Friday, June 10, 2011

Cashew Chicken Curry

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I came across this simple yet "Hatke" (different) chicken recipe sometime back. According to a friend who passed this on, this is a simple subtle chicken dish from down south, Kerala, to be more precise. This creamy, subtly spiced and rich dish is easy to make and as experience taught me, was a big hit with the kids, who despise the usual spicy fare.
The cashew is another example of the all accommodating India. It was not native to India and was bought to India by the Portuguese (from Brazil) in the mid 16th century and is now used extensively in Indian cuisines, lending creaminess to many shahi kormas and who can forget the "Kaju Katli", the sweet preferred by many over the usual barfi and ladoos.
Though I'm sure this curry, without the tempering at the end, will go very well as a pasta sauce too, I'm also seriously contemplating making a pie with this as a filling. But that, is for another post.

Cashew Chicken Curry

Chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces - 6
Salt - 1 Tsp
White Pepper - 1 Tsp
Cashews, soaked for 2 hours and drained - 2 cups
Onions, chopped - 2
Green Chillies, chopped - 2
Garlic - 8 cloves
Ginger, chopped - 3 Tblsp
Green Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon Stick - 1 (1 inch)
Yogurt - 1 Cup
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp
Curry Leaves - 6
Cashewnuts, cut into halves - 6
Red Chillies - 2
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 3 Tblsp

1. Dry roast the Cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and cloves slightly and grind to a powder.
2. Grind the 2 cups of cashews with onions, garlic, ginger and green chillies into a fine paste. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water before grinding to achieve a pasty consistency.
3. Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and white pepper. Fry the chicken pieces with 2 Tblsp of oil until seared. Do not brown the chicken pieces as it will change the gravy colour.
4. Lower the heat and add the cashew paste. Stir fry for a couple of minutes till the paste and chicken have combined.
5. Take the skillet off the flame and gradually add the yogurt while stirring continuously. Return to flame and keep stirring to combine. Cook till oil rises to top (3-4 Minutes).
6. Add in the ground spice powder and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 more minutes on medium flame. Add in water if required.
7. Adjust the seasoning and transfer the sauce and gravy to a serving dish.
8. In a small pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and add in the mustard seeds. As the seeds start to crackle, add in the cashew halves and fry till they start to turn brown. Add the curry leaves and red chillies. remove from flame and pour over the chicken dish. Do not stir to mix.
9. Serve hot with rice, malabari paranthas or appams.


josokim said...

I just made this curry with whole drumsticks (skin left on) and it is absolutely delicious. The spice content is perfectly balanced.

I made this while my 9-month-old baby was napping so was only able to soak the cashews for ten minutes max, but it still worked out ok. Also, I didn't add the yogurt until almost right before serving because I was afraid of curdling (even though you temper it in the recipe, I'm a wimp!)

Thanks so much for the recipe!

Gaurav said...

Thanks for the comment and nice to know that it came out good. The drumsticks are a wonderful addition and totally compliment the dish.
If you whisk the yogurt and add it slowly while stirring continuously (pan off the flame all the time) it doesn't curdle.

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