Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chicken in cashew nut sauce - TRY IT!

I know, I know, my titles aren't usually this bossy, but I can't help myself today because that's how much I love this recipe.

I don't know when my love of Indian food snuck up on me. For many, many years, the mere smell of curry terrified me, despite my parents' best attempts to convince me of its deliciousness. I think I eventually got shamed into eating it when my more worldly friends starting suggesting meet ups at Indian restaurants and I was too embarrassed to admit I didn't like Indian food. Which is just as well, because it turns out I do.

This recipe is one of my favorite things I have made in a while. It's so simple and yet so satisfying. I actually made a double batch of the sauce so I can make it again this week. Even if you aren't sold on Indian food, I would recommend this to you. It isn't even hot spicy, if that's a deal breaker for you, although it has plenty of good flavor.


Chicken in Cashew Nut Sauce (from this book, serves 4)

Toss in the food processor and pulse until you have a paste:
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed

1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1 1/2 tsp garam masala (if you can't get this locally, this link explains how to make your own)
1 tsp chili powder
1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp plain yogurt (I used the full fat Greek style yogurt)

In a pan, heat:
1 or 2 tbsp of vegetable oil

Toss in and saute for a few minutes over medium heat, until lightly browned:
1 lb of cubed chicken (recipe calls for breasts, I used thighs, and I think you could sub any kind of meat, really)

Remove the meat from the pan with a slotted spoon (leaving the oil behind) and transfer it to your slow cooker. Add to the pan:
6 oz white button mushrooms, chopped in half
Spice/nut paste you prepared in the first step

Gently saute for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to the slow cooker.

Stir into the mixture in the slow cooker:
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp golden raisins

Cover and cook on high for 3 - 4 hours, stirring halfway through. At the end, the chicken should be tender and the sauce should be fairly thick. Top it off with some chopped cilantro. Serve over rice, or with naan, or both.

The recipe calls for the slow cooker, as I've described above, but I think it would be really easy to do this in a pot on the stove, with very low heat, or even in the oven. Generally, I find recipes that take 3 - 4 hours in the slow cooker annoying because I work for 8 hours a day and I am not around to be stirring things, but this is perfect for an almost hands off weekend supper.

Whatever you do, make this. Don't be intimidated by all the ingredients. It comes together very quickly and it makes the house smell heavenly.


  1. I was always scared of curry too until I found out I like red curry in very small doses. I will have to try this out.

  2. You don't have to twist my arm I will give this one a try for sure. It looks really good!
    While I cleaned out the spice cabinet the other day-I noticed I have an unopened curry bottle waiting to be opened. Thanks Rachel! xoxo

  3. I think I want to eat a vat of this while watching Monsoon Wedding.

  4. LOOKS AMAZING! cant wait to try it !

  5. I'm so very hungry & tempted right now! I'm going to put this on our menu plan for the week and just do it, even if I'm a little scared of new things. It looks so good!

  6. oh this sounds SO good. i am always on the lookout for new ways to make chicken more interesting, and the huz LOVES indian flavours. a must try for sure!

  7. YUM - I love learning about new recipes!

  8. this sounds amazing and a wonderful source of protein. i'll be passing the recipe along to the cook of the house :)

  9. Wow this sounds incredible! I can relate to your relationship with Indian food. I haven't always been a fan of it but for some crazy reason I have been craving curry chicken and naan for a straight week now. Probably doesn't help that I keep going to Whole Foods :)
    I'm definitely bookmarking this recipe-thanks for sharing Rachel!

  10. I will be your guinea pig. Looks so good.

  11. I adore Indian food, and in fact, just had it for lunch today! :) Your recipe sounds delicious, and I would love to pair it with lassi and Trader Joe's garlic naan bread. Now you've tempted me into Indian for a second meal today :)

  12. I love Indian food. I'm going to have to try this. If only I had a clay oven to make naan.

  13. I'm not huge on Indian food, but I do love cashews so I might give this one a whirl. Thanks for the tip!

  14. I had my first indian dish this past Saturday ( sad, I know!) but I absolutely LOVED it. So, I am so excited to have a first Indian recipe to try!

  15. Yummy! and no flour...I am going to try it! thanks for sharing.

  16. This looks great, I have only recently started to try Indian food too, funny how that is.

  17. I'll try it- but it'd have to be "tofu in cashew nut sauce" which may or may not work???

  18. This sounds amazing...I can't wait to make it. By the way, I have been looking for a slow-cooker cookbook so I will have to check this one out!

  19. Top of the list for my kitchen needs: slow cooker. Next up: food processor. I just sent this recipe to my Mom to use with her slow cooker - I'll make her cook this up next time I'm home. :)

  20. Making this in a few days... Can't wait to try it! Raw or roasted cashews?


    1. I've used both and either works! I usually get roasted, just because that way the leftovers are tastier. Salted/unsalted doesn't matter, since you're adjusting the salt at the end. However, if you're using salted chicken broth you might want to stick with unsalted just in case!


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