Global Cuisine

Healthy Home Cooking: Cashew Butter Chicken

You are what you eat, and if you eat from Carla Oates’ new cookbook, you’ll be beautiful inside and out. Focusing on vegetarian and vegan cuisine and dedicating to improving overall gut health, this is one book for you. This cashew butter chicken takes the Indian comfort food to a new level.

My kids love butter chicken, and when you make it yourself you can be assured that you know exactly what’s in it. This recipe is rich and creamy and the cashews give a soft kiss of sweetness as well as being a good source of good fats, zinc, selenium and tryptophan, making it a wonderful skin- and mood-boosting dish.

Reprinted with permission from The Beauty Chef

Healthy Home Cooking: Cashew Butter Chicken

  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus marinating time
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Serving Size: 4


  • 2 pounds 3 ounces, or approximately 8 skinless chicken thigh fillets, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped roasted cashews
  • 1 large handful coriander leaves, coarsely chopped to garnish
  • cooked quinoa, to serve
Chicken Marinade
  • 1/2 cup natural yogurt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked in cold water for 4 hours
  • 1 cup coconut cream
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1 1/2-inch knob ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato passata (puréed tomatoes)
  • 2/3 cup water


For the curry
  1. To prepare the marinade, combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl. Mix well. Add the chicken and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

  2. To make the sauce, drain and rinse the cashews and place in a high-speed blender or food processor. Blend to finely chop. Add the coconut cream and blend until smooth. Set aside.

  3. Heat the ghee in a large frying pan over low heat. Cook the garlic and ginger until the garlic is softened. Add the spices and cook until fragrant. Add the passata and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cashew cream and water and gently simmer for 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, preheat a large frying pan or heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Once very hot, cook the marinated chicken pieces in batches for 2 minutes on each side, or until browned.

  5. Add the chicken to the sauce and stir to coat. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

  6. Serve the cashew butter chicken scattered with roasted cashews and coriander. Accompany with quinoa.