No Butter Butter Chicken Curry | Low Fat Recipes

As part of my 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge (where I’m aiming to cook every recipe from The 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes by Carolyn Humphries) I’m creating my own lower fat versions of my favourite dishes. I’ve used the internet to research calorie content, so please bear in mind it’s not 100% accurate but hopefully a good guide.

My favourite curry is butter chicken, a fairly mild, aromatic and creamy curry that packs an insane amount of fat. This is a drastically reduced fat version that I’ve been working on for some time, to try and recreate the flavour without all of the cream and butter. Please note that I love sauce for curry – so this is a very saucy butter chicken!


No Butter Butter Chicken Curry | 350-400 calories per serving | Serves 2


For the marinade

  • 2 chicken breasts, diced (weighing approx 325g in total)
  • 200ml low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

For the sauce

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves, ground
  • 5 cardamom pods (if you don’t like crunching on them, treat them like a surgical device: count them going in, count them as you pick them out)
  • 1 can tinned tomatoes

How to Make No Butter Butter Chicken Curry

  1. Prepare the marinade and marinade the chicken breasts, ideally for at least 30 minutes.
  2. In a pan, add the oil, onion, garlic, salt and spices and cook for 5 minutes or so till the onions for are softened. Add a little dash of water (rather than more oil) if it needs it.
  3. Add the tomatoes and sugar and simmer gently for 10 minutes to reduce down the watery-ness of the tomatoes.
  4. Retrieve the cardamom pods.
  5. This stage is optional – you can blend the sauce at this stage if you want to.
  6. Add the marinated chicken and all the marinade to the sauce.
  7. You could add chick peas, peppers or other veg at this stage if you fancied it.
  8. Cook, covered with a lid, for 20 minutes or so or until the chicken is completely cooked.

Serve with heaps of shredded white cabbage, carrot, spring onion and cucumber dressed with coriander and lemon juice. Serve with either chapatis or rice. Or poppadoms if you’re feeling naughty… yum yum yum (approx 2g fat per poppadom)!

The Verdict

Flavour: 5
(1= flavourless, 5= delicious)

Satisfaction: 5 – give you that lovely, greedy, full-up curry feeling with a lot less guilt!
(1= unsatisfying, 5= satisfying considering low cal!)

Ease of Preparation: 3
(1= difficult, 5= easy)

Aftermath Factor: 4
(1= tons of washing up, 5= one pot wonder)

This is a lot spicier than a standard butter chicken, but I feel it needs it. With the ginger, cloves and cardamom it’s also very aromatic. I really do love this recipe, but it will never had the same greasy-lipped satiety of the full fat version. It does, however, tick all the boxes of having a filling curry but without that horrible over-stuffed feeling.

Splitting is a bit of an unfortunate compromise with this recipe. I don’t believe it does anything bad to you, but it does detract from what would (in full fat butter chicken!) be a glossy, thick appearance. To counteract this, and because it’s DELICIOUS, I throw coriander and sliced red onion on top.

You really need to serve this with a delicious side. I’m one of those people who nabs the bag of salad that comes with curries, so I usually go with shredded white cabbage/iceberg lettuce, carrot, cucumber, spring onion and coriander salad. I sometimes serve it with homemade, low fat chana masala or cauliflower bhaji (no, alas, it’s not deep fried!) for extra veg. 

2 responses to “No Butter Butter Chicken Curry | Low Fat Recipes

  1. Pingback: Marinated Lamb Kebabs: 1000 Calorie Counted Recipes Challenge | frolicking foodie

  2. Pingback: Saturday Summary | Bonjour, Blogger!

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