Saffron Chicken

12:08 am on 1 December 2009


  • 50g raw cashews
  • 750g chicken thigh portions
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ Tbsp milk, warmed
  • ½ tsp Saffron threads
  • 30g Ghee (clarified butter)
  • ½ cinnamon quill
  • 2 green cardamom pods, smashed
  • 1 clove
  • 125g onions, peeled, boiled whole until tender and pureed
  • 1 tsp garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, peeled and minced
  • ½ cup thick Greek yoghurt
  • ¼ cup cream


  • coriander leaves, picked
  • fried shallots


In a bowl, place cashews, cover with water and stand for 5 minutes, then drain.

Process with a little water to form a smooth paste.

Sprinkle chicken with sea salt and set aside.

Combine milk and saffron, stand for 5 minutes to infuse.

In a saucepan, heat ghee, add cinnamon quill, cardamom and cloves, cook for 1 minute or until fragrant.

Add pureed onion, garlic and ginger, stir over medium heat until just beginning to colour.

Add chicken pieces and cook for 1-2 minutes to seal flavours into the meat, lower the heat, add saffron milk and yoghurt, cook for 5 minutes.

Add cashew paste and stir to combine, add cream, simmer for a further 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Serve on a heated platter or large bowl and scatter over the coriander and crispy shallots. 

John Hawkesby’s wine recommendation

2008 Neudorf

2008 Muddy Water Riesling Unplugged