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Creamy Curry Chicken & Rice

Try a restaurant-quality recipe your family will love. Creamy Curry Chicken & Rice fills the kitchen with a fragrant promise of deliciousness for dinner.

serves 6 to 8

3 cups water
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon saffron, crushed
1-1/2 cups uncooked basmati rice
1 3-inch stick cinnamon
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon canola or light olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 serrano chili, seeded and minced
1/2 cup dried cherries, chopped if large, or use cranberries
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup fresh cilantro

In a medium saucepan, bring water, 1 teaspoon of the salt and the saffron to a boil. Add rice and cinnamon stick to pan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Discard cinnamon stick and set rice aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and sauté 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan; cover and keep warm. Add onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt to pan.

Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook onion 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add curry, ginger, cardamom, red pepper, garlic and serrano; cook 3 minutes until fragrant, stirring frequently. Add dried cherries and stir in yogurt; cook 3 minutes or until mixture thickens slightly. (Nonfat yogurt will curdle but will be absorbed into the rice so it’s not noticeable.) Add chicken and cook about 4 minutes until thoroughly heated. Add cooked rice and stir well to combine. Garnish with chopped cashews and cilantro and serve. 

Note: If you are trying Meatless Mondays, substitute a can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans for the chicken. Equally delicious and no need to cook in advance before adding them to the dish.