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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chicken in Cashewnut sauce

I have always wondered what it is with nuts.
As a kid,I was never fascinated by the thought of them. Leave alone fascinated, I would be totally put off by the idea of even nibbling on them. In my part of the world, nuts would be a very handy option, used graciously in certain foods and oft-used as a snack. Peanuts, cashew nuts, almonds, pistachios, walnuts. My Dad, on his jaunts abroad would bring back packets of chocolate having macadamia nuts and hazelnuts jostling for space!As much as I loved having the chocolate on its own, I despised the idea of embarking on this wonderful journey of having silken chocolate running through your mouth and then suddenly have you teeth crackling on a hard nut, like an annoying boulder blocking the smooth path!This often compelled me to eschew the packets of chocolates altogether, much to the glee of my sister who would now had it all to herself!


As times changed, my aversion and bitterness towards nuts slowly diminished. I started enjoying walnuts and cashew nuts in cakes and brownies, savored those flaked pistachios in my ice-cream or 'Kheer' and enjoyed roasted hot peanuts, rolled in salt,black pepper and red pepper powder, while watching the cascading rains outside my window on many a rainy day. I was finally turning nutty after all!
While researching about food, which if my favorite pass time, I realized that Mid-eastern and Arabian cuisines have a whole treasure of skills in using nuts in their food - and that food means meat as well,not just desserts.Even in my own Indian cuisine, nuts find a place of prestige specially when it comes to Mughlai food. Finding all about that, I finally shed off my disdain and started using nutty pastes in my chicken and mutton curries and believe it or not, the result was magical every time!


A couple of weeks back,I cooked Chicken in cashew nut sauce for a couple of friends coming to dinner at our place and I was really flattered at the texture the rich cashew nut paste lent to the otherwise ordinary chicken curry. So I'm posting this recipe for today's post. Try it sometime, enjoy it and savor the goodness of the nuts after all!


Sending this recipe to 'Full Plate Thursday' at Miz Helen's place and 'Hearth and Soul Blog Hop'!


Chicken in Cashewnut sauce
You will need:
Chicken - 500 gms
Red onions - 1 whole(if big) or 2 (if medium),roughly diced
Ginger - About an inch
Garlic - 3 to 4 fat cloves
Green pepper - Roughly diced
Green chilies - 2 to 3 chopped
Cashew nut - 150 gms, ground to a coarse paste with 1/4th cup of water in a blender
Turmeric powder - 1 and 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin powder - 1 tablespoon
Roasted coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 a teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 2 teaspoons
Mustard/canola oil - 2 and 1/2 tablespoons, for cooking


How I made it:
1. Wash the chicken pieces well and run with some turmeric powder and cumin powder. Keep aside for 10-15 mins while the spice base is prepared.


2. In a wok, heat the cooking oil. Blend the red onions, ginger, garlic, green peppers and green chilies with half a cup of water in a blender to form a smooth,fragrant paste. When the oil is hot, add half a teaspoon of garam masala powder and after a few quick strokes, add the blended spice mixture to the oil. 


3. Allow the spice base to cook well and keep on stirring occasionally. When it starts changing color, add the turmeric, cumin, roasted coriander and red chili powders and give a good stir. Cook till oil starts coming out of the mixture, when you know it is time to add the chicken pieces.


4. Add the chicken pieces to the spice base and coat the chicken pieces well with the spices. Add salt as per taste and mix well. Next add about 2 cups of lukewarm water, or just enough to cover the chicken pieces and cover with a lid to let the chicken cook.
5. Keep a check on the chicken and it will take 15-20 mins to cook through and become soft. When the chicken is cooked, add the cashew nut paste to the chicken and stir everything together. The gravy will start thickening. Check the seasoning and add a bit more salt if require. Now turn off the flame and sprinkle the rest of the Garam masala poder over the top of the dish.Serve hot with any bread,roti or rice. Tastes good with anything as an accompaniment! 

14 thoughtful musings left behind...:

Patsy said...

Another tempting recipe! My niece spent 4 months in India this year, and she fell in love with the people and the food. She cannot stop talking about...a dessert, I think, called gulab jamun. Are you familiar with this dish? Do you have a recipe you can share?

Kalyani's Platter said...

looks spicy and delicious curry.....

Amina said...

indeed using nuts in a gravy adds a fabulous flavour and texture to it... chicken curry looks awesome... delicious..

Sudha said...

Hello Patsy,
Thanks so much for stopping by my place!So glad to know that your niece liked Indian food:) Yes, I do know of Gulab Jamun because it is an extremely popular Indian sweet and people love it like crazy. It is popularly sold in sweet shops but can be made at home as well. I'm planning to make them at home very soon and will share the recipe on my blog - hope you'll enjoy it!

Hi Kalyani,
Thanks a bunch for dropping in and so glad you liked the recipe:)

Dear Amina,
Glad you liked the dish and so happy to see you here:)

Ambreen said...

Sounds very interesting & rich, delicious curry!

Jaya said...

Sudha kemon acho ?
Ki darun hoyeche gravy ta..delicious ..hugs and smiles

Amelia's De-ssert said...

Sudha, ar...ha... I love this cashew nut chicken, excellent and delicious. Thanks for sharing.

Miz Helen said...

Oh Sudha,
What an awesome dish, I would just love to try this recipe. Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
Come Back Soon!
Miz Helen

Olah Momma! said...

Would like to cook this recipe next time. Bookmarked it. Thank you for sharing!

Following your lovely blog. I am also inviting you to join Autumn Blog Hop 2011 at Momma's Lounge ( http://olahmomma.com/momlounge ) where you meet more mom bloggers; shout away; add your giveaways and/or blog and business links; and get featured by sharing your crafts, recipes and interesting musings. I blog at http://olahmomma.com

Thanks and have a great day!

Rettabug said...

Hello Sudha!

You have some wonderfully new (to me) & different recipes on your blog. I look forward to experimenting with a few, starting with this cashew/chicken one...it sounds delicious!

Thank you for visiting my blog & becoming a follower. I have returned the favor & am your newest follower as well.

fondly,
Rett

Sudha said...

Hello Rett,
It is such a pleasure to have you here:)Thank you so much for coming and for following me!I do hope you enjoy your stay whenever you are here and do let me know how the dish turned out.I really hope that it pleases your palate - might be a bit spicy,but should taste good:)So nice knowing you!

April @ The 21st Century Housewife said...

I love cashews - I think they are my all time favourite nut, and I use them in cooking a lot. Your recipe sounds fantastic. Lots of lovely spices - really warming for a cold winter's day. Thank you for sharing this post with the Hearth and Soul hop.

Sudha said...

Thanks so much April and so glad that you liked my dish!Cashews do add a very nutty and rich flavor to food and they are healthy and wholesome as well.Looking more to explore the nuttier side of food world:)Glad that you stopped by!

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