Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cashew Butter Chicken

I love Indian food in the way most white people love it - that is, I love Butter Chicken and Lamb Korma. This recipe is fragrant but not too spicy for the curry novice - though you can certainly increase the curry if you like (I normally do when I'm cooking for myself). It's very easy to increase/decrease portions, and if you run out of something you can usually just substitute something else without affecting the resulting deliousness.

Cashew Butter Chicken: (serves 4 generously)
4 tbsp/60g clarified butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 onions, minced
1 tbsp curry paste
1 tbsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
750g boneless chicken thighs, in 2 cm cubes
60g ground cashews
1 cup/250 ml heavy cream
1/3 cup/85 ml coconut milk
1 tbsp tomato paste (optional)

Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat until it separates; at this point you can skim off the top to make clarified butter (but I usually don't bother). Add the onions and garlic and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry paste, coriander, and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes, then add the chicken and cook for 5-7 minutes. Add the cream, coconut milk, and cashews (and the tomato paste if you want the colour a bit darker) and stir in. Bring this to a simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally.

You can change this up a bit - I've tried it with ground almonds instead of cashews and I often replace the nutmeg with cumin, and Court usually uses curry powder rather than paste. I find I end up with a darker curry if I use a regular fry pan rather than a non-stick. I served this with naan and "a little bit Indian" brown rice (as I ran out of basmati) which I made by tossing 2 cardamom pods and a 1/2 stick cinnamon into the rice cooker with the rice.


  1. This is one of my fav. recipes too because I love curry, but it is mild enough to serve to people who are curry beginners. My friend's one and a half year old daughter even gobbled this up. If you love the spice, definitely add a bit more to taste.

  2. Looks good:-) When I first read the title, I thought it had "cashew butter" as in the cashew equivalent of peanut butter:-)