Hats off to Bal Arneson, one of our new favorite Indian cookbook authors, for creating such a creamy, savory sauce from a handful of ingredients. You could toss in fresh spring peas to make this a one-pot meal.
The dish tastes good as cold leftovers; a night spent in the refrigerator heightens the flavors.
Serve with instant brown rice and steamed or sauteed sugar snap peas.
Servings: 4 - 6
- 4 to 5 medium cloves garlic
- 1 or 2 ripe tomatoes
- 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers
- 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon cumin seed
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup creamy almond butter (see NOTE)
Finely chop the garlic to yield 2 tablespoons. Core, then coarsely chop the tomato(es) to yield 1 cup. Drain the roasted red bell peppers, then coarsely chop to yield 1 cup. Trim any excess fat from the chicken, then cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the oil shimmers. Stir in the garlic, fennel seed, cumin seed (crush them first, if desired) and the coriander; cook for 5 seconds, then add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the tomato(es), roasted red bell peppers and almond butter; reduce the heat to low and stir to incorporate. Cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked through.
NOTE: To make your own almond butter, spread whole raw almonds on a baking sheet. Lightly toast in 350-degree oven until thoroughly warmed through, then immediately transfer to the bowl of a food processor. Season with salt to taste, if desired; puree for about 5 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add slightly warmed (in the microwave) grapeseed or olive oil; puree for 3 to 5 minutes to form a smooth butter.
Adapted from “Bal’s Quick and Healthy Indian,” by Bal Arneson (Whitecap, 2011).
Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.
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