This thick, nutty curry from Camellia Punjabi's cookbook 50 Great Curries of India is made from ground spices and cashews.
When grinding the spices and nuts, make certain you reduce everything to a fine paste; otherwise, the curry will appear curdled. Serve it with rice seasoned with lemon zest.
Chicken and cashew nuts in black spices
Start to finish: 1 hour
4 ounces grated unsweetened coconut
12 cloves garlic
1-by-1/2-inch piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
4 whole dried red chilies
3-inch cinnamon stick
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 cup cashew nuts
5 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
Salt, to taste
2 1/4-pound chicken, skin removed, cut into 8 pieces
In a large, dry skillet over low, combine the coconut, garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, cloves and cinnamon. Toast for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the onion and a 1/4 cup of the cashews. Toast for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
Turn off the heat and leave to cool. Once the mixture is cool, transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 to 1 cup of water and process until finely ground. Transfer the mixture to a small bowl.
In the food processor or blender, combine e cup of the remaining cashew nuts and about 2 tablespoons of water. Process to a paste, then set aside.
In a large saucepan over low, heat the oil. Add the spice mixture and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes. Add the ground cashew nuts and salt, then cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
Increase heat to medium, then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of water, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for another 10 minutes.
Add the remaining cashew nuts and continue to cook until the chicken is done, about another 5 minutes.