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This creamy cashew chicken recipe is completely dairy-free (expect for the butter), but that’s not why you should make it. You should make this simple curry because it’s so rich and satisfying that you won’t even care that it’s better for you, and possibly the cows.


It really is pretty remarkable how similar the cashew cream is to regular heavy cream in appearance, taste, and in-sauce behavior. In fact, cashew cream actually thickens up faster than cream, which usually has to be reduced a bit before it will coat the meat.

As far as the rest of the ingredients go, there’s nothing too exotic, except maybe for the garam masala, which in case you’re wondering, translates to “hot spice.” There are many variations, but if you can’t find one, the most common ingredients are cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, mace, dried chilies, sesame seeds, mustard seeds, bay leaves, and turmeric; just in case you want to whip up a batch of your own.


Speaking of spices, how much you should use in this is a very personal thing. Below you’ll see what I went with, which I thought was on the fairly mild side, so feel free to add more. Also, the salt in our dry marinade does a pretty good job of seasoning the chicken, but you’ll probably need more as it cooks in the sauce, so be sure to check. Of course, the hardest thing about this recipe is deciding whether to serve it with rice, garlic naan, or both, but I’m sure you’ll figure that out when you give this a try, which will hopefully be very soon. Enjoy! 


Ingredients for 4 large portions Creamy Cashew Chicken:
For the Spice Mix:
(use a little more than half to marinade the chicken, and the rest to add to the sauce)
2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
1 1/2  teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
2 teaspoons paprika (hot and/or smoked would also work well)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 generous teaspoons garam masala, or other prepared “curry powder” blends

For the Cashew Cream:
3/4 cup whole roasted cashews
2 cups cold water

For the rest:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs (mixed with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and spice blend, and marinated for 4 to 12 hours)
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped or sliced
rest of the reserved spice blend
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 finely minced garlic cloves
1 tablespoon finely minced ginger
1 cup chicken broth
all the prepared cashew cream
1/3 cup sliced green onions
1/3 cup freshly chopped cilantro
freshly squeezed juice of one lime, plus extra wedges for service

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