Dinner Tonight: Cashew Chicken Curry with Cilantro Sauce Recipe

Nick Kindelsperger

Though I was excited to find a curry recipe that only required ten ingredients a couple weeks ago, this one—also in 660 Curries by Raghavan Iyer—happens to get by with only eight.

Of course, garam masala isn't exactly a single ingredient. Technically it's a combination of a bunch of different spices, but let's not get off topic here. These eight ingredients combine to make one incredibly flavorful dish and if you're looking for a simple intro recipe into the wide world of Indian cuisine, this may be it.

Even with just a few ingredients, it's a surprisingly developed dish. The garam masala adds complexity and the cayenne brings the kick. And don't forget the whole heap of red onion—half of which is blended at the beginning of the recipe while the other half is sliced thinly and sautéed in a pan. I was a little worried it would overwhelm the dish, but it didn't. The real star is the creamy cashew and cilantro sauce, which adds most of the character to the dish and lovingly coats the sliced chicken in a rich and layered sauce.

Recipe Facts

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 2 servings

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  • 1/4 cup cashews

  • 1 red onion, 1/2 chopped, 1/2 thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, sliced into 1-inch by 3-inch strips

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Add the cashews, chopped red onion, and cilantro to a blender. Pour in 1/2 cup of water. Blend into it is a smooth puree.

  2. Pour the oil into a skillet set over medium-high heat. Toss in the sliced red onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often until lightly browned. Dump in the pureed cashew mixture, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the mixture has thickened. Most of the water should evaporate and it will turn a darker green.

  3. Toss in the chicken and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Pour in another 1/2 cup of water. Scrap up any brown bites on the bottom of the skillet. Add the salt, garam masala, and cayenne. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 6 minutes.

  5. Remove the cover, crank the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
459 Calories
26g Fat
15g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 459
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 34%
Saturated Fat 4g 19%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 832mg 36%
Total Carbohydrate 15g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 3mg 15%
Potassium 572mg 12%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)