My healthy Butter chicken

By Alice Dore-Jones

I love having Indian food. However, It wasn’t until I watched an Indian cooking show that I came to realise how unhealthy some Indian dishes can be with their added cream and ghee. So, with the help of a recipe I found via Masterchef a few years ago I’m happy to share my take  on a healthy Butter Chicken. I think it has all the spice and flavour of a fantastic indian dish but without those hidden calories or preservatives.

Here is my adaptation:


SERVES: 3 (normally myself and husband with some leftover for a lunch the next day or if we’re hungry all of it)

PREPARATION: 20 MINS (plus 3 hours marinating time)



As always try and use organic/free range products where possible

140g (  cup) Greek-style yoghurt (low fat can be a bit watery but use that if you prefer)

3cm piece ginger, peeled and then finely grated (or just use a paste)

2  cloves garlic, crushed

2 tbs garam masala (sometimes I sprinkle a little more in for an extra kick- do this to your own taste)

1 lemon, juiced

2 tbs olive oil, plus extra, to grease pan or use coconut oil

1 cup roughly chopped coriander, plus extra leaves, to serve  (I often use the fresh herbs from tubes)

500g chicken breast, cut into 3cm-wide strips (or thigh depending on what you like to use)

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 tbs ground turmeric

1 tbs tomato paste

2 long red chillies, seeded, finely chopped (or I use sweet chilli sauce to taste or fresh chilli from the herb tubes- again!)

1 can of organic diced tomatoes

1  bunch mint, leaves picked, finely chopped (again fresh herbs or from the tube can be used)

I like to add capsicum or zucchini to give it some more good stuff and make it more filling but you don’t need to if you prefer just chicken and sauce.

(Light cream if you want to make it more like the traditional butter chicken or leave this out if you’re trying to make it a bit more healthier).


1. Combine yoghurt, ginger, garlic, 1 tbs garam masala, lemon juice and half the coriander in a large bowl, then season with salt and pepper. Add chicken and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours. (I normally do this before I leave for work so it is ready for when I come home. If your pressed for time just do it for as long as you have even 20mins beforehand will help it stick to the chicken.)

2. Preheat a lightly greased barbecue or chargrill pan over medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade and cook, in 2 batches, turning for 6 minutes or until almost cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan.

3. Now add a little coconut oil into the empty pan. Add onions, turmeric, tomato paste, chillies and remaining garam masala, and cook, stirring, for  5 minutes or until onions are soft (you can add in other vegetables if your going to do this at this point).

4. Add can of tomato and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened slightly.  Reduce heat to low, add mint and remaining coriander, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add chicken and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until sauce thickens.

5. If your adding the cream pour in the amount you want to taste.

Scatter with extra coriander and serve with Quinoa/ brown rice/ Cauliflower rice (recipe for this to come soon!).

This is going to have a more tomato based taste if you have left out the cream then a traditional Butter Chicken but to me it is a healthier take on a classic and really makes for a yummy dish. Also, leftovers always taste great the next day (if you have any!)


2 thoughts on “My healthy Butter chicken

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