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Creamy Cashew Chicken Curry

Rated as 4.82 out of 5 Stars

"Mooove over, real cream - this curry is made rich and creamy with (cow-free) cashew cream, which is remarkably similar to heavy cream in appearance, taste, and in-sauce behavior. In fact, cashew cream actually thickens up faster. You won't need anything too exotic, besides maybe garam masala, to make this straightforward recipe. Garnish with whole cashews, lime wedges, and cilantro. Serve with rice, garlic naan, or both!"
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4 h 50 m servings 287
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Mix salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, turmeric, and garam masala together in a small bowl.
  2. Cut a chicken thigh in half lengthwise along the crease. Halve the thicker portion to end up with three 2-inch pieces. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
  3. Transfer chicken to a bowl. Add oil and about 1/2 of the spice blend; mix thoroughly. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the fridge for 4 to 12 hours.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon butter in a large pan over high heat until melted and golden brown. Add the chicken in a single layer. Cook until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Return chicken and accumulated juices to the bowl.
  5. Heat remaining butter in the same pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, remaining spice blend, tomato paste, garlic, and ginger. Cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and any accumulated juices.
  6. Combine water and cashews in a blender; blend on high speed until very smooth. Stir cashew cream into the pan. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until flavors blend, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in green onions and cilantro; taste for seasoning. Squeeze in lime juice.


  • Chef's Notes:
  • Feel free to substitute garam masala with any other prepared curry spice blends.
  • After adding the cashew cream, you can simmer this for as little as 5 to 10 minutes, or just until the chicken is cooked. Or you can reduce the heat and simmer for up to 45 minutes, depending on how thick you want your sauce.
  • Try this with my recipe for garlic naan.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 287 calories; 18.5 9.4 22 77 824 Full nutrition

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Made this exactly according to the recipe and it was AMAZING! Can't go wrong with a Chef John recipe; All of our favorites are thanks to his recipes. P.S. don't omit the lime, it really transfor...

Yes, I substituted Curry Powder bc I couldn't find Garam Masala. To the onion portion, I added celery, red pepper, tomato, shitaki and baby bella, and button mushrooms. Yes, I will make this ...

This was so incredibly tasty! I am convinced I no longer need to go to a restaurant. There is no point with Chef John's meals tasting so much better. The changes I made was to use 1 cup of w...

This was amazing! First Indian dish I have ever attempted to make. It was easy and so flavorful! I did marinate the meat overnight and I think that helped seal in the flavor. This one is a ...

I followed the recipe exactly as written, letting the chicken marinate for 6 hours. The cashew and water method is genius! It took about 45 minutes for the sauce to thicken to my liking, but tha...

Excellent blend of flavors, spices not overwhelming. Served with broccoli, good match. I don’t care for ginger so I use a sprinkling of powdered ginger. If the spices are off for you, try cutti...

My first attempt at Indian food and I followed the recipe exactly and my son who is a “food critic” said it was top notch and very authentic tasting. I was surprised it turned out so well with ...

I liked it a lot. I cut the salt and cayenne in half (1 t kosher salt, 1/4 t cayenne). It also made a lot of sauce, even when serving with rice. I think it could take up to 3 pounds of chicken.

outstanding! made as written.i only used half a lime though.the only problem I had was that I never could get the cashew cream to turn completely milky.i had to strain the milk through a sieve.w...