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.

Nancy's Pantry 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