Almond curry chicken

You know that one half pound bag of slivered almonds you bought a year ago to make a bougie salad, but only used a “sprinkle” or a “handful” of them before lightly tossing the salad in some light-and-bright-yet-flavorful vinaigrette?

Right so I found this said bag neatly wedged into a clear plastic container which I recently bought to reorganize my pantry. During said reorganization, I made a mental list of supplies which I had to use up in the next month, or else.

Let’s be real, “or else” probably just meant “or else it will be here during the next reorg in 2020”. But the truth is, I was sick of looking at this bag over and over again every time I looked in the pantry. It was daring me to use it in some other way, but I couldn’t be bothered when I could just as easily choose a pack of pasta and a simple can of tomatoes for sauce.

Until now. I was inspired by Meena Pathak’s Indian cookbook which was gifted to me by a dear friend years ago (Hi Aggs!), now stained and ruffled from years of use and misuse. To my great relief, she talks about an almond curry chicken which I simply could not resist trying for myself. As usual, I made swaps as I felt fit and messed with the quantities as I saw fit. The result was an irresistibly creamy, savory goodness which made it well worth the wait.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz slivered almonds

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 large red onion, sliced

  • 5 cloves garlic, grated

  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated

  • 3 thai red chilis, diced

  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom

  • 1 tsp ground cloves

  • 2 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • Salt

  • 1/4 cup half and half

  • 1 tsp garam masala

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Prep:

Soak almonds in water for 2-3 hours to soften. Puree in the food processor, adding water as needed to grind the almonds and reach a semi-gritty texture (nope, didn’t go to culinary school). Heat oil in a large pot and toast cumin seeds, then add the onion and cook until it softens, about 4-5 minutes on low heat. Next add the grated garlic and ginger. Cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant, then add the chilis and the cardamom, clove, and cumin powders. Saute for 2 minutes , then add the chicken to the pot and sear both sides. Pour in the almond puree and add the sugar and salt. Mix well and coat the chicken evenly in the sauce. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes on medium heat. Turn off the heat and add the heavy cream, garam masala, and cilantro. Serve with hot rice, naan, or in tacos.

Almond curry chicken

Almond curry chicken