Thursday, January 23, 2014

Indian Cashew Chicken

Last weekend we met up with friends who we don't see very often and took our kiddies to the Milwaukee Public Museum. I forgot how much I enjoy trips to the museum so I can immerse myself in learning about new things. I especially enjoyed learning about various cultures. The Milwaukee Public Museum has a great exhibit dedicated to American Indians and we enjoyed the colorful display of costumes and seeing how they have really contributed so much to society over the decades and generations. After our visit to the musem, we had lunch at a local [Southeast Asian] Indian restaurant. It's been awhile since I had Indian cuisine and so it was a perfect choice on a cold day. Our great weekend with friends inspired me to make Indian food at home. As a result, we enjoyed this Indian Cashew Chicken recently. A savory marinade of spices, aromatics and cashews packed flavor into every bite of chicken before braising until tender for a comforting Indian meal...


If there's one cuisine that slightly intimidates me, it's Indian cuisine. There is definitely an art and science about the combination of spices to create complex flavors. Friends who do cook Indian food often just make it seem so effortless! If you're like me and enjoy Indian food but are intimidated at the thought of making it at home, don't worry. This recipe is easy, as long as you have all the ingredients on hand. Probably the only spice that folks might have to look harder for are the green cardamom pods. If you don't have access to the pods, you can substitute it with 1/2 teaspoon of ground cardamom.

Indian Cashew Chicken
recipe from Cooking Light

  • 2/3 cup cashews, toasted
  • 2/3 cup Greek-style yogurt 
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • garlic cloves, chopped 
  • skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 14 ounces) 
  • (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces 
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 3/4 cups finely chopped onion (2 large) 
  • green cardamom pods, lightly crushed or 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • (2-inch) cinnamon stick
  • 2 cups chicken broth 
  • 1 cup tomato puree 
  • 1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half
  • Chopped fresh cilantro (optional) 
Combine first 9 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Place chicken in a large bowl and pour processed nut mixture over chicken, tossing to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat and coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, cardamom, and cinnamon stick to pan; cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is golden, stirring often.

  1. Add chicken and processed nut mixture to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, tomato puree, paprika, and salt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 hour or until sauce has thickened.

  2. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick and garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve over rice.