It is so much fun creating new recipes in my new kitchen toy, my Instant Pot. Back when I very first heard about these new fangled electric pressure cookers, there were two things I longed to make when I finally got one – cheesecake (yes, you can make a baked cheesecake in it!) and curry. The trouble with Indian food, in particular meat based curries, they most frequently benefit from a long slow cook that makes it impossible to cook after work, midweek. But with a pressure cooker, you can reduce the cooking time dramatically and have melt in the mouth Cashew Chicken Curry in under half an hour, tops!
Chicken thighs are so much more flavourful than chicken breast and the extra fat makes them very tender. You can’t, however, flash cook them as you can with breast meat as they are far too tough. Marinating overnight in a yogurt and curry paste mixture will begin to tenderise them and then cooking for a mere 10 minutes in the Instant Pot will have them yielding to your spoon and tender as you like. Using my All Purpose Curry Paste is a good starting point for a homemade curry as there aren’t too many spices or too much heat – you can tweak it to your own tastes easily. I’ve added a couple of gnarly black cardamoms which are a very different animal to their spindly, pale jade coloured green relatives and they are a prominent flavour in this curry. I use bay leaf which enhances the almost minty flavourful of the black cardamom and leaving the chillies whole gives a little warmth but certainly not heat if you like your curries milder. Almond milk adds to the nuttiness rather taking over the whole dish as coconut milk can. Pressure cooking whole, blanched cashews make them so soft and buttery they are a real treat – little nuggets with more bite than the chicken but so much more pleasurable to eat than when they are dried and raw. I tend to have bags of cooked rice ready to blitz in the microwave (I will blog about that in due course) but for now, simply make some on the hob when the curry is cooking or try your hand at my delicious Garlic & Coriander Naan Bread for a real treat.
- 6-7 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tbsp curry paste (I encourage you to try mine!)
- 3 tbsp Greek yogurt
- For the curry
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely sliced into half moons
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 whole black cardamoms
- 3 green finger chillies
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4 tbsp (rounded) whole, blanched cashews
- 250ml unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tbsp cashew butter (optional)
- 2-4 tbsp fresh coriander chopped
- Salt to taste
- Mix the curry paste and yogurt together well then rub into the chicken. Refrigerate for at least an hour but most often, I leave them in the fridge overnight.
- Place the Instant Pot into sauté mode and add the oil. Fry the onions until they soften and start to colour then add in the bay leaf and whole green finger chillies.
- Sprinkle over the garam masala then add the chicken thighs and all their marinade. Cook for a couple of minutes to colour the first side then flip over, add the whole cashews and almond milk.
- Place the lid on, ensure the nozzle is set to "sealing" and using manual mode, set 10 minutes.
- Do a quick release when finished cooking, take the lid off and place the IP into sauté once again.
- Break the chicken thighs up with a large slotted spoon then remove from the pot leaving the watery sauce behind. Stir frequently and reduce to your desired texture - at this point you can stir in the optional cashew butter and beat it well to help thicken the sauce.
- When reduced add the chicken back in and sprinkle with coriander before serving over rice*.
- *= I batch cook brown basmati rice and freeze it, then just give it 4 minutes int he microwave on high. Or you can cook some rice on the hob as the curry cooks in the Instant Pot so they are ready at the same time. Or just serve it with naan! Recipe also on the blog 😉
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