Better Butter Chicken…..

Posted on by Sarah

We are big fans of Indian cuisine, but I will admit, I have always been a bit frightened of trying to make any of our favorite dishes.  The flavors of India are pretty complex, and a lot can go into making a dish just right and I simply don’t have that kind of time.  Well, I decided to throw caution to the wind and after looking at some pretty complicated recipes for Butter Chicken or “Murgh Makhani” I went to my local health food store and purchased a few of the spices that seemed essential in hopes of making my own paleo version. I added coconut milk, not traditionally found in this dish, and stuck to a smaller list of ingredients then what is normally used.  The end result?  My family was freakishly impressed and my 6 year old even proclaimed that this was the BEST Butter Chicken he ever had.  Maybe he was bribed by his dad, or maybe he was being sincere but either way, if you are feeling adventurous and are tired of the same ol’ chicken, this recipe is for you!!

Better Butter Chicken

2 1/2 lbs boneless chicken thighs

1 red onion diced

3 tbsp coconut oil

6 oz can tomato paste

½ can coconut milk

½ tbsp crushed garlic

½ tsp cardamom powder

½ tsp coriander powder

1 tsp fenugreek powder

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

4 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

Cut the chicken thighs into bite size pieces and set aside. In a large skillet or soup pot, heat the coconut oil over medium heat and add the diced onion and saute until translucent.  Turn your heat down to low and to the onion and oil mixture, add the crushed garlic, cardamom, coriander, fenugreek, and chili powder and stir well to make a paste.  Add the tomato paste to the onions and spices and stir, this mixture will be very thick.  Turn your heat back up to medium and add the coconut milk and salt.  Use a whisk to blend the tomato paste spice mixture and coconut milk together into a thick sauce.  Bring the sauce to a simmer and add the chicken.  Return the sauce and chicken to a simmer, turn down to medium low, cover and cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the chicken is done all the way through – make sure you stir occasionally during the cooking process. After the chicken is cooked, add the ghee and mix into the sauce until melted.  Serve the chicken over steamed red chard or any other green of your choice.


spacer Print spacer PDF
This entry was posted in Chicken, Dinner, Food, News and tagged crossfit food, paleo blog, paleo blogs, paleo butter chicken, paleo diet, paleo diet recipes, paleo indian recipes, paleo recipe blogs, paleo recipes, paleo recipes blog, sarah fragoso by Sarah. Bookmark the permalink.

47 thoughts on “Better Butter Chicken…..

  1. spacer emma on said:

    YUMMMMMMM!!! So good to make a curry that tastes amazing but with fewer spices as can get so complicated and take forever! Butter chicken rocks and tastes awesome with coconut milk spacer

  2. spacer Natalie on said:

    Where did you get those spices? S&S, raleys? Also where can you get ghee?

  3. spacer Rebecca on said:

    Thanks for the recommendation! I love Indian food too. You should try this one – a Madhur Jaffrey favorite. My now husband cooked it for me 15 years ago when he made me dinner for the first time (aww). We still love it. We’re not from the States tho, and have found the chicken here may give off a lot of water. Feel free to let the sauce boil longer to a paste consistency if your chicken makes it watery (we just use boneless skinless chicken breasts in the recipe). Also the original recipe just calls for regular red peppers, not pickled. You should also cut WAY back on the oil – only a couple of tablespoons is really necessary…

    spacer Rebecca

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Thanks Rebecca for sharing this recipe, it sounds great and I can’t wait to try it!!

  4. spacer Sarah on said:

    Hey Natalie! I buy my spices from S&S produce and I get the ghee there as well!

  5. spacer April on said:

    Thanks for this recipe!! I am going to make this tomorrow and will be attempting to make cauliflower rice to go with it. spacer

  6. spacer Liz on said:

    The Indian spice shop by me only had the fenugreek seeds. Do you think I can use them as is or should I try grinding them in a coffee grinder?

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Hey Liz! I would recommend grinding the seeds first.

  7. spacer Krista on said:

    Love this recipe, tried it last night with cauliflower rice and it was delicious!!!!!!

  8. spacer Cupboard Love on said:

    Oooh, this looks good. Indian food is the one thing I really miss on my Paleo diet – I grew up eating it and even know, sometimes just have to have some. I am totally going to try this!

  9. spacer Sasank on said:

    Hi i am from India.I am astonished to see you people cook this dishes.Here is a good advice,you can add vegetable oil instead of coconut oil.Coconut oil is a bit heavy for stomach so it can leave you will upset stomach where as vegetable oil is good.Yes don’t forget to add Coriander Leaves when you are about to serve.

    I am adding a mint chutney recipe with my post try it with butter chicken,you will love it-

    For : Many

    Prepration time: 5 mins

    coriander leaves 1 bunches
    fresh mint, leaves only 1/2 bunch
    green chillies 4
    Garlic 4
    Sugar 1/2 Tablespoon
    tamarind paste 1/2 tablespoon
    lemon juice 1 tablespoon


    How to cook:

    * Grind the mint leaves, green coriander, green chillies, garlic in grinder.
    * Now add salt, and sugar to the paste
    * After that add the tamarind paste or lemon juice into it
    * Mix it well.

    Do reply back,madam.

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Hi Sasank!
      Thank you so much for your input and for the chutney recipe, it sounds delicious! I hope I can find tamarind paste here locally and I’ll probably sub the sugar with a bit of orange juice – but I can’t wait to try it. When I do I’ll let you know! Thanks again!

  10. spacer Kyle on said:

    Would using regular butter work instead of ghee?

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Hey Kyle,
      Regular butter would work just fine!

  11. spacer Evelyn on said:

    I just made this dish and it rocks!! I actually could loose the ghee and add a habanero! For me spice is everything. Very easy and filling, I just started the paleo thing a week ago and I am sick of eating broccoli and chicken! Thanks, the pizza is next. E

  12. spacer Michael on said:

    My wife just made this for us tonight and it was awesome! Thank you so much for this recipe. The red chard is one of our new favorites!

  13. spacer Yvie on said:

    OMG … I made this tonight and I wasn’t so sure how “good” it would come out. 1, I had to make it with chicken breasts because that’s what I had on hand. 2, I didn’t have cardamom and used substituted that with an equal ratio of nutmeg & cinnamon. I also made my own ghee for this. Holy Cow!!! This is so freaking delicious!!! I just had some with cauliflower rice and wow … so good. Thanks for sharing this!!!

  14. spacer Ollie on said:

    Stupid question- am I cooking this with the meat still on the bones? Thanks!

    BTW, I just found this website, and I absolutely love it! It is one of the best paleo websites I’ve found.

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Hey Ollie! Not a stupid question at all! I used boneless chicken thighs but you can for sure use meat still on the bone, it would probably be more flavorful, you just might have to cook it a few minutes longer is all. Let me know how it turns out!

  15. spacer Chris on said:

    I am new to this and this may be a stupid question, but what is califlower rice?

    • spacer Sarah on said:

      Hi Chris! Not a stupid question at all. So, for cauliflower “rice”, steam a head of cauliflower and then using a potato masher or in a food processor mash until the cauliflower is the consistency of rice. I add organic butter, a little salt an