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Chicken Curry with Cashews

['1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter', '2 medium onions, finely chopped (2 cups)', '2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped', '1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger', '3 tablespoons curry powder', '2 teaspoons salt', '1 teaspoon ground cumin', '1/2 teaspoon cayenne', '1 (3 1/2- to 4-pound) chicken, cut into 10 serving pieces', '1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes', '1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro', '3/4 cup cashews (1/4 pound)', '3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt', 'Accompaniment: cooked basmati or jasmine rice', 'Garnish: chopped fresh cilantro']

Heat butter in a 5- to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderately low heat until foam subsides, then cook onions, garlic, and ginger, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add chicken and cook, stirring to coat, 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, including juice, and cilantro and bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 40 minutes. (If making ahead, see cooks' note, below.)
Pulse cashews in a food processor or electric coffee/spice grinder until very finely ground, then add to curry along with yogurt and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring, until sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.

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