Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) (Low-Carb)

Two equally scrumptious versions of this dish. I think the first is my favourite.

Serves 4


2 chopped onions

6 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

30g chopped ginger

seeds from 8 cardamom pods

2 bay leaves

2 teaspoons toasted cumin seeds

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 deseeded fresh chillies

1 dried chilli

175ml water

1.5kg skinned chicken pieces (should be on the bone, but my family pull faces at bones as though I'm trying to kill them)

coarse sea salt

2-3 tablespoons ghee or butter

2 cinnamon sticks

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

60ml double cream

115g diced butter

1 lime

handful of chopped coriander or parsley


Place the onions, garlic, ginger, cardamom seeds, cumin seeds, peppercorns,  chillies and bay leaves in a food processor. Add 60ml water and blitz to a paste.

Season the chicken pieces with salt and brown them in the ghee.

Transfer the chicken to a plate.

Lower the heat and add the spice paste to the pan.

Deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits in the pan with a woooden spoon.

Add the cinnamon, tomatoes, one teaspoon of salt and remaining water to the pan.

Bring to the boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes.

Add the chicken to the pan, cover and cook for thirty minutes, stirring occasionally.

Transfer the chicken and keep warm. Discard the cinnamon sticks.

Add the cream and bring to the boil, stirring until the sauce thickens.

Remove from the heat and stir in the butter until the pieces are melted.

Return the chicken to the pan, stirring to coat the pieces in the sauce.

Sprinkle with coriander/parsley, add lime juice and serve.


1 sliced onion

4 tablespoons oil

50g butter

8 crushed cardamom pods

6 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 teaspoon grated ginger

1 large crushed garlic

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts cut into chunks

400g tin of chopped tomatoes

100ml double cream

handful of chopped coriander or parsley


Fry the onion in the oil and butter until browned.

Stir in the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.

Add the other spices and stir.

Add the chicken and tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes with the pan covered and a further 10 minutes uncovered.

Add the cream and corander/parsley and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce is reduced and thickened.

Remove the obvious whole spices

Serve with buttery spinach.