indian butter chicken in a bowl topped with cilantro

Low carb Indian butter chicken

Making butter chicken at home is simple. Follow this recipe for a step by step guide on making it an enjoyable low carb meal.

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How are you guys holding up? I know that I’m getting a little restless at home. But, it’s resulting in some really great recipes.

The other day, I made Indian butter chicken at home, and it was so delicious.

For some reason, I always believed butter chicken was just really hard to make.

Turns out, it just takes some patience and a couple of tools to make a really great pot of butter chicken.

You can serve it over rice or with broccoli. Either way is totally delicious.

What is Indian butter chicken?

Indian butter chicken is a traditional Indian dish where chicken is cooked in a butter and cream gravy.

It contains spices like turmeric, garam masala, garlic, onion and ginger.

The chicken also gets a long marinade in those spices + yogurt. The flavor is absolutely amazing.

What I love most about butter chicken is how tender the chicken ends up being.

Since you cook it in the sauce on a simmer for an hour, you get an incredibly tasty chicken in a silky tomato sauce that just melts…kinda like butter.

What you need to make low carb Indian butter chicken

I prefer to make this dish in Dutch oven like a Le Creuset or a Staub (I have both).

It really helps to create the tenderness in the chicken that you’re looking for in this dish.

Dutch ovens also allow you to cook low and slow on the stove. It’s wonderful.

As mentioned above, there are a handful of spices you need for this dish. Don’t be intimidated by that. Butter chicken is very easy to make, and those spices make it perfect.

You’ll also need 3, vine ripened tomatoes plus tomato paste to make the sauce.

If you don’t want to make your own tomato sauce, feel free to use canned sauce.

Making a sauce from scratch means you can control the sodium, so I prefer that route. I also think it just tastes so much better and is worth the extra time.

Why did I make low carb Indian butter chicken in the first place?

There are just some things I miss right now.

There are plenty of great Indian restaurants in Houston, and I miss sitting down for a delicious, sharable meal.

One of my favorite dishes is butter chicken. It’s so basic, but I always get it because it’s delicious with veggies, over rice or you can sop it up with garlic naan.

The dish itself is so fragrant. Best of all, it’s just really easy to make.

I figured if I could take some of those classics that I miss at home and remake them, it would just make me a much better cook.

It’s really fun to remake your favorite dishes at home. I encourage you to try it. I hope you like my version of butter chicken!

How to keep Indian butter chicken low carb

The ingredients lend themselves to this dish being low carb already, but it’s all about what you pair it with.

Traditionally this dish is served on top of rice or with naan.

While those options are delicious, they might also cause a blood sugar spike.

I enjoy my butter chicken with greens like marinated kale, broccoli, or spinach. All are great options for keeping carbs low and keeping you satisfied.

Print

Low carb Indian butter chicken

indian butter chicken in a bowl topped with cilantro

Easy recipe with lots of flavor and spice! You’ll enjoy this butter chicken. 

  • Author: Mila Clarke Buckley
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hrs 15 minutes
  • Yield: 14 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Braising
  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Diet: Diabetic

Ingredients

Scale

For the chicken marinade:

  • 3 lbs of chicken breasts (you can either cube them or cook them whole, either way, is great). 
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup cashew yogurt (If you’d like a lower 
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder. 
  • 1 tablespoon chili oil (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (olive oil also works)
  • 8 tablespoons butter (4 tablespoons to cook the onions and spices and 4 tablespoons to finish the sauce).
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 32 ounces (2 cups) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon chili oil (more for a little heat)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 cup of heavy or thickened cream 

For garnish
1/4 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Begin by marinating your chicken in the spices, and cream (or cashew yogurt). They can marinate anywhere from 2-24 hours. As you all know, the longer they’re in the marinade, the more flavorful the chicken. 
  2. For the sauce, start by adding your avocado oil and 4 tablespoons of butter into your dutch oven (or other heavy-bottomed pan). Let the butter and oil turn light brown and become nutty and fragrant. 
  3. Add in your finely chopped onions, minced garlic, and all of your spices. Let the onions cook on low heat until they become translucent, about 10 minutes. 
  4. Add in your tomato sauce, and tomato paste. Turn to high heat and reduce the sauce. It should start to thicken and you’ll see it have less volume. Cook for 10 minutes uncovered
  5. When tomato sauce begins to reduce, add your chicken and turn the heat back down to medium-low heat. 
  6. Cook the chicken on medium-low for 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. 
  7. After one hour, add cup of cream and remaining butter. Cook on low heat for 15 more minutes. 
  8. Enjoy with a side of veggies, or rice. Whatever works best for your diet! 

Notes

  • I enjoy mine with steamed broccoli or spinach on the side. I also add a touch more chili oil because I LOVE spicy food. The best part of this dish is that everything is adjustable. 

Keywords: butter chicken, low carb butter chicken, indian butter chicken, low carb indian butter chicken

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