Chicken, Coconut & Cashew Nut Curry


This recipe belongs to my friend Maria. She is a fantastic cook and has a real love for ethnic food.


  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 heaped tablespoon garam masala
  • a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 ml ( fl oz) vegetable oil
  • 1.25 kg (2 lb 12 oz) boned and skinned chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 45 g (½ cup) desiccated coconut
  • 70 g (½ cup) roasted, unsalted cashew nuts, cut in half
  • 250 g (1 cup) plain greek yoghurt


Heat a large non-stick saucepan over high heat. Add the coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, garam masala and black pepper. Stir-fry for about a minute, or until you can really smell the spices. Tip out of the pan onto a plate and set aside.

Heat the oil in the saucepan and brown the chicken with the onions. Add the spice mix and stir until you can smell the perfume, making sure it doesn’t stick. Season with salt. Add the coconut and 500 ml (2 cups) water and bring to the boil.

Lower the heat, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring now and then. Add the cashews and cook for another 10 minutes or so. If it seems like the curry needs more liquid, add a little more hot water. You should have a thick sauce. Stir in the yoghurt, turn the heat down to minimum and simmer for a minute or so, without allowing to boil. Serve with rice with butter and lemon, and the carrot and cardamom salad.