RECIPE: 'Clean' Butter Chicken
Updated: Nov 6, 2020
I consider myself fairly balanced when it comes to my attitude towards food these days, as I tend to eat relatively nutritiously most of the time but regularly indulge in food that probably has little to no nutritional value, but is just delicious to eat!
I love getting takeaway on a Friday or Saturday night while watching a movie as a way to treat myself and relax after a long working week - some of my favourites are Thai, Indian, Japanese, Mexican, or good old pizza. While there's absolutely nothing wrong with any of these takeaway dinners, sometimes (when I can be bothered cooking) I like to make my own versions of them at home. Although I've never quite managed to replace the real thing, I love being able to make it fresh at home, as I can pack it with some sneaky veggies and control the amount of additives, sugar and oil that goes into a typical takeaway dish.
A classic that I love to re-create is butter chicken. I've managed to make a rough recipe for a version that's lighter on the oils and fats, and as it calls for the sauce to be made from scratch, there's no nasty additives. The recipe sounds like it's complex but I just used spices I have in my cupboard already, and if I'm short for time I use frozen vegetables and microwave them and the rice.
For this 'fakeaway' you'll need:
- 1 1/3 cup plain Greek yoghurt
- 1/3 cup light cream (or alternatively use more Greek yoghurt or milk)
- 1 1/3 cup tomato passata (tomato puree)
- 2 tsp stevia (or sweet substitute e.g. maple syrup, rice malt syrup etc)
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp tumeric powder
- 2.5 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper powder
- 1.5 ground cumin
- 2/3 tbsp ginger powder
- 1 tbsp minced garlic, crushed
- 1kg chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- 1 tbsp ghee or butter, or 1 tbsp oil
- 1 cup basmati (or other) rice
- vegetables of your choice (I like to use broccoli, baby spinach and cauliflower)
- raw papadums (optional)
1. Heat the ghee (butter or oil) and garlic over high heat in a large fry pan, add the chicken and cook for around 3 minutes.
2. Mix the Greek yoghurt, light cream (if using), tomato passata, stevia (or substitute), salt, lemon juice, turmeric powder, garam masala, chilli powder, cumin, ginger in a bowl.
3. Once the chicken is partly cooked, add the sauce mix from the bowl to the pan and simmer on low heat for roughly 5 - 10 mins. If the mixture is too thick or dry, add some water or cream until it is the consistency you desire. Add more spices/salt etc to taste.
4. Cook the vegetables as desired. For a quick version, steam vegetables in the microwave.
5. If using papadums, cook them in the microwave according to the packet. Serve with cooked rice and papadums.
Notes: I used ghee which gave the dish a really authentic flavour. For a vegetarian option (like the one pictured that I made), substitute the chicken with tofu or Quorn chicken pieces. I also used microwave rice to speed up the cooking time, and bought my raw papadums from the supermarket for about $1 and cooked them in the microwave.