Although native to Brazil, cashew nuts are a large part of the Goan diet - thanks to the Portuguese who introduced this delicious nut to India in the 16th century. India has now become one of the largest cashew producers & exporters in the world. In moderation, cashews are very heart healthy & high in antioxidants.
So if you love cashews, then this is the perfect recipe for you. This dish has always been a favorite among family & friends alike -- my Chicken Cashew Curry is truly a delicious treat. We have always enjoyed this tasty dish especially on special occasions & celebrations.
I know there are a lot of people with nut allergies, so feel free to make this dish with green peas or even chickpeas if you prefer. You can also add your favorite vegetables, paneer cubes, meat, seafood, boiled eggs, tofu or soya nuggets to this recipe. Just note cooking times will vary accordingly.
CHICKEN CASHEW CURRY
½ cup toasted unsalted cashew nuts
½ cup warm milk
1 lb of boneless/skinless chicken, cut into 1½” size pieces
1 medium onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, sliced in half lengthwise (to taste)
5-6 fresh curry leaves
½ tbsp Kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), optional
2 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp garam masala
½ red chili powder, to taste
1 tsp ground coriander powder
salt & pepper, to taste
1½ cup good quality coconut milk
2 tbsp ghee or butter (or you can use vegetable or canola oil)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
freshly toasted cashew pieces for garnish
Soak the cashews in a little warm for about 20 minutes, then grind to thick smooth paste adding a little more milk only if needed. Set aside.
In a deep skillet or wok on medium high heat, add the ghee. When hot, add the onions and stir fry until lightly browned. Then add the garlic along with the ginger, green chilies, curry leaves & Kasoori methi. Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, garam masala, red chili powder, ground coriander powder, salt & pepper) along with the tomato paste. Let the spices cook for a few more minutes & then add in the cashew paste. Let the cashew paste cook until fragrant & aromatic. Next, add in the chicken pieces. Mix well to coat the chicken pieces evenly with the spices and cashew paste, let cook for about 4-5 minutes before adding in the coconut milk. Reduce the heat, cover & let simmer for about 8-10 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked yet still tender & succulent. If the curry is a bit too thick, just add a little more coconut milk or water as desired. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves & cashew pieces. Serve with fresh rotis & fragrant Basmati rice.
You could easily add any vegetables to this dish such as baby corn, green peas, various colored bell peppers, snow peas, carrots, green beans, mushrooms, spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, pumpkin or various squash varieties…