As you might have guessed from my recent fluffy 2-ingredient naan bread recipe, I am a huge lover of Indian food, but, I also like to challenge myself to find healthier versions of my favorite dishes. Most butter chicken recipes call for things like ghee, butter, heavy cream, and flour, but I’ve found a way to make an insanely delicious version with none of the above! The magic ingredient? Coconut!


  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 14 oz coconut milk
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 500-700 grams of chicken
    • The amount of chicken you need will depend on how saucy you like your curry. I prefer a lot of sauce to eat with the rice and naan, so I opt for less chicken.
    • Use chicken thigh if you want it to be super juicy, or breast if you’d prefer a lower calorie option.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 5 full stems (with leaves) of fresh cilantro


  1. Place a large wok pan over medium heat and add the coconut oil.
  2. While the oil is melting, dice the onion and cut the chicken into small oblong pieces.
  3. Add the onions to the pan and sauté for about 4 minutes until translucent.
  4. Once onions are cooked, add in half of the garam masala (2 tsp), ginger powder, chilli powder, curry powder, and cinnamon. Mix and sauté for 30 seconds.
  5. Stir in the coconut milk and tomato paste until fully blended.
  6. Simmer for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
  7. Add in the raw chicken, remaining garam masala (2 tsp), salt, and pepper. Stir and ensure the chicken is fully submerged in the sauce.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to medium heat for 8 minutes, or until the chicken has cooked fully.
  9. Simmer on low while you mince the fresh cilantro leaves and stems.
  10. Plate your butter chicken over rice and/or with fresh naan bread, add a generous sprinkle of cilantro over top, and enjoy!


-If cooking for guests, let them add the cilantro themselves instead (people either love it or hate it), or, if you already know you/your guests dislike cilantro, fresh parsley is a possible alternative.

-Make this recipe vegan by swapping chicken for roasted sweet potato or a vegan ‘fake chicken’.

-A large wok pan (€23.86 // $45.34) is ideal for this recipe, but you can also substitute this for a big pot.

If you made this recipe, I’d love to see your creation!

Tag me on Instagram at @meghflanagan and hashtag #EditEats

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