Wheatless Wednesday: Cashew Chicken Curry

Indian food -- as long as you're skipping the naan or roti -- is a cuisine well-matched to going wheat-free. This cashew chicken curry from food blogger Jennifer Hill, aka, Foodess, uses two sources of protein for a rich, filling flavor. If you want a starch with it, basmati rice pairs perfectly. Enjoy!

Photo by Jennifer Hill
Cashew Chicken Curry
Serves 6-8
1 cup dry roasted cashews (salted or unsalted is fine) OR ½ cup almond butter
¼ cup ghee (or butter)
1 large onion, chopped (yielding about 1.5 cups)
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ jalapeño pepper, minced
3 tbsp garam masala
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cayenne
⅛ tsp black pepper
¾ tsp salt (plus more to taste)
10 whole green cardamom pods, cracked (or ¼ tsp ground cardamom)
2 cups diced tomatoes
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in rough 1½" pieces
1 cup water
¼ cup cream (heavy or half & half), or full-fat plain yogurt
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)

In a large pot, melt ghee or butter over medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden and caramelized, about 25 minutes (lower heat if browning quickly).

Meanwhile, in a food processor, finely grind cashew nuts to about a cornmeal consistency. Set aside.

When onions are soft and golden brown, add garlic and jalapeño; saute 1 minute. Add garam masala, cinnamon, pepper and salt and saute 1 minute more. Stir in cardamom pods and diced tomatoes, and cook until oil begins to shimmer on the surface, 3-5 minutes.

Add chicken thighs, ground cashews and water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low, cover the pot and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 25 minutes.

Uncover the pot and increase the heat until the curry thickens to desired consistency (for me, this was another 15 minutes or so of cooking). Stir in cream or yogurt, then taste and add more salt until seasoning is right (you'll know because the spices and tomato will taste vibrant, not dull or flat). Top with chopped cilantro.

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About the Author

Katherine's role as the Living editor at KCET.org keeps her running from farms to markets to restaurants to pop-up swaps all over SoCal. She's been living in and writing about this area for over a decade.
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