I’m not sure why I decided to make butter chicken, but one day it popped into my head and I was set on the idea. Butter chicken is pretty much one of the only Indian foods I’ve tried, mostly because back in the day I wasn’t really into spice. I’m getting better at trying spicier things nowadays and I do like that my taste for hot foods seems to be evolving. One of my big issues with butter chicken was the fat content. While I loved the flavour of the thick orange sauce, I hated trying to avoid the little oil slicks of butter that floated on top.
With the following recipe, I’ve pieced together a few recipes and have come up with one I really enjoyed.
The boy (Dan), after finishing his second helping, told me that while he doesn’t really like butter chicken, this one was awesome. I asked him why he wouldn’t have mentioned not liking it, as I planned an entire day around making this and had been talking about making butter chicken for the last four days.
His response was “I don’t like the greasiness of butter chicken, but this one was so good.”
Excellent, I feel the same. My work here is done.
Now, here’s the recipe.
Low Fat Butter Chicken and Saffron Rice
- 8 skinless and boneless chicken thighs cut into 3-4″ pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
- 2″ fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped (or grated)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt (fat free)
- 1/2 tsp tandoori masala
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
1 – Place the chicken in a bowl with the garlic, ginger, salt, chilli powder and lemon juice. Mix, cover with cling film and chill for 30 mins.
2 – While the chicken sits for 30 minutes, mix together the yogurt, tandoori masala, turmeric and cumin and then add to the chicken, making sure that each piece is well coated with the mixture. Cover again and chill for 3-4 hours.
3 – Preheat the oven to 350F. Put the marinated chicken pieces on a grill rack and bake for 10 mins. Turn them over and for another 10-12 mins until just cooked through. Set aside.
- 1 1/2 pinches of saffron
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 small onion minced
- 1 cup basmati rice
- 1 3/4 cup of chicken stock
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/4 tsp salt
1 – Grind half saffron in a spice mortar, add the remaining threads of saffron, do not grind these.
2 – Add 1/4 cup of boiling water to the mortar and let threads steep for five minutes. (If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, you can simply steep the saffron threads in boiling water, but I’d let it sit for a little longer, maybe 15-20 minutes.)
3 – In a heavy saucepan, heat oil over a medium heat and add onions. Sauté for about ten minutes or until onions begin to caramelize.
4 – Add the rice to the pot and cook for a minute longer, mixing the rice with the onions.
5 – Pour the yellow saffron liquid evenly across the top of the rice, making sure to scrape any saffron that sticks to the mortar into the pot.
6 – Add broth (or water and extra pinch of salt) to the pot. Bring to a boil.
7 – Cover the pot and reduce heat to low. Let the rice cook for about 20 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender.
8 – Fluff rice before serving.
Butter Chicken Sauce
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 1/2 tablespoons grated ginger root
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 3 green cardamom pod slightly crushed
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 can (28 oz/798 mL) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup light sour cream
- 1 tablespoon dried cilantro
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
1 – In a large skillet or sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly, stirring often, until onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
2 – Combine gingerroot, chili powder, turmeric, ground coriander, cinnamon and cumin. (Smash herbs with a mortar and pestle if not already ground.) Add to skillet and cook 1 more minute.
3 – Add drained tomatoes, broth, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
4 – Transfer half the sauce to a blender and purée until smooth. (Be careful not to burn yourself. I, on the other hand, did not follow that advice. I also used a stick blender, which worked just fine, except when I burned myself. 😛 ) Put puréed sauce back in pot with remaining sauce. Mix well and return to heat.
5 – Stir in sour cream, cilantro and almond butter.
6 – Add cut-up chicken and mix. Cook just until chicken is hot.
7 – Serve over saffron rice or regular rice.
While the process is a tad long and may seem a little daunting, it’s really not that bad. The chicken can be cooked ahead of time or marinated in advance and cooked the day of. I found this sauce to be deep in flavour, but lacking in the heat I was expecting. For those who prefer spicy food, I’d recommend bumping up the chili powder in the sauce or adding some fresh chilli peppers to increase the burn.
I want to rate this nine out of ten forks because of the depth of flavour and low-fat-ness, but it was lacking in the heat I expected so I’ll give it eight out of ten.
This recipe isn’t really one of my “test” or practice recipes. It’s a definite go-to in my recipe book. This is a fantastic recipe to get rid of bananas that I tend to buy then forget about. It’s also great to use up other frozen fruit, as the blueberries are optional, but can also be switched up for anything you’ve got hanging around in the kitchen.
Well I wouldn’t suggest meat, that would be kind of off putting. Steak/banana bread doesn’t sound very appetizing. 😛
No extra fruit? No problem, I’ve added nuts or raisins to the banana bread batter as well and the results have been awesome. You can also leave all extras out, as the banana bread itself is pretty epic.
This recipe is considered low fat, since we use applesauce instead of oil and the amount of butter (or coconut oil) and sugar per loaf is pretty minimal.
I’ve made this recipe more than enough to know that you don’t have to be super careful when measuring the ingredients. Obviously I wouldn’t just dump things in, but it’s a pretty resilient batter and allows for some substitutions or whatnot. 😀
Banana Blueberry Bread
Ingredients: *(There is more stuff than needed in the photo, but it’s cause I was doubling the recipe.)
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 2 Tbsp coconut oil, softened*
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (3 small)
- ½ cup blueberries
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine softened butter and sugar, and beat with a mixer at medium speed, about 3 minutes or until well combined. Add the egg and applesauce, and beat another 2 minutes. Fold in the bananas.
3. Lightly spoon the all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine the two flours, baking soda, and salt in a separate large bowl.
4. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition until moistened. Add blueberries after tossing them in a tbsp of flour
5. Coat one loaf pan with cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. (I made two loaves this time, to use up 4 bananas. Also, there is no difference between glass and metal pans, or so I’ve found. I’ve used both with this recipe.)
6. Bake at 350° for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a wooden pick inserted in center of the bread comes out clean.
7. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the bread and cool completely on a wire rack.
Yield: 1 loaf (or 2 if you double the recipe like I did.) 😛
*Bear in mind, the coconut oil is a substitution I’ve made. The recipe originally called for butter, so for those with nut allergies, don’t worry about changing it back. Coconut oil measure cup for cup with butter, so the measurements stay the same.*
I rate this recipe 8 out of 10 forks for it’s ease to put together and it’s overall versatility and taste.
Chef-In-Training Mandy 😀