Butter chicken (without the butter!)

I love Indian food but it doesn’t always agree with me.  This version of the classic dish Butter Chicken is lighter but has all the flavour and beneficial herbs and spices of the authentic dish.  And compared to the canned versions available, it’ free of preservatives and additives.  Very warming for a cold winter day!


  • 2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 lb boneless chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup of milk or milk-alternative (I use plain almond milk)


On high heat add oil and onions and saute until golden brown.  Add garlic and ginger, reduce heat to medium and cook 2 minutes.  Add tomato paste and cumin seeds and cook 30 seconds. 

Reduce heat to low and add garam masala, brown sugar, turmeric and salt and cook for 2 minutes.  Add chicken and cook 5 to 7 minutes.  Add milk and cook until chicken is fully done, about 5 minutes. 

Serve with brown rice and a variety of vegetables. 

Modified from “Bal’s No-Butter Chicken Recipe” in her fantastic cookbook “Everyday Indian”