An easy keto recipe for butter chicken, a wonderful Northern Indian dish of intense, complex flavors. Great over cauliflower rice!
I adore Indian cuisine. Going to an Indian restaurant for a buffet lunch is always such a treat for me. The flavors, the spices, the presentation - I'm always amazed at how very flavorful food can be.
This easy butter chicken recipe is one of my favorite keto recipes. I'm not normally a big fan of chicken, preferring beef or lamb, but this recipe is simply amazing. Like most Indian recipes, it's incredibly flavorful!
The ingredients you'll need
The list of ingredients isn't particularly short - I usually aim for much shorter in my recipes.
But that's the thing with Indian cuisine - all these amazing flavors need to come from somewhere. And that "somewhere" is lots of spices and aromatics.
However, don't let that deter you. It takes just a few minutes to assemble everything. And once that's done, the cooking itself is a matter of minutes
The exact measurements are included in the recipe card below. Here's an overview of the ingredients needed to make this butter chicken recipe:
Heavy cream: Full-fat Greek yogurt can also work to cream the dish up. But heavy cream is better, and then you also have less of a risk of it curdling.
Tomato paste: Not a particularly low-carb ingredient, but used sparingly here.
Kosher salt: If using fine salt, you should reduce the amount you use, or the dish could end up too salty. A teaspoon of kosher salt weighs less than a teaspoon of regular salt.
Spices: Garam masala, curry powder, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Make sure they are fresh! A stale spice can easily ruin a dish.
Butter: I love using creamy European butter, but any butter will be great.
Aromatics: Onion, garlic, and ginger. I'm lazy, so I chop onions in the food processor and use jarred minced garlic and ginger.
Chicken breasts: I use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Boneless skinless chicken thighs should be great too.
Diced tomatoes: Leave them undrained.
Parsley: Used mostly for garnish, so it's OK to skip it.
This recipe requires just 2 tablespoons of tomato paste. To avoid waste, either use the remaining tomato paste in another recipe (such as this ground beef meat pie).
Or divide it into small plastic containers and freeze for later use. An ice cube tray with a lid works well for this.
How to make keto butter chicken
1. Start by mixing together the spices, the tomato paste, and some water, to create a thick paste.
2. Cook the onion, garlic and ginger in butter.
3. Add the chicken cubes and sautéte them.
4. Now add the diced tomatoes and cook until the chicken is cooked through.
5. The final step is to lower the heat and stir in the heavy cream. This creates a beautifully silky sauce.
Garnish with parsley and serve.
How to serve this dish?
This flavorful, saucy dish is traditionally served on rice, which serves well to absorb the tasty sauce.
What about leftovers?
Leftovers of this butter chicken recipe keep fairly well for 3-4 days in the fridge, in a sealed container, though they're not as good as fresh.
To avoid drying the chicken, reheat the leftovers gently, covered, in the microwave on 50% power.
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Keto Butter Chicken
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
- 1 ½ lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 (15 oz can) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish
- Measure out the cream and remove from the fridge, to bring it to room temperature.
- In a small bowl, use a small spatula or a fork to mix together the tomato paste, water, kosher salt, garam masala, curry powder, paprika and crushed red peppers, to create a thick paste. Set aside.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, about 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, about 4 minutes, until soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger and seasoning paste and cook 1 more minute, stirring.
- Add the chicken cubes. Stir well to coat. Sauté the chicken on all sides for 2 minutes.
- Add the diced tomatoes. Keep cooking over medium-high heat, stirring, 3-5 more minutes, until chicken is cooked through.
- Lower heat to low and stir in the heavy cream to create a silky, creamy sauce. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.