Main Dishes

Paleo Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani)

September, 2019 (Last Updated: November, 2019)

This Healthy Butter Chicken recipe tastes just as good as the conventional Indian Murgh Makhani! My Paleo Butter Chicken will WOW your tastebuds and is very simple to make!

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Blue bowl with half butter chicken and half cauliflower rice cooked, topped with green chili pepper, sliced almonds and parsley

Authentic Indian recipes are actually pretty hard to make. They take a lot of time and I’m certain only the real Indian grandmothers can make them the best way. I’m not Indian but hey, that doesn’t mean I can’t find a way to enjoy a similar recipe. I think the “paleo” bit already shows this is one inspired recipe that tastes very similar to butter chicken!

One way to try to keep this authentic is by adding Kasoori – Methi leaves which is actually Fenugreek in Hindi. However, if you’re like me and cannot source proper fenugreek leaves, you can buy ground fenugreek powder which is a great substitute for that sweet but slightly bitter taste you need.

Paleo Butter Chicken

Substitutes for Butter Chicken to make Paleo

For this dairy free butter chicken recipe, I opted to use ghee instead of butter. Ghee is clarified butter which means the dairy solids have been removed and what you are left with is a sweet tasting, creamy consistency. Ghee is actually used a lot in Indian recipes! I also use coconut milk in this recipe but again, coconut milk is used in a lot of curries and Indian sauces.

Paleo Butter Chicken recipe

How To Make Butter Chicken

When making this simple butter chicken recipe, there are many methods you could use to get to the final result. For example, you can either use fresh tomatoes and cook this down, then blend with your onions or you can just use chopped tomatoes and blend it all before cooking.

It really does depend on how much time you have. I also add honey to my recipe, which may not be the Indian way but if you want to keep this a sugar-free recipe, then you can simply caramelise your onions before blending down the sauce.

Do not be afraid of the ingredients list! I have added all the seasonings you need to make this burst with flavour! I would recommend marinating the chicken overnight; however, if you are short on time, 30 minutes is fine. If you are really short on time, I guess it’s okay to just throw everything in the pot straightaway. I mean, I guess *shrugs*.

You can make this a slow cooker butter chicken recipe but I chose to make this recipe in my cast iron pot right on the stove. Enjoy this recipe with cauliflower rice and you have a winner! Seriously, this may be the best butter chicken recipe ever (as I say with all my meals because sorry, I’m biased)! This is a great meal prep recipe and perfect for filling weeknight dinners!

Paleo Butter Chicken
5 from 1 vote
Blue bowl with half butter chicken and half cauliflower rice cooked, topped with green chili pepper, sliced almonds and parsley
Paleo Butter Chicken
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Marinating time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins
An easy butter chicken recipe made Paleo, using ghee to create a creamy sauce bursting with flavours. Perfect weeknight meal.
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian, Paleo
Keyword: paleo
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 202 kcal
Author: WhittyPaleo
For the chicken:
  • 3-4 chicken thighs diced into medium-sized cubes
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tbsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
For the blender:
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 knuckle of fresh ginger
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 14 oz. canned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp kasoori methi leaves or fenugreek powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 tbsp honey
To top (optional):
  • cashew nuts or sliced almonds
  • sliced green chilli pepper
  1. Firstly, marinate chicken in the seasonings. Cover and leave in the fridge for half an hour (or overnight if you are making this ahead).
  2. Next, cook your chicken in coconut oil for 5 – 7 mins until browned and cooked through. Set aside
  3. Whilst chicken is cooking, process your blender ingredients.
  4. Next, add your ghee to the pan and heat on medium high heat.
  5. Add in your sauce and seasonings and cook for 10 mins. It should be a deep brown colour now.
  6. Next, add in your coconut milk and honey. The colour should now be much lighter, closer to orange.
  7. Now, add in your chicken. Simmer on low for another 15mins.
  8. Once done, serve with some cauliflower rice, top with almonds and green chilli pepper and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

You can use either chicken thighs or breasts but j prefer chicken thighs in these kind of sauces.
If your sauce seems to thick whilst cooking, simply add in some water to reduce and simmer down to your desired consistency.
If you find you’ve added too much kasoori-methi and becomes overly bitter, add a bit more honey and 1 tbsp of lemon juice to try and cut through. Adding in more turmeric seasoning will also help to cut any bitterness, I would recommend adding in ¼ tsp at a time.

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  • Reply
    November, 2019 at 3:32 PM

    Keeping this recipe for my meal prep, it tastes so good!

    • Reply
      November, 2019 at 3:40 PM

      Yes, perfect for meal prep! 🙂

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