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Healthy Butter Chicken

Healthy Butter Chicken

Creamy butter chicken recipe

This healthy butter chicken recipe is easy to make and gives you a tasty mild curry, known as murgh makhani in Hindu.

This meal is great served with some pilau rice and some Indian flatbread (here I made some chapatis) or naan.


marinating chicken

Chicken in marinade


This dish was reportedly invented by accident when someone mixed some leftover tandoori chicken in a tomato gravy. It has become a big favourite, especially in the UK where you will find this in most Indian restaurants.


butter chicken in sauce

Butter chicken in creamy sauce


Of course, a genuine version would have the chicken cooked in a traditional tandoori oven.

Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of a tandoor oven at home, of course. We find that it is just as easy to cook the chicken on the hob. However, this does not give the nice charred effect you would have from a tandoori oven. 

What to eat with butter chicken?

Well, this is up to you. We like to eat it with some pilau rice and chapati, as shown in these photos. But you could use any Indian bread really, like a naan, basic flatbread or paratha even.


butter chicken with chapati

Butter chicken with pilau rice and chapati


You may also want to use some mango chutney and some raita as an accompaniment, to complement the array of flavours.

How healthy is butter chicken?

This recipe does use all-natural ingredients and is perhaps healthier than others you may find in restaurants, as I do limit the amount of butter that I use in the sauce. However, I do use cream and natural yoghurt, which obviously increases the fat levels and calories.

indian healthy butter chicken

Healthy Butter Chicken


If you want to make this recipe healthier you could replace the yoghurt with a 0% fat yoghurt and the cream with some low-fat crème fraîche. This will slightly change the taste of the meal but should give you a low-calorie butter chicken.


butter chicken and pilau rice


If you leave out the butter completely then you will be moving more towards a chicken tikka masala dish than a butter chicken dish.

And you can’t have a butter chicken without butter now, can you? 😊

If you like this recipe then you may also like to try my more spicy murgh masala recipe or my authentic chicken curry recipe.

I hope you enjoy making this recipe. If you do try it, please let me know how you got on in the comments section below!

How to make healthy butter chicken

Healthy Butter Chicken

Healthy Butter Chicken

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Marinade Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 30 minutes

This recipe for healthy butter chicken gives you some tasty chicken in a mild but fragrant creamy and spicy tomato sauce.



  • 160g natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 3 tsp tandoori spice paste (I used Patak's)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric


  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ghee (or vegetable oil)
  • 2cm ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamon pod
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 35 g butter
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 250ml tomato passata
  • 100ml cream


  • Freshly chopped coriander


  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Then mix the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and marinate the chicken in the fridge for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, fry the chicken pieces in a skillet on medium heat until browned on all sides - about 10-15 minutes, and the chicken is cooked through (you may need to do this in batches). [Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in the oven on a baking tray at 180C for about 20 minutes, turning once]. Then remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. At the same time make the sauce. Start by frying the garlic and ginger in the ghee for 2 minutes on low heat. Then add the cumin and coriander and fry for 1 minute. Grind the cardamom pod and cloves with a mortar and pestle and add to the pan together with the chilli flakes.
  4. Then add the tomato passata and turmeric and heat on low heat. When the sauce is heated, melt in the butter and mix well. Then fold in the cream, to produce a creamy sauce.
  5. Add the chicken to the sauce and heat until the chicken is hot again. Then serve up.


Garnish with some chopped coriander and serve up with naan or flatbread and some pilau rice.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 391Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 139mgSodium: 170mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 5gProtein: 32g

This nutrition information was automatically calculated by Nutritionix, but may not be 100% accurate.

Did you make this recipe?

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