Chicken a la Nueces de la India (Chicken with Creamy Cashew Sauce)


The recipes in Padma Lakshmi's Tangy Tart Hot and Sweet cookbook take inspiration from her life—from growing up in South India to moving to a predominantly immigrant community in New York City to her worldwide travels as a model and TV host. Each recipe is quick and simple, with flavors from around the world, like this chicken dish she learned from her friend Carmen, a Mexican writer. Cashews (called nueces de la India in Spanish) have a silky texture when ground, creating a sweet golden sauce that envelops the chicken and is luscious enough to lick right off the plate.

Chicken a la Nueces de la India (Chicken with Creamy Cashew Sauce)
Photo: Johnny Autry
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided

  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

  • ½ cup unsalted roasted cashews

  • ½ cup finely diced shallots

  • 2 small cloves garlic, minced

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • ¼ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth

  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey

  • 1/4-1/2 cup warm water


  1. Cut chicken into 4 equal pieces; cover with plastic wrap and gently pound with a mallet or the bottom of a skillet to an even thickness. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly dredge the chicken in flour, shaking off excess. (Discard any leftover flour.) Add the chicken to the pan in a single layer and cook, flipping once, until lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a platter, cover and keep warm.

  3. Meanwhile, pulverize cashews in a blender or food processor to form a powder.

  4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add shallots and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and thyme and cook until the shallots are softened, 1 to 2 minutes more. Add broth and honey and stir until the mixture comes to a gentle boil.

  5. Reduce heat to medium-low. Slowly add the ground cashews, stirring vigorously to prevent clumping. The sauce should thicken immediately. Add water as needed to achieve the consistency of gravy. Reduce heat to low and stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

  6. Return the chicken to the pan and cook over medium-low heat until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 165°F, about 4 minutes.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

400 Calories
22g Fat
21g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 400
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 30g 60%
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 4g 20%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Vitamin A 134IU 3%
Sodium 361mg 16%
Potassium 602mg 13%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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