Cashew Chicken Curry

Cashew Chicken Curry

Every job has its hazards.

Teachers risk burn-out. Sales folks brave cold calls. Lawyers swallow scorn. Moms and Dads suffer car-pool cut-offs. Even coal-mine canaries have been pink-slipped by technology.

Food writing has its own kitchen quicksand.

You fear that beady eyes and coarse whiskers will appear on the family, friends and neighbors so frequently enlisted as guinea pigs.

You slavishly follow the camera-before-consumption rule, so only leftovers are eaten while actually hot.

You become obsessive-compulsive about roasting chickens with unexpected ingredients (I dunno, how ‘bout Jim Beam?) and vegetables from okra to cabbage and spices from oregano to curry.

Curry? Yes, curried chicken was last year’s food obsession, thanks to an inspirational starter recipe. This CASHEW CHICKEN CURRY is the dozenth version and darned close to the curbside take-aways that make London the curry capital of the world.

As for 2006, anyone for lamb, you know, lamb curry?

ALANNA's TIPS If your family is new to curry, start off with the smaller amounts of curry powder, cumin and cayenne. That said, don’t be too fearful of the larger amounts for the heat is moderated when the curry is served atop bland rice. Chicken thighs are more flavorful than breasts but 10% higher in fat. In a pinch, peanut butter can be substituted for cashews. Curries improve overnight so don’t hesitate to make ahead or plan for leftovers.
Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. . Have a dish that once inspired obsession? Send the recipe to e-mail.

CASHEW CHICKEN CURRY

Reminiscent of London’s curbside curry take-away
Hands-on time: 35 minutes Time-to-table: 90 minutes Makes 11 cups
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 – 3 tablespoons curry powder (see ALANNA’s TIPS)
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound chicken thighs or breasts, cut in bite-size pieces (see TIPS)
  • 29 ounces canned diced tomato
  • 1 pound carrots, diced
  • 8 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ground cashews
  • 1 cup nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup light coconut milk
  • 8 ounces frozen peas

Melt the butter in a Dutch oven on medium high. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. Stir in the next 5 ingredients (curry through salt). Add the meat in batches, cooking each one through. Add the tomato, carrots, mushroom and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Stop here if you’re cooking ahead.) Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through but do not boil, about 5 minutes. Serve over basmati rice.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE This recipe is ‘Alanna-sized’ with reductions in fat and portion size and additions of fiber-rich vegetables. Per Cup: 173 Cal (33% from Fat); 7g Tot Fat; 4g Sat Fat; 18g Carb; 5g Fiber; 472mg Sodium; 37mg Cholesterol; Weight Watchers 3 points

Wintry Comfort Food

(click a photo for a recipe)
Chicken Cider Stew Beef & Mushroom Stew White Chicken Chili
Take a look - the winter recipes are full of ideas to warm a family inside out!

LATER NOTES
Feb 2006 | My neighbor reported that when he and his wife were at the grocery getting ingredients for the curry, someone else was pulling cashews from the shelf. They realized they were planning the same supper -- because they were both holding the recipe clipped from the local newspaper!

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And I was just thinking I needed to find a new curry recipe to try! I love cashews, this sounds wonderful!

1/28/2006
 
Rass made the chicken Cashew Curry the first day it came through on the internet. Half the recipe which we cleaned up in two meals. Then he made it again using beef instead of chicken and we didn't have enough left for a second dinner. He'll be doing it again soon to use up the coconut milk. So good!

2/10/2006
 
A further note on the Chicken Curry. Rass was telling some friends about the dish and took a copy of the recipe to Happy Hour where it went around their table and he had to come home and run another copy.

2/11/2006
 
I hate to bother you but I have lost my receipe for Cashew Curry Chicken. We are having two other couples in next Tues for dinner and it is my job to cook. It is SOO GOOD!!

3/03/2006
 
This sounds good. I think it would pair well with Riesling.

7/11/2006
 
This is so yummy...one of the best curries I have ever had!!
 
I have a question about the ground cashews -- can I use cashew butter or should the food processor be stopped before it gets creamy? Should I just chop them up really fine?
 
Cashew butter would be just perfect -- when I grind the cashews, I take them almost to that smooth stage. I hope you love this curry, Jasmine!
 
Alanna, Thank you sooo much for this recipe! The flavors perfectly complemented each other with no one taste overpowering the other. I was worried it was just going to taste like vegetable soup when I looked in the pot but after the yogurt and coconut milk, I was pleasantly suprised! All the veggies added wonderful texture. We used TJ natural PB instead of the cashews. Thanks for making WW easier for us!
 
Lynnessa ~ You are so welcome! I'm so glad that you found the balance perfect, me too! Thank you for taking the time to write.
 
I'm only just starting to appreciate nuts in dishes. in the Caribbean we hardly ever use nuts in cooking so it's taken me a while to test new waters.

This dish looks lovely (I'm a huge fan of curry).
 
Hi Alanna!

This looks delicious, especially for this time of year in the midwest! Any way to omit the dairy from this recipe? I'm guessing I can sub an oil for the butter, but what about the yogurt? Could I use 1 or 1.5 cups (instead of .5 cups) of coconut milk, or maybe use the full-fat coconut milk instead of the lite version? Thanks!
 
M ~ Hmm, let me think a minute. Yes, oil for butter, no problem. As for the yogurt, it helps 'tamp down' the heat of the curry in a way I don't think coconut milk would without overpowering with coconut flavor. I'd be inclined to omit the yogurt, but dial back the ginger and curry.

PS This is such a great recipe, M, if it appeals to you, it really is working on a dairy-free version that works for you. I'm hungry for it NOW!
 
Thanks for your quick reply! So what amounts of ginger and curry would you suggest?
 
M ~ I'd start with half the ginger and then use 1 tablespoon curry powder.

But for more ideas, I'm going to check with Facebook folks. If there's a good answer, I'll chime back in.
 
M ~ Good news! Andrea Myers from Andrea's Recipes recommends soy yogurt. Brands include Turtle Mountain, Nu Lait, WholeSoy, Nogurt, and Trader Joe's. Another reader suggested silken tofu. Both are worth trying, I have a good feeling about both!
 
Just found your website and ending week 1 in 2 days.
I love to make all kinds of stews and I know your recipes will be thoroughly enjoyed.

My plan is to cook a few recipes and freeze for work and enjoy them as I need them. I'm a 12 hour worker as a RN in ICU so this will make life much easier!

Thanks!!!!

Stacy
 
I made this tonight. I halved the curry, cumin and cayenne. My dad is diabetic, so I eliminated the peas and added a can of diced rutabaga. I served his over riced cauliflower, and he really liked it!
 
Would I be able to make this in the crock pot? I am trying to find recipes that a) don't involve pre-cooking certain ingredients and b) aren't chilis that I can put in the crock pot to have a meal to come home to after 12 hours. I've tried adapting other recipes to the crock pot with varied success, so I thought I'd ask before potentially ruining a dinner. I'm just beginning to learn about the required adaptations for making a traditionally-cooked-on-the-stove meal in a crock pot.
 
Hi Ellen, Yes I think this would be a crockpot meal but I'm not excited about just dumping all the ingredients into the pot, at least for this recipe. That's because curry is all about building layers of flavor. These are the recipes that I've adapted for the slow cooker, look for more this winter, I'm newly inspired!
 

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna