Thursday, 15 February 2018

Recipe - Easy Butter Chicken without the butter :)

Easy Butter Chicken without the Butter

This is based on this BBC recipe, but I altered the ingredients because when I made it as is, I found it way too astringent. Altering the spices and adding coconut cream balanced it for me, although I have only eaten butter chicken not out of a packet once or twice, so I have no idea how it measures up to normal butter chicken.

As ever with recipes I post that are based on chicken, if you are vegetarian anything similar like Quorn or tofu would probably take the sauce well too. Having checked Google, Quorn and tofu both take marinade well :).

START THIS RECIPE THE DAY BEFORE or MORNING OF for best results - I would recommend marinating the chicken for at least half a day, overnight is even better.

With all the extras will server 3-4, with only the rice will serve 2-3
up the amount of chicken for more if necessary - there is plenty of sauce


3 skinless chicken breasts (~450g)

juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp mild chilli powder
200g (~7/8 cup) natural yogurt

The rest
2 tbsp oil (I live olive oil, but use whichever you prefer)
1 large red onion
3 cloves garlic
inch fresh ginger
1/2tsp garam masala
1 tsp fenugreek
3 tbsp tomato puree
300ml (1 1/4 cups) chicken or veg stock
250ml (~1 cup) carton of coconut cream

To serve (pick n mix)
120-150g jasmine/basmati rice (check the packet for typical serving size and cooking time)
naan bread
mango chutney or lime pickle
fresh coriander


  1. In a bowl or bag mix the marinade.
  2. Chop the chicken into bite sized pieces and add to the marinade. Seal and place in the fridge overnight, or for a good few hours. This will allow the lemon to get into the meat and the yogurt to mellow the acidity.
  3. Chop the onion finely.
  4. Mince the ginger and the garlic.
  5. Heat the oil gently in a pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger. Cook on low until the onions are translucent and soft - at least 10 mins.
  6. Add the spices and the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 mins until the mixture is fragrant.
  7. Add the stock, the chicken with the marinade and the coconut milk and allow to bubble gently and reduce to thicken the sauce.
  8. While the chicken is bubbling away, cook the rice and prepare any of the other extras.
  9. Once the sauce is reduced by about half, serve immediately with the chosen extras.

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