This Indian spiced chicken is mixed with a creamy, flavorful cilantro pesto for an easy, healthy weeknight dinner that is low carb and has big flavor!
Bright, zingy, zippy and nutty. That is what this cilantro pesto is all about.
It has this base of salty, roasty cashews that are blended with a HECK of a lot of cilantro, fresh mint, vibrant lemon and this underlying pop of jalapeno spice that will make you wonder why you have been making pesto out of basil for your whole life.
Not that there is anything wrong with basil pesto. In my book, ALL pesto is a good pesto.
But cilantro pesto with tender, juicy chunks of tomato simmered Indian chicken? It is the BEST decision.
To be honest, I think I could make Indian recipes for every single recipe that I make for you forever, and be totally happy. Give me Indian paleo chicken kebabs, chicken curry, or lentil coconut curry and I would be one well-fed, excited-about-life kinda girl. Just like cilantro is my spirit herb, I am pretty sure that Indian food is my spirit, well, FOOD.
It’s creamy and spicy with a naturally sweet tomato base, and sometimes even has this underlying rich, smooth coconut flavor that makes it a FEAST for the senses. Which makes your hungry mouth want to FEAST for the belly.
This Indian chicken is sautéed to golden brown bliss and then kissed with golden-hued, sunny and spicy turmeric, garam masala and cumin to give it this BIG flavor that pretty much just explodes all over your taste buds. Then a little bit of sweet tomato swoops onto the scene to tone the excitement down just a little bit.
Let’s not get too crazy here friends.
Just when you thought you were already on board the bus to flavor town, population Y-O-U, you are going to add most of the creamy, herby, nutty cilantro pesto that you did not even know you needed in your life until now and be forever changed.
Not even an exaggeration.
You will try it and you will make it over and over to put on Indian Spiced Chicken, but you will also put it on everything else that even comes near your mouth. My current non-chicken go-to? Roasted vegetables or salmon. <– You will not be mad if you try either option. Pinky swear.
But, back to Indian Spiced Chicken with Cashew Cilantro Pesto.
You will then put the rest of the cashew pesto on TOP of the chicken but do not mix it in. The flavor of the un-mingled mint and cilantro add this cooling swirl of freshness to the underlying base of spiced chicken and tangy tomato sauce that is pretty much just perfect.
Daaaang my internet friend. You just made a delicious, nutritious dinner that is loaded with protein, vegetables (forgot to mention the cauliflower rice situation you will need to make happen in your life) and heart-healthy, good-for-you kind of fats. Also anti-inflammatory kind of spices that are gonna taste good and do your body GOOD.
So yea. Your dinner-eating life this week?
It is looking spicy. It is looking fresh. And it is looking so DANG delicious.
Indian Spiced Chicken with Cashew Cilantro Pesto Recipe
For the Pesto:
- 1/4 cup Roasted Salted Cashews + 2 tablespoons (54g) and additional for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups Fresh Cilantro lightly packed (30g) plus additional for garnish
- 6 tablespoons Fresh Mint lightly packed (6g)
- 1 1/2 Jalapeños (whole)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt + 1/8 teaspoon
- 3 tablespoons Water
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
Place the cashews in a small food processor (mine is 3 cups) and pulse until they turn into fine crumbs. Add everything except the water and oil and pulse until broken down.
With the food processor running, stream in the water and oil until well blended, scraping down the sides as needed.
Heat the olive oil for the chicken in a large pan on medium heat. Cook the chicken until golden brown, stirring frequently, about 4-6 minutes.
Once golden, add in the garam masala, turmeric, cumin and salt and cook until fragrant, stirring constantly, about 2 minutes.
Add in the crushed tomatoes and 2/3 of the pesto. Stir until well combined. Turn the heat down to medium lower and simmer until it just begins to chicken, about 2-3 minutes.
Serve over rice of choice, garnish with more cilantro and cashews and drizzle on the remaining pesto.