Creamy Indian Cashew Chicken – Madison Eats Food Tours
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Creamy Indian cashew chicken

Creamy Indian Cashew Chicken

I love the versatility of cashews. In fact, I first remember having cashew ice cream years ago at a store in Tucson, AZ and marveling at the creamy texture, mild flavor and silky mouth feel. Okay, random botanical fact time: did you know that cashews are in the same plant family as poison ivy, and mangoes, too? But most people do not react to the fruits of these trees as they would the leaves of poison ivy or oak. Another random fact: the fruit of the cashew is so delicious! What we typically eat is the seed, roasted to kill any allergenic oils, and salted for flavor.

I do love the roasted seeds, but I also am a fan of cashew butter, a nice alternative to peanut butter on toast. I recently bought Yumbutter’s limited edition cashew butter which is made with just a hint of cardamon, cinnamon and maca. And I also got a membership to Costco, so I came home with about 1,000 chicken drumsticks. And…I got a brand new All-Clad skillet for Christmas. You see, the perfect trifecta. What to make? Indian Cashew Chicken! I made this version from Cooking Light and it was delicious. I substituted Yumbutter’s Be Present cashew butter for the toasted cashews, and voila, the perfect blend of creamy, savory, nutty and hearty. A great dish for a cold winter day. And really, you only need about 8 chicken drumsticks, or the equilvalent.

Indian Cashew Chicken (from Cooking Light Global Kitchen)


2/3 cup cashews, toasted

2/3 cup fat-free Greek-style yogurt

1/4 cup tomato paste

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces (about 14 ounces)

2 (8-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

Cooking spray

2 3/4 cups finely chopped onion (2 large)

2 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed

1 (2-inch) cinnamon stick

2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 cup organic tomato puree

1 teaspoon Hungarian sweet paprika

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons half-and-half (**I omitted this)

Chopped fresh cilantro (optional) (**I only had kale)


  1. Combine first 9 ingredients in a blender or food processor; process until smooth. Combine nut mixture and chicken in a large bowl; cover and refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add onion, cardamom, and cinnamon stick to pan; cover and cook 10 minutes or until onion is golden, stirring often.
  3. Add chicken mixture to pan; cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in broth, tomato puree, paprika, and salt, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook 1 hour or until thick. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Discard cinnamon stick. Garnish with fresh cilantro, if desired.