Butter Chicken Without Cream and Butter

Butter Chicken Masala Without Butter

I have been experimenting on new dishes that are healthy and will help me lose weight. I google a lot about replacement ingredients for high calorie dishes like I found a wonderful chocolate mousse recipe with avocados. I love food and my husband loves them more than me. So I need to came up with a menu that will satisfy both our requirements: healthy, extremely tasty and of low calorie.

Butter chicken is one of our favorite dish. My husband would definitely order this when we dine in Indian restaurants. The juicy chicken chunks cooked in a creamy tomato sauce – a sauce made from cashews and heavy cream. Perfectly grilled chicken and perfectly simmered sauce will taste absolutely delicious with a charred garlic naan. Aw! my mouth is watering as I write this. And when I make this at home, my husbands wants it to taste the exact same way.

So I go about adding butter, juicy tomatoes, spice powder, cashew paste and small carton of heavy cream. When it bubbles and growls in the hot pan, I add the grilled chicken and let it simmer for another 10 minutes. The entire kitchen smells heavenly of butter and milk. He would enjoy it with homemade chapati and I will watch him eat it. My heart would crave to join him. Sometimes I would fall a prey to this sinfully high calorie dinner and few times I would eat my chapati with grilled chicken and non-fat raita.

I came up with this kick ass butter chicken recipe with almonds and silken tofu just for people like me who are struggling with weightloss and who wants to enjoy a delicious meal like everyone. This dish can be eaten in phase 1 of South beach diet too. Isn’t that wonderful? I mean “What the hell?” I couldn’t even believe the fact.

When I served to S I didn’t tell him anything about the replacement ingredient. He ate this dinner like any other day. Quiet. Glued to the plate. I watched him as every bite went inside his mouth. He refilled the curry for the second time. I had a huge grin in my face. A proud moment indeed. I tricked him and he didn’t even know it.

When I was cooking the butter chicken that day, I told myself that if he doesn’t complain about the change in taste then it means that I have succeeded. And now the second serving, you wouldn’t know how much thrilled I was. As I sat next to him to eat my dinner, I filled my plate with this butter chicken and chapati, he snubbed back saying “See, all your eating right has gone in the wind”. I smiled and replied like a child pleading to her mother “Please only today! Let me enjoy”. Days later I revealed the original recipe to him.

For this recipe, you may use the following equipments to make the butter chicken without any issues. A non stick cookware to use on the gas stove and a good quality hand blender or mixer grinder to mix all the ingredients listed in the recipe. You can have the butter chicken with rice, roti, Khoba roti or naan.

Butter Chicken Masala Without Butter

Butter Chicken Without Butter And Heavy Cream

4.80 from 5 votes
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Course: lunch
Cuisine: North Indian
Keyword: Butter Chicken
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours
Servings: 8
Author: Advika Menon


For The Marinade

  • 1 lb Skinless Chicken Breast
  • ½ tbsp ginger minced
  • ½ tbsp garlic minced
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder spicy
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • ¼ cup non-fat yoghurt thick
  • 1 tsp salt

For The Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced
  • 1 tbsp garlic minced
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder spicy
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tbsp cumin powder
  • 8 medium sized ripe tomatoes pureed
  • 500 ml water
  • 10-12 almonds
  • ½ cup silken tofu
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • salt
  • ½ cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Make a marinade with the ingredients listed under “for the marinade” section. Marinate the chicken pieces in the spice and yogurt mixture. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours or minimum 30 minutes.Later, place a fresh non stick cookware on the next burner.
    Heat oil and cook the chicken pieces in 2-3 batches. Cook till they are 3/4 th done, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside. (or) You could pop the marinated chicken in a baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes at 375’F (or) You could grill them in a outdoor grill.
  • In a hand blender or a mixer grinder, make a smooth paste of tofu with little of its water. Set aside. Also make a paste of the almonds.
  • In a large cooking pan, add oil. Once they ripple, add the ginger and garlic. Keep sauteing it to avoid burning them, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle turmeric, chili, coriander and cumin powder. Stir to combine, about 60 seconds.
  • Pour the tomato puree and mix well to combine. Cook covered for 30 minutes on low flame. After 20 minutes, open the lid and check for doneness. Stir well and cover to cook for further 10-15 minutes. The puree will be turned to a thick paste and oil will be separating along the sides.
  • Mix in the almond paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Now add the water, little by little accordingly to the consistency you are looking for your gravy. Finally sprinkle garam masala and chicken pieces and let the sauce simmer for about 5-8 minutes. Garnish with cilantro and switch off the flame. Gently fold in the silken tofu and cover. Let them stay warm until ready to serve.


1. Since it has almonds and silken tofu, its ideal for those in South beach diet.
2. The absence of heavy cream reduces its calorie by tremendous numbers. ! oz of silken tofu has 14 calories.
3. Perfect recipe for butter chicken lovers who are planning to lose weight but at the same time want to enjoy a creamy curry with their rice/roti.
4. This dish can also be enjoyed by women with gestational diabetes and also by those who are diabetic/pre-diabetic.
5. You can replace grilled chicken with grilled paneer or deep fried cauliflower or try even my baked meat balls.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I used my own spices but followed part two of the recipe. The home made tomatoe puree is very thick and great for keeping some thickness in the sauce. It was very good! Definately a keeper to keep the calories down.

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