Black Pepper Chicken Curry

In this rich South Indian curry, the sweetness of the fried cashews complements the heat of the pepper.

© Zubin SchroffYield: 4 servings

2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 11/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced serrano or Thai chile
3/4 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup broken raw cashews
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Serve with steamed rice.

1. In a bowl, combine the coriander with the cumin, peppercorns, turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Add the chicken and rub with the spices to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. In a large deep nonstick skillet, heat 1/4 cup of the oil. Add the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the chicken, garlic, ginger, serrano chile and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is golden brown and just cooked through, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup of the coconut milk and the water, then cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the cashews and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

4. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of coconut milk and the lemon juice to the chicken and simmer, stirring. Transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with the cashews; serve hot.

Wine Recommendation:
Choose an aromatic, fruity (but not sugary) white - perhaps a Riesling, such as the 1997 Chateau Ste. Michelle Vineyard Select from Washington State. Buy Wine!

Copyright Food & Wine - Maya Kaimal

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