Chicken & Cashew Nut Curry (Murg sātha kājū – मुर्ग साथ काजू)

I am being totally serious when I say that pretty much all the kids in my family from my generation onward have been brought up eating this. It started out as cashew nut and mushroom curry, a recipe that my vegetarian Uncle sent home from India; it was and still is a very nice recipe in itself (you literally swap and change the chicken and/or mushrooms depending on what you fancy), but the carnivorous version seems to have a magical quality that makes kids eat curry.

Mild, creamy, coconutty (but not overpoweringly so), with the odd crunch of a cashew, I can see why they love it.

Serves 6 (with accompaniments).

The ingredients:

Chicken breasts – 6
Cashew nuts – 150g
Onions – 2 large ones (finely chopped)
Cardamom pods – 3
Cloves – 3
Cinnamon stick – 1
Bay leaf – 1
Black mustard seeds – 2 teaspoons
Garlic – ½ a bulb (crushed)
Ginger – 2 thumb sized pieces (grated)
Tomato purée
Coconut milk – 1 can
Passanda paste – 2 tablespoons
Ghee – 1 teaspoon

The recipe:

  • Put your cashews in a bowl and cover them with boiling water (this will soften them a little).
  • Heat the ghee and add the black mustard seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaf, when they start to pop, add the onions, garlic and ginger.
  • Once the onions are golden, add the chicken.
  • Drain the cashews, and add to the curry.
  • Now add the tomato purée and passanda paste, ensuring all of the chicken is coated.
  • Now add the coconut milk, and simmer until everything is cooked through.
  • Serve with plain boiled rice.

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