Going paleo did not only not discourage me from exploring various world cuisines but actually encouraged me to experiment more with different ingredients, combinations, flavours and textures. Primal butter chicken is my latest addiction. Its mouth watering aroma and curry texture make a great occasional Indian delight. A note of caution: don’t be tempted to use a store bought masala paste. I actually conducted an experiment where I cooked half of the chicken using a sauce made from scratch using traditional Indian ingredients and spices and the other half I cooked with a sauce prepared with a quality store bought paste. The result was an undeniable victory for the authentic, made from scratch sauce. The color, consistency and taste – all were so much better, that I threw out the rest of the paste. Making the sauce from scratch was easy, fun and more appetizing – try it yourself, and let me know what you think of this recipe.
Primal Style Butter Chicken
- Prep Time
- Cook Time
- Difficulty Level Moderate
- 2 pounds skinless boneless chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 cup natural plain yogurt (I used 7% Buffalo yogurt)
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1/4 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 Tbs butter
- 2 tsp lemon juice (don't overdo, as the sauce will taste acidic)
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger root, shredded
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- salt & pepper
- 1 Tsp coconut or olive oil
- 1/2 cup almond flour or 1/2 cup unsalted crushed cashews (for thickening, if required)
- cilantro for garnish
- Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Add tomato puree, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with about a teaspoon of garam masala and cayenne pepper mixture. Keep simmering for another 10 min or until chicken is no longer pink inside.
- Stir cooked chicken into sauce. Add crushed cashews / almond flour if you need to thicken. Garnish with cilantro, serve over cauliflower rice, with yogurt on a side.
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