Chicken in a Cashew Nut Sauce
Serve with colourful vegetables to add a few more tones and textures.
- 250g cashew nuts
- 100ml vegetable oil
- 2 onions, chopped, plus 2 onions, finely sliced
- 12 garlic cloves
- 2.5cm piece of root ginger, chopped
- 2 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 4 dried red chillies
- 6 cloves
- 8cm cinnamon stick
- 100g freshly grated coconut
- 2 green chillies, finely chopped
- 1kg boneless chicken thighs and legs, cut into 5cm pieces
- 3 tbsp yogurt
Before you start, put 100g of the cashew nuts into a bowl and add just enough warm water to soak them. Leave for two hours. Drain and place them in a blender or food processor, adding a little warm water. Blitz to a thick, smooth paste. Set aside.
Place 25g more of the cashew nuts in a small frying pan and stir over a medium heat until toasted. Set aside.
Heat a small amount of the oil in the same pan and cook the sliced onion until crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
In a large frying pan, dry-roast the garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, dried chillies, cloves and cinnamon over a low heat for five minutes, stirring. Add the coconut, 75g more of the cashew nuts and the chopped onions and roast for 10 minutes more, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Grind the mixture either in a blender or food processor, adding 150–250ml water, to a very smooth consistency.
Heat the remaining oil in a wide cooking pot, add the blended spice mixture and fry for 10 minutes over a low heat. Add the ground cashew paste with some salt and fry for two minutes, adding the green chillies.
Increase the heat to medium-high, and add the chicken pieces. Fry for five minutes, then add the remaining un-toasted cashews. Stir-fry for a minute or so, then add 600ml of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until the chicken is tender and cooked through.
Serve with a dollop of yogurt, the reserved toasted cashew nuts and the crispy fried onions.
Recipe courtesy of Reza’s Indian Spice by Reza Mahammad, published by Quadrille (£17.99, hardback). Photos © Martin Poole.