I totally adore East Indian food! One of my most favorite dishes is Butter Chicken. In order to serve this delectable Eat Indian dish to my family I had to create a way to create a dairy & gluten free recipe that everyone could enjoy.
Butter Chicken recipes are typically heavy in both butter & calories. The dish originated in northern India, in Amritsar, to be exact. Legend has it that chefs there made chicken tikka with heavy amounts of butter to stay true to their Punjabi roots. But they didn’t stop there: They added more butter as a garnish and called it butter chicken (or murgh makhani).
My son in law, Richard Love, is completely brilliant at creating sauces, among other things. His Butter Chicken recipe is dairy free & everyone loves it.
My recipe for Dairy Free Butter Chicken has borrowed ideas from Richard plus added some extra spices of my own.
This recipe is perfect for my clients and readers who are wishing to lose some inches this year as well. It is just as rich, but less calorie dense than many traditional Butter Chicken recipes.
Here’s the re-created recipe:
Dairy Free Butter Chicken
For the chicken marinade:
- 8 boneless and skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 cup coconut yogurt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
For the sauce:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 1 large onion, sliced or chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced or finely grated
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 14 oz (400 g) can diced tomatoes
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder (add more to make it hotter)
- 1/2 teaspoons sea salt (or to taste)
- 1 cup coconut milk
In a bowl, combine chicken with all of the ingredients for the chicken marinade; let marinate for 1hour minutes to an hour (overnight is even better).
Heat oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add chicken pieces, a few at a time. Fry until browned for only 3 minutes on each side. Set aside and keep warm.
Heat vegan butter in the same pan. Fry the onions until they start to sweat (about 6 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add ground coriander, cumin and garam masala. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
Add crushed tomatoes, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens.
Stir the coconut milk through the sauce. Add the chicken with juices back into the pan and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes until chicken is cooked through and the sauce is thick and bubbling.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with fresh basmati rice or cauliflower rice (for low carb)
OPTIONAL: To thin out the sauce, add a couple tablespoons of water, if required
SERVE WITH: This Butter Chicken recipe is delicious served with some fresh broccoli & carrots. Alternately, fresh broccoli is not available serve with carrots & frozen green peas