Chicken in Cashew Nut Sauce

This is one of the best chicken curries I have ever made – or tasted.  I made a three curry dinner for two friends.

The curries are – from the top clockwise, Chicken in Cashew Nut Sauce, Indian Fish Stew, and Buffalo with Green Beans Curry, surrounding a mound of Brown Rice.  More about the other curries at a later date.

Despite the fact there was more than enough food, there was not a drop of this chicken curry left. The sauce is rich, and thickened by the cashew nuts. It is not a particularly hot curry. If you want more heat, add a little cayenne pepper or chopped green chilis into the spice mixture, or do as I often do, have hot sauce on the table. The original recipe comes from Husain and Kanani’s Healthy Indian Cooking.

I’m sure this would freeze well, if there was ever any left!

Chicken in Cashew Nut Sauce

2 medium onions
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
2 ounces cashew nuts
1½ teaspoons garam masala (see note)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
I teaspoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon non-fat yogurt
1 Tablespoon canola oil
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
1 Tablespoon raisins
1 pond boneless chicken breast, skinned and cut into 1-2 inch cubes
6 ounces small button mushrooms (or larger mushrooms cut in quarters)
1¼ cup water

Place onions in food processor and process for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, cashew nuts, garam masala, garlic, chili powder, lemon juice, turmeric, salt, and yogurt and process for another minute or so.

Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the ground spice mixture from the food processor. Fry spices for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure that the mixture does not burn.  When the spice mixture is lightly cooked, add half the chopped fresh coriander, the raisins, and the chicken cubes and continue to stir fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms, pour in the water and bring to a simmer.  Cover the pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes or until the chicken is no longer pink and the sauce has thickened. Serve hot sprinkled with the remaining coriander.  Serve with rice or couscous. Makes 4 servings at about 9.8 grams of fat/serving.

I cooked this a few hours earlier in my large flat-bottomed wok, which I use for everything, and transferred it to a casserole for reheating in the microwave and serving.

NOTE: Garam Masala means warm (garam) spices (masala). Most Indian households have their own mix, handed down from mother – or mother-in-law – to daughter, which is stored in a container for daily use. You can make your own mix from the many recipes available, or buy a good quality garam masala either at an Asian market or in the spice section of your grocery store. I often use the Spice Islands mix.


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I have lost 200 pounds. I did not do it through surgery – I don’t like knives and needles – or by joining a club, vigorous exercise, or rigorous dieting. I did it by gourmet cooking. To be precise, by cooking low fat, really delicious food. I love to cook as much as I love to eat. Food magazines are some of my favorite reading. I would feel deprived if I couldn’t have the sensuous experience of good food crossing my lips. This blog is about my perpetual feast, my passionate love of food, with recipes, photos, and occasional advice and principles that I have learned along the way.

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