Sometimes I get my inspiration to try a new recipe in the strangest places. I was at Whole Foods sampling some Rainforest Nut Butter with Coconut (made by Proudly Canadian, Nuts to You Nut Butter Inc.), made with Brazil nuts, cashews and coconut pieces. There was a recipe handout on the sample table which looked intriguing and it was a winner. Now I get to share the recipe with you. You can find a variety of this company’s nut butters in the organic section of your regular supermarket, and at natural food stores and you can exchange the nut butter used in this recipe for some of the others available.
Although the recipe could have been made with cubed chicken, I decided to go with paneer, Indian cheese and peas, a favourite combination for me. The ingredients are coconut milk, strained tomatoes, peas, paneer and Rainforest Nut Butter with Coconut. Along with a quartered onion, cinnamon sticks, curry powder, whole black peppercorns, salt and bay leaves, I had all these ingredients in my fridge, pantry or freezer (I keep the paneer block frozen; it thaws perfectly in the fridge overnight).
Stir in the coconut milk, reduce heat and continue simmering for about 10 minutes. Add the peas, and after a couple more minutes, add the paneer and make sure all the pieces are coated with the curry sauce. Carefully fold in the nut butter and simmer until everything is heated through.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve over rice or noodles. Fragrant and delicious. As the weather cools, this meal with keep you warm from the inside out. Enjoy!
Rainforest Nut Coconut Curry
1 1/2 lbs skinless, boneless chicken breast, cubed (OR 1 package of paneer cheese, about 400 grams, cubed + 1 cup frozen peas)
2 tbsp. oil
1-2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
5-6 whole black peppercorns
2-3 bay leaves
1 large onion, quartered
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes or strained tomatoes (passata)
2 tbsp. curry powder
1/2-1 tsp. salt, or to taste
1 can coconut milk (400 ml)
1/4 cup Nuts to You Rainforest Nut Butter with Coconut
2 tbsp cilantro chopped, to garnish
- In a food processor, purée onion, tomatoes, curry powder and salt into a paste.
- In a large pot, heat oil to medium-high. Add cinnamon sticks and peppercorns. Gently sauté for one minute until fragrant. Add bay leaves and sauté for a few seconds. Reduce heat to medium and add onion-tomato purée. Stir until reduced to a thick paste. This will take 10-15 minutes. Take care not to burn.
- Add chicken, coat well with paste. Sear chicken in pot until it is cooked through. (If using paneer: Do not add at this stage, skip to next step)
- Stir in coconut milk. Reduce heat and gently simmer for 10 minutes. If sauce gets too thick, add water to thin. (if using paneer, add peas and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add paneer and coat with curry sauce)
- Gently fold in Nuts to You Rainforest Nut Butter with Coconut.
- Garnish with cilantro. Serves 4.