The first time I had butter chicken I was in Washington, DC at my friend’s parents’ house. I was thrown off a bit by the name because I actually imagined chicken covered in butter…which actually doesn’t sound too bad.
But I soon learned that it was better than I could have ever imagined. And it introduced me to a new ingredient, ghee, which is where the “butter” name comes from I imagine.
The traditional recipe is pretty calorie dense, and while it may be worth every bite, it may not (necessarily) push you closer to your wellness goals. Here’s my calorie-conscious version that takes about 15 minutes.
Healthy Butter Chicken Recipe
- 1 lb chicken breasts (chunks)
- spray olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 2 tablespoons ghee
- 1/3 cup red onion, diced or chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger (fresh or powder)
- 1/2 tablespoon garlic (minced or powder)
- 14 oz crushed tomatoes
- 2/3 cup coconut cream
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 5 tablespoons coriander
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon (or garam masala)
- chopped cilantro
- Set a nonstick skillet on medium heat and spray with olive oil or coconut oil.
- Add the chicken and cook it in the skillet for about 5 minutes, until the outside is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
- Using the same skillet, add ghee and let it melt. Then, toss in onion, ginger and garlic. Let it cook for about 2 minutes and be careful not to let the garlic burn.
- Add the seasonings and “bloom” them or gently sauté them in order to boost the flavors. After about 1 minute (or until the spies are fragrant), add the chicken chunks, coconut cream and freshly squeezed lemon.
- Stir and cook for about 2 minutes then add the tomato. Cover and simmer on low for about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Season to taste with sea salt & pepper and garnish with cilantro.
Approximate macros for 1 of 4 servings:
288 calories, 9g carbs, 16g fat, 29g protein, 2g fiber, <1g sugar