Bal's No-Butter Butter Chicken

Total Time
Prep 7 mins
Cook 20 mins

Entered for safe-keeping, from Bal Arneson, "Spice Goddess". I generally enjoy her recipes and I can't wait to try this lightened version of one of our favorite dishes, a very mild curry. I started using grapeseed oil because of Bal; it has a high smoke point and the sautéed food tastes "clean". I have learned that in Indian cuisine it is paramount to have fresh spices. I store my ground spices in the freezer. For this dish, you could puree the onion, garlic and ginger in a food processor prior to cooking, which will ensure a smooth, thick sauce. Serve with roti or rice.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil.
  2. When it starts to get hot, add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook for 4 minutes, or until the onion is golden.
  3. Add the tomato paste, brown sugar, cumin seeds, garam masala, red chile flakes, turmeric and salt. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken cubes and stir well to coat.
  5. Add the yogurt and water and cook, stirring until the chicken is done, about 8 minutes.
  6. Serve with roti or rice.
Most Helpful

A nice version of butter chicken which we served over brown rice. I actually watched Bal make this dish on Cooking Channel TV, so it was nice to try another of her recipes which emphasize healthier ingredients overall. I liked the idea of using greek yogurt vs. cream. The only change I made was to use less red pepper flakes as I was concerned that it would be too spicy. Made for PRMR, January, 2014.

DailyInspiration January 10, 2014

Very good curry dish which we served over brown rice and with spinach. I did not know what butter chicken was but really enjoyed this dish - used olive oil instead of grapeseed oil and skipped the garam masala but otherwise made as directed. Thanks for sharing!

ellie_ April 24, 2014