A rainy day is one of my favorite kind of days; it refreshes us and creates in us a desire to comfort ourselves, and to curl up with a warm and fragrant bowl of cashew chicken curry.
As if right on wonderful, perfect queue, the precious raindrops just began to fall from the sky as I sat down to write.
Ah, how I love the sound of the rain.
It often begins with just those few initial, intermittent drops that fall, creating a sound on the leaves and pavement like that of Rice Krispies in milk, soft and gentle, building in sound and strength until an even and earth-quenching downfall finally arrives moments later.
The rain in the spring…what a wonderful way to wash away the little bit of grime and residue that has, perhaps, been leftover from the winter; what a way to clean the dust and to clear the eyes so that when the warming sun comes out once again, one can see with a new clarity and sharpness that which surrounds and sustains.
A day like this is perfect for a warm and soothing bowl of mildly spicy cashew chicken curry spooned over some fragrant basmati rice to warm the soul and to give comfort and pleasure; it’s perfect companion is a hot cup of dandelion tea with a bit of honey and lemon to detoxify from within and open the mind, and for the mini vaporizer to be filled with fresh water and a few drops of lavender oil to relax and replenish, and pamper just a bit.
That’s what a cool and mild spring rain can inspire, as it generously and mercifully comes down and washes everything which it falls upon, washes us, so that we feel lighter and more vibrantly beautiful once it passes and we come out into a new brightness.
It raps on the windows, and flows down the street.
It offers a fresh start once it has passed, with fresh scents and fresh air, creating in us a desire to breath in just a little deeper, and exhale a bit more slowly and deliberately.
I’m so grateful for this spring rain that decided to come and visit us.
I’m grateful for what it infuses every living thing with, for how it soothes us, and for how it cleanses us all while quenching our thirsty souls, preparing them for what life has in store.
Taste what’s good and pass it on.
Curried Cashew Chicken
by Ingrid Beer
Yield: Serves 4-6
• 1 teaspoon curry powder
• ½ teaspoon ground coriander
• ½ teaspoon turmeric
• ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
• ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
• ¼ teaspoon fennel seed
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter), or 2 tablespoons butter and 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 2 medium-large white onions, cut into sixths (or quartered) and sliced
• 6 cloves garlic, pressed through garlic press
• 1 whole tube tomato paste (roughly 4 ounces)
• 1 ¼ – 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into tiny pieces
• 1 cup warm chicken stock
• 1/3 cup roughly chopped cashews
• ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
-In a small ramekin, mix together all of the spices beginning with the curry powder up to and including the black pepper, and set aside this spice mixture.
-Place a large, heavy pan or braiser over medium-high heat, and add in the clarified butter; once the butter is hot, add in the sliced onions and saute those for about 8-10 minutes, or until softened and a a very pale golden color.
-Sprinkle in the spice mixture and add in the garlic, and stir to combine; then, add in the tomato paste and stir that in until everything is well coated and aromatic; add in the chicken pieces plus a good pinch of salt, and stir to coat the chicken.
-Add in the chicken stock, stir, and bring the mixture to a simmer; reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the flavors melded.
-Finish by stirring in the cashews and the cilantro, and check to see if any additional salt/pepper is needed; serve over basmati rice.