comes into contact with cashews.

Another allergy to cashews can also lead to gastrointestinal discomfort in the form of nausea, coughing, vomiting, cramping, diarrhea, and pain.

Many patients also suffer from breathing difficulties if they have an allergic reaction to cashews.

FINALLY, TO SUM IT UP

All About Cashew nut or Kaju | Uses & Benefits of Kaju

Cashew apple & cashew nut (anacardium occidentale )

Cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale) Hindi: Kaju (काजू)  are the cashew seed and the cashew apple accessory fruit of the tree Anacardium occidentale, in the Anacardiaceae family.

Like the tree, the nut is often simply called cashew. Cashew Nuts also known as cashew apple have long been viewed as a delicacy.

Cashew allergies are triggered by the proteins found in tree nuts, and cooking often does not remove or change these proteins.

More recently, cashews or kaju have become popular throughout the world for their delicate flavour and extraordinary health benefits.

You have known cashew nuts in its various forms – raw cashews, roasted cashews, or cashews that have been seasoned with various flavourings.

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