Chicken in Butter Sauce

Makes 8 servings

Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 35 min

Indian Butter Chicken is a favorite the world over. The traditional recipe is very high in fat, with lots of butter and whipping cream. We have reduced the fat content without losing any of the flavor. The ingredient list looks long, but the recipe is really quite simple and is worth the effort.


3 tbsp tandoori paste (see tip) 45 ml
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice 25 ml
2 tbsp low-fat plain yogurt 25 ml
1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) chunks 750 g
1/4 cup tomato paste 50 ml
1/2 cup water 125 ml
1-inch (2.5 cm) cube gingerroot, very finely grated
fresh green chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro 15 ml
1 tsp ground cumin 5 ml
1 tsp garam masala (store bought or see recipe below) 5 ml
3/4 tsp salt 4 ml
1/4 tsp granulated sugar 1 ml
1/4 tsp chili powder 1 ml
1 tbsp unsalted butter 15 ml
1 cup half-and-half (10%) cream 250 ml
  Garam Masala  
2-inch (5 cm) cinnamon stick, broken
1/4 whole nutmeg 1/4
1 tbsp cardamom seeds 15 ml
1 tsp cumin seeds 5 ml
1 tsp whole cloves 5 ml
1 tsp black peppercorns 5 ml
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • 11- by 7-inch (2 L) baking pan{C}


Step 1
Garam Masala: Place all spices in a clean coffee grinder and grind for about 40 seconds or until spices are fully ground. Store at room temperature in an airtight jar for up to 3 months.

Step 2
In a large bowl, combine tandoori paste, lemon juice and yogurt. Add chicken and stir well to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

Step 3
Arrange chicken in a single layer in baking pan and pour in marinade. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

Step 4
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: In a small bowl, combine tomato paste and water. Stir in ginger, chili pepper, lemon juice, cilantro, cumin, garam masala, salt, sugar and chili powder.

Step 5
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Stir in sauce and bring to a simmer. Add cooked chicken and any juice from the baking pan; simmer for about 10 minutes to combine flavors. Add cream and cook for 3 minutes to heat through (do not boil).


Tandoori paste is available in the ethnic food aisle of most supermarkets, usually on the shelf with Indian sauces. 
One medium lemon will yield about 3 tbsp (45 mL) juice.

Nutrition & Notes

Nutrition Information
Valeur nutritive
per 1 serving
% Daily Value
% valeur quotidienne
Calories / Calories 162
Fat / Lipides 6.0 g
Saturated / saturés 3.2 g
+ Trans / trans 0.2 g
Cholesterol / Cholestérol 64 mg
Sodium / Sodium 457 mg
Carbohydrates / Glucides 5.5 g
Fiber / Fibres 0.7 g
Sugars / Sucres 2.3 g
Protein Protéines 21.1 g
Vitamin A / Vitamine A
Vitamin C / Vitamine C
Calcium / Calcium
Iron / Fer
Very high in: Niacin and vitamin B6
Diabetes Food Choice Values
3 Meat & Alternatives
Eileen Campbell