Butter Chicken

  • 4
  • 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes

The paleo way of life is not meant to be restrictive, as you can see from this lovely butter chicken recipe. All the nasties have been replaced with good-quality ingredients that make it as good, if not better, than the original. I prefer chicken thighs for their superior flavour and tenderness.

Course: Main
Recipe contains:

  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro)
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1–2 pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 x 400 ml can coconut cream
  • 700 g (25 ounces) chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • coriander (cilantro), to serve
  • cauliflower rice, to serve
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Be adventurous with your vegetable component. Try eggplant (aubergine), okra, zucchini (courgette), asparagus, pumpkin, sweet potato and Asian water spinach. The rice has been replaced with cauliflower ‘rice’ but broccoli ‘rice’ is also a big hit or try a mixture of both.

Heat 4 tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.


Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes until translucent. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the garlic and spices. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the salt, lemon juice, coconut cream and mix well.


Turn the heat up to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the chicken and stir until well coated with the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20–25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

To serve


Garnish with the coriander (cilantro) and serve with the cauliflower rice.