Inspiration from Meghan

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Simple Butter Chicken Recipe and Homemade Garam Masala


This winter has been extra chilly and with our little one, we've also been extra tired come dinner time and so we've been craving simple, warming and hearty meals. This butter chicken fits the bill perfectly and it's possible we've been enjoying this clean and simple butter chicken with my homemade garam masala at least once a week.

As with most of my recipes, they start out with a craving and like you might do, I take to Google or Pinterest and see what I can find. Most of the recipes I encountered were along the lines of what I wanted, but didn't quite fit. Many butter chicken recipes included heavy cream, butter and vegetable oil, but were lacking in any vegetables. As I wanted this to serve as a healing, one pot meal, it was time to clean it up and add some magic.

As with most recipes I create, I started with a homemade spice blend. You can absolutely buy one ready-made, but with my black pepper allergy, that's not an option for me in most cases.

Homemade Garam Masala Spice Blend


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: ¼ cup or so

  • 1 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg

Make It Like So
  1. Place all ingredients in a container and shake, shake, shake.

You could easily double or triple this recipe to have extra on hand for the next time you make this recipe.

Then it was on to cleaning up and simplifying the butter chicken. Of course if you don't eat chicken, you could absolutely make this with tofu or chickpeas as well.

Clean and Simple Butter Chicken


Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Yield: 6 servings

A cleaned up and simple gluten-free and dairy-free butter chicken recipe loaded with healing spices and vegetables.

  • ¼ cup ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 4 chicken breasts, cut into 1½ inch cubes
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup + 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups full fat organic coconut milk
  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch cubes (about 2½ cups worth)
  • 1 cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped cauliflower
  • 1 bunch cilantro or sprouts (for garnish)
  • Lime wedges for serving

Make It Like So
  1. In a medium pot, heat oil and add onions, garlic and ginger. Sautee until onions are translucent.
  2. Add curry powder, chilli powder, garam masala, paprika and sea salt. Stir until combined.
  3. Add chicken and cook for 5-8 minutes until chicken is no longer pink on the outside.
  4. Add water, tomato paste, coconut milk, sweet potato, peas and cauliflower. Simmer for 20 minutes, until sweet potato is fork tender.
  5. Serve over rice, cauliflower rice or on its own.
  6. Garnish with cilantro or sprouts and a lime wedge.

This is a great freezer meal! Keep some for dinner and freeze the rest.

I enjoyed the simple butter chicken over organic white jasmine rice (a special treat in our house), but it's also delicious over cauliflower rice, brown rice or just on its own.

Butter Chicken Recipe

10 Responses to “Simple Butter Chicken Recipe and Homemade Garam Masala”

  1. Carol Ann said…
    When this recipe came through my Inbox , I swear I could already taste it. First thing in the morning. I had no choice but to go out and get groceries and make this for dinner. It was a hit. Simply delicious!! It was easy to make and the house smelled wonderful. Definitely a keeper.
    • Bonnie Jo said…
      I agree. As soon as I saw this I came home and made it. Awesomely great and not difficult. Able to season to your tolerance. Love it.
  2. Jen Forndron said…
    The taste of this recipe is amazing! I decided to blend up the butter chicken paste ingredients (after sauteeing the spices) with the tomato paste, water, coconut milk to give a creamy texture. It worked out so well! Thanks for the inspiration Meghan!
  3. Gisele Skelcher said…
    Wow!! I spent the entire day trying to track down this recipe. Lo and behold, I tripped upon it while cruising your site!
  4. Jo said…
    I cooked this a few weeks ago for my boyfriend and myself and we loved it. Today, I cooked it again for his parents and they loved it! Thank you for sharing this!
  5. Debbie Leone said…
    Hi Meghan, want you to know I made this butter chicken tonite for my family and was it ever a big hit!!! OMG it’s just delicious! Well done has been put into our favourite family recipe file .. thanks soooo much
    • Meghan Telpner said…
      Fantastic, Debbie! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one - it's a family favourite for us, too.
  6. Lorelea Frizzell said… August 18, 2020
    I made this last week and it was AMAAAAZING! Seriously. If possible, the leftovers were even better. Love your recipes

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