Simply eating

Chicken: Healthy indian butter chicken

Yes, yes, I admit it, I am a big curry fan, but I also must be honest that I find the dishes in the Indian restaurants to be very greasy and I feel the need for something a little bit healthier but also easy enough to cook (because as we all know, Indian cuisine is not famous for being the fastest in the world).

butter chicken  resized


  • 250g fat free yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almonds (ideally ground almonds, but I use my own blender to create the mixture)
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 6 cloves
  • 1/2 ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp garam masala (as fresh as possible)
  • 4 green cardamon pods
  • 1 tsp ginger pulp
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 400g canned tomatoes (i prefer to get the Italian brands, not Heinz)
  • 1 kg deboned and skinless chicken thighs (I find chicken breast quite bland for a currey)
  • 1 tbsp corn oil and 1 tbsp olive oil (no butter or ghee in my recipe, remember? it is a healthy version)
  • 2 medium onions, cubed
  • Fresh coriander is a nice to have herb, I know that you either love it or hate it. So feel free to use it to give it a final touch.

Times: 10 mins to prepare, 1 hour to marinate and about 1 hour to cook on a medium heat.

Preparation: Chop the onions, not too finely, not too chunky. Cut the chicken in cubes, I do about 2 cm sizes (3 cm max).


Prepare the spices mixture like this. Put in your blender (I use Magic Bullet) the following dry spices: bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, chili powder, salt and blend till they are a powder. Add the almonds and mix as fine as possible. then add the garlic and the ginger and blend very well. Add the tomatoes and mix. At the end add the yogurt, about 150g.  Cover the chicken with the mixture and marinate at least 1 hour if possible more.

Fry the onions until golden brown (about 2 minutes) then add the chicken marinate. Cook for about 10-15 mins, when you see that the chicken is rather cooked, remove only the meat pieces and put them in a bowl, aside, try to not get too much of the sauce. Cook the rest of the liquid with the onions for about 30 mins, till it reduces and gets darker (don’t forget to stir every once in a while). Once the curry mixture is reduced you can add the chicken back and cook it 15 mins more until it is done. If you are not sure when the meat is cooked enough then use a special thermometer that should be at 70C when you have to stop. By not cooking the chicken from beginning to the end, you are making sure it still stays juicy and it doesn’t dry out. At the end, taste it and if you find it too spicy, then you can add more yogurt.

Serve with saffron rice and salad on the side. Well worth the effort. And if you have some leftovers you can freeze them for 3 months in sealable plastic bags (don’t forget to label them with the date).



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