A Friend at First Bite

spicy cashew coconut chicken thighs

Spicy cashew coconut crusted chicken

chicken thighs encrusted with spicy cashew coconut pesto

chicken thighs encrusted with spicy cashew coconut pesto

It usually takes years to become really good friends with someone. But every once in a blue moon, you meet someone who Just Is A Friend. It’s like falling in friendship. They might be much younger or older or dissimilar is every way from you. But you feel comfortable with them right away and just appreciate the moments you have together. Thinking about them brings a smile to your face however long it’s been since you last saw them. Kurt Vonnegut would have said they’re in your karass.

Last night, I met someone in my karass. She’s younger than me but feels so much more worldly. She’d come over for dinner and I had changed the menu last minute from making my company chicken curry to baking chicken thighs in a spicy coconut cashew crust. It was just so hot and it was boiling in the kitchen.

It might have been the spicy coconut cashew crust. Or the fact that we cooked together, in my opinion, the best way to meet people. That it was because she is just one of the friendliest people might have had something to do with it. In any case, we made this chicken. This post is for her and all my amazing friends, made fast or slow. I know I don’t keep in touch often enough. But I do think of you all. Often. And my life is so rich for knowing you. I hope you all know who you are. And thank you.

Now I have a confession to make. I used a magical spice blend that I was given by the lovely lady who owned the guest house near Ooty when I was traveling around South India. And I don’t know exactly what goes into it. As best as I can tell, it is called Uduka Maasu Hudi and you can find the recipe if you scroll down a third of the way on the page. One of these days, I will have to make it for myself as I’m almost out.

But you can always use a garam masala blend or even better, mix 50% garam masala with 50% store bought South Indian sambhar blend. *

The rest is very easy. Like the best friendships.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1/3 cup cashews or 1 handful
  • 1/2 cup dessicated coconut flakes (unsweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons spice blend of your choice*
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless

Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put all the ingredients except the chicken in a food processor and process till you achieve a pesto like consistency. Smear each thigh with a generous amount of your spicy paste. Line a tray with parchment paper and place the chicken thighs on it. Bake for 40 minutes or till the juices run clear. I like to turn over the chicken after 30 minutes.

Serve with roasted broccoli.

Enjoy and here’s to good friends.

 

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3 Comments

Filed under America, India, Recipe

3 responses to “A Friend at First Bite

  1. This sounds delicious! I love the cashew coconut combination.

  2. Cascade

    Love the Vonnegut reference. 🙂
    I wonder if I could use this idea with tempeh instead of chicken… Or fish?

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