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Photo: Karry Hosford Photo by: Photo: Karry Hosford

Chicken Pasanda

Yogurt combines with cashew cream to replace heavy cream in this fragrant and traditional Pakistani main dish recipe. The spicy chicken is accompanied by refreshing fresh pineapple and the mellow cashew-yogurt sauce. Use the pita wedges to scoop up the remaining sauce.

Cooking Light OCTOBER 2002

  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup roasted cashews
  • 2 cups plain low-fat yogurt
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, seeded
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 6 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into thirds
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cubed fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cashews, roasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 4 (6-inch) pitas, each cut into 6 wedges


Place 1/2 cup cashews in a food processor; process until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping sides of bowl once. Add yogurt; process until well blended. Remove from processor; set aside.

Combine onion, juice, ginger, and jalapeño in a blender or food processor; process until finely chopped.

Combine coriander and next 4 ingredients (coriander through cloves) in a large zip-top plastic bag; add 1/2 teaspoon salt and chicken. Seal bag and shake to coat.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken pieces. Cook 4 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm.

Add onion mixture to pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and yogurt mixture to pan; cook 3 minutes or until heated, stirring frequently.

Spoon 1/2 cup yogurt mixture onto each of 6 plates. Top each serving with 3 chicken pieces. Sprinkle each serving with about 2 1/2 tablespoons pineapple, 1 teaspoon chopped cashews, and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Arrange 4 pita wedges on each plate.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 368
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 4.5g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 2.5g
  • Protein: 27.7g
  • Carbohydrate: 40.3g
  • Fiber: 2.9g
  • Cholesterol: 51mg
  • Iron: 3.2mg
  • Sodium: 708mg
  • Calcium: 206mg

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Chicken Pasanda Recipe