The cashew nut comes from the cashew tree and is the seed of the fruit know as the cashew apple. Usually roasted and served as a snack it has a high starch content, which is why it works so well as a thickening agent in stews and dishes.
Using Cashew Nuts in Indian Cooking
In Indian cuisine the nuts are used as a garnish but also ground up and commonly used in puddings and confectionery. In some South Indian regions such as Goa cashews are toasted in rice dishes but are also used in a number of curry dishes - they even have a cashew nut curry.