Coconut Chicken Curry with Cashews


2 lb chicken thighs, cut into bite sized chunks
Salt and Pepper to season chicken
1 tbsp ginger, grated
2 tsp garlic, grated
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp cardamom seeds
1/4 tsp allspice berries
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp coriander seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 tbsp lemon juice
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/4 cup shredded coconut, unsweetened
1 lb parsnips, peeled and cut into 2 inch sticks
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 cup onion, diced
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 inch piece cinnamon stick
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup coconut milk
Cilantro, for garnish


Season chicken with salt and pepper, in a large bowl. Add ginger and garlic and rub into meat. Toast cloves, fennel, cardamom, allspice, cumin and coriander in a dry skillet on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Grind spices and add to chicken. Add the turmeric, cayenne, and lemon juice to the mix and combine very well. Marinate at room temperature for at least 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 and place cashews on a baking sheet. Roast until lightly browned, about 8-10 minutes and allow to cool. Toast the coconut on a baking sheet as well until lightly browned, which should take about 5 minutes. Grind the coconut with 1/4 cup cashews to create a rough powder. Reserve 1/2 cup cashews for garnish.

Bring a saucepan of salted water to a simmer and add parsnips, cooking until tender, about 10 minutes.

In a heavy bottomed pot, heat oil on medium high heat and add the parsnips and saute until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. Add chicken and saute until lightly browned, then also remove. Cook onions until softened in the same pan and then add the tomato paste and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, making sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to get any browned bits. Add the cinnamon stick, chicken and coconut and cashew mixture. Lower heat to a gentle simmer and cover and cook for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender. Adjust seasonings as needed.

Stir in coconut milk and reserved parsnips. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until parsnips are heated and sauce has thickened. Serve with cashews and cilantro.

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