Coconut Curry Chicken

You can make the dish ahead, and refrigerate for up to two days.


  • 1/4 cup whole unsalted cashews
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Spread the cashews in a pie plate and bake for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly toasted. Transfer to a plate to cool.
  3. Lightly season the chicken with salt.
  4. In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until smoking.
  5. Add the chicken and cook over moderately high heat until golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes per side.
  6. Transfer the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat to moderate.
  7. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat until smoking.
  8. Add the mustard seeds and cook for about 1 minute, or until they stop popping.
  9. Add the cumin seeds, coriander and curry powder, and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  10. Add the onion, ginger and garlic, and cook until the onion softens, about 10 minutes; if the mixture seems dry, add up to 1/4 cup of water to prevent sticking.
  11. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low.
  12. Return the chicken to the skillet and simmer until cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  13. Stir in the peas and cook for 1 minute.
  14. Transfer the curry to a bowl, sprinkle with the cilantro and cashews and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Food & Wine magazine - December 2000

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