Everyone in our house likes curry, including my toddler son, although he still hasn’t managed to get in to anything hot. Probably partly as a result, our ability to eat chili has really gone down in the past few years, as I tend to make things that we can all eat when I make Indian curries as he likes the flavors. But with fantastic non-spicy curries like this one, why worry? This fragrant chicken curry with chard, coconut and cashew is one that almost everyone can enjoy, even if you have no taste for hot food as it is not hot at all. Of course, if you do like things hot, you can add some chili and it will also be delicious.
This dish is inspired by a recipe that we have made for a number of years from what is now a slightly dogged-eared-from-lots-of-use: Nigel Slater’s 30 Minute Cookbook. I have adapted it both to make it more of a fragrant chicken curry but also to make it a bit healthier and easier to cook and eat. I have also introduced cashews, which I love in curries both for flavor and texture, and some chard which gives a nice color and the flavor is mild and works well. Plus it’s a nice way to sneak in greens.
Adaptations and simplifications
While I have used whole spices and ground them, as it makes them much more aromatic than using powder, if you don’t have the ability to grind spices then using pre-ground spices would still work. If you can’t be bothered with pureeing or don’t eat cashews, then these can be missed out, just check the thickness and amount of sauce whether you might want a little more coconut milk. If you don’t have chard, spinach could be substituted and add a little more onion since you wouldn’t have the stalks.
This is a really tasty fragrant chicken curry and pretty quick to make as well, so I hope you’ll give it a try and enjoy it as much as we all do. It’s a great dish for making more than you need as the leftovers will re-heat (or we often have them cold for lunch, mixed through with the rice, as well).
Fragrant chicken curry with chard, coconut and cashew
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 onion small or 1/2 large
- 1/2 lb chard 225g
- 1 3/4 lb boneless chicken thighs 800g, approx, 4-6 thighs depending on size
- 1 clove garlic or 2 small
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger 1in/2.5cm piece
- 3/4 cup coconut milk 175g, divided
- 1/2 cup cashews 'raw', not roasted or salted
- Warm a pan over a medium heat (I use the same pan for all steps, so ensure it's big enough; cast iron is best to dry-fry the spices), without any oil, and add the cumin, coriander and mustard seeds. Cook them until they smell fragrant and start to pop.
- Transfer them to a mortar (or spice mill), add the turmeric and grind until fairly smooth.
- Dice the onions and the stalks from the chard.
- Cook the chard leaves in some boiling water for approx 1-2minutes, until wilted. Remove and drain.
- Heat a little oil in a pan and add the onions. Cook for a couple minutes then add the chard stalks. Cook, stirring now and then, for around 5-8mins until they have softened but are not browning.
- Meanwhile, remove any fat and tough bits from the chicken and dice.
- After the onions and chard are soft, add the chicken and brown. You may need to increase the temperature a little.
- Once lightly browned, add the ground spices and grate in the garlic and ginger. Stir well.
- Add 1/2 cup of coconut milk and stir.
- Blend together the cashews and the remaining 1/4 cup coconut milk then add to the pan.
- Cook on a simmer rather than boiling for around 10 more minutes until the chicken is cooked.
- Squeeze the chard leaves of excess water, cut fairly small then add to the pan and stir through.
- Serve over rice.
Try these other Indian/Indian inspired dishes:
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