If you’re ready to take your curry exploration to the next level, look no further…
Not just any ordinary chicken curry – this cashew curry bears a royal touch and uses cashew nuts as its main flavoring element.
You’ll be amazed at the variety of tastes that come through in each bite of this cashew curry. Savor a mix of cashew nuts, whole spices, and touch of fresh coconut that give plain ole chicken an entirely new dimension.
As you know, curries come in many colors; read my post ‘Colorful Indian Curry Collection‘ to grasp the full expanse of curries in Indian cooking.
The mix of cashew, onion and coconut gives this curry its distinct off-white color, and the ease with which this recipe comes together, makes it a popular weekday evening dinner at our place.
However, the uniqueness and depth of flavors renders this chicken cashew curry an equally impressive entertaining option, well-liked by kids and grownups alike.
- 1 lb chicken thighs, cut in 1 inch pieces (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 whole black cardamom (if you have one on hand)
- 1 cinnamon stick, 2 inches long
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/3 cup unsalted cashew nuts
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ¼ cup shredded fresh coconut OR 2 tablespoons desiccated coconut (see notes)
- 1-2 whole green chili peppers, Thai or Serrano (reduce for less spice)
- ¼ teaspoon ground red chili or Cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ to ¾ teaspoon salt (based on taste)
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
- 1 cup chicken stock (or water)
- Start by making a thin paste of the cashew nuts, chopped onion, shredded fresh or desiccated coconut, and fresh green chili peppers in a food processor or blender. Add ¼ to ½ cup of water to aid in grinding.
- Heat a pan with canola oil and add the black cardamom, cinnamon stick and cumin seeds to it. Stir for about 30 seconds to release their flavor. Don’t let the whole spices burn.
- To the spiced oil - add the cashew-onion paste, ground spices and salt, along with the chicken and chicken broth.
- Cook for 10-12 minutes on a medium-low flame; stir intermittently and add ¼ cup of broth or water at a time, as required, to avoid the paste sticking to the bottom of the pan. This prolonged cooking stage is important. (If like me, you’re impatient, set the timer!)
- Make sure the chicken is cooked and check for salt, adding more as per your taste. Discard the black cardamom and cinnamon stick.
- Check for the desired consistency of your curry. Rule of thumb: If serving with bread, leave the curry with a thick consistency. And thin it down a bit using stock or water, when serving over rice.
- Sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro and serve hot.
- Based on your preference, boneless and bone-in chicken, both work well for this curry.
- Fresh coconut adds great flavor to this curry. Frozen packs of fresh pre- shredded coconut are available at ethnic and gourmet food markets. Alternately, use desiccated coconut.