A Somewhat Lighter Butter Chicken

June 20, 2016 • Posted in: Indian, Lighter, chicken, Easy Dinners

Instead of coconut milk and cream, this recipe uses coconut water and greek yoghurt to attain a similarly tasty result. The original, from DH, calls for more coconut water than listed. It's been reduced here, but it could potentially be reduced even further.


  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 cup (75g) unsalted roasted cashews, chopped, to serve
  • 1 cup (280g) natural greek-style yoghurt, plus extra to serve
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 kg chicken thighs, trimmed and chopped into 4cm pieces
  • 1/4 cup EVOO
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500mL) coconut water
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves
  • 1 long red chilli, thinly sliced
  • Baby spinach leaves, to serve
  • Steamed brown rice, to serve


  1. Place the garlic, cinnamon, cardamom, onion, ginger, garam masala, cashew, yoghurt and salt in a food processor and process to a smooth paste. Place the marinade and chicken in a large bowl and mix to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add a third of the chicken, reserving the marinade, and cook for 2-3 minutes each side or until lightly charred. Set aside and repeat with remaining oil and chicken.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, return the chicken to the pan and add the reserved marinade, tomato, coconut water and cinnamon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Top with the coriander, chilli, spinach, extra yoghurt and cashews, and serve with rice.
Preparation time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

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