Unraveling the Secrets of Butter Chicken

Unraveling the Secrets of Butter Chicken

This healthier version of butter chicken is so creamy, smooth and satisfying, best of all its half the calories of the one you would have from a takeaway or restaurant.

I have used less than half of the fat, cream and butter than other recipes. Instead of adding sugar, I have used almonds and cashews – as nuts are a healthier way of adding both sweetness and creaminess. Finally, to achieve that beautiful buttery creamy taste one associates with butter chicken, I have used coconut oil which has a deep rich flavour.

This is a two-part recipe: 1. Marinate the chicken; 2. Make the butter chicken masala sauce: add the two together and enjoy with some plain steamed Basmati rice (zero-fat) and some fat-free yoghurt raita with cucumber. Enjoy your healthy butter chicken meal and see you next month.

 Parveen Ashraf The Spice Queen - at SaveCo Online

Parveen. X

Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time 40 minutes Serves 4 to 6 people


900G chicken thigh or breast
2 tbsp garlic puree
2 tbsp ginger puree
3 tbsp fat-free yoghurt
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp organic raw coconut oil
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp salt
¼ turmeric powder

1 large onion, finely diced
1 tbsp cashews
1 tbsp almond flakes
5 large tomatoes, diced
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp organic raw coconut oil
1 tbsp butter
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves
50ml coconut milk
1 tsp sea salt


  1. In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the marinade (apart from the oil) and mix thoroughly. Now add the chicken pieces and coat all the pieces in the lovely marinade. Cover and set aside for 2 hours minimum or for best results, overnight.
  2. In a non-stick frying pan, on a high heat, add 1 teaspoon of the coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces. You will get a nice sizzle, stir several times, cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for 10mins. Now take the lid off and stir fry on high for 5 minutes. For the final 5 mins, cook under a hot grill (turning occasionally) to give it a charcoal cooked taste and look. Set aside.
  3. To make the butter sauce: Use a large non-stick wok, add the oil and butter. Fry the onions and cook till they are translucent, now add the crushed garlic, chilli, garam masala, paprika, salt and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, keep stirring. Add the cashews, almond flakes and cook for a further 2 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a blender and process for 1 minute, till you have a smooth curry paste.
  5. Add the sauce back into the wok, cover and cook on medium for several minutes. Be careful as it may spit at this point. Then add your cooked chicken and the fenugreek leaves. Cover with the lid and simmer for a further 10 minutes.
  6. Finally turn the heat off and add the coconut milk, gently stir. Dress with a drizzle of the coconut milk before serving.

Cook the chicken from room temperature, so take it out of the fridge an hour before you cook it. If the chicken is too cold when it hits the hot pan, it will shrivel and become slightly tougher.