Feb 2, 2011

No-Butter Chicken

No-Butter Chicken

I was cruising one of my favorite food-sites, Food Network, when I happened upon a Guy Fieri recipe: No-Butter Chicken. Fabulous idea.

I really love this guy, from his crazy blond spikes to the boyish sparkle in his eyes. His recipes are perfect for everyday cooking, they never fail me and always seem to have a surprising twist to them.

I cooked this recipe and it was absolutely great. The only thing I’ll change next time is the amount of cumin seeds. It was way too much for me and it overruled all the other flavors. Aside from that it was perfect.

It wasn’t just incredibly tasty, but it was also really fast making it a perfect weeknight dinner. The smells coming out of my kitchen were so awesome it actually stopped people walking by the house dead in their tracks.

I like it when that happens.


2 chicken breasts
1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
2 red onions
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cumin seeds (Too much for me. I’ll opt for 1 tsp)
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1 tbsp garam masala
1/2 cup yoghurt
1 cup water (or chicken stock)
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp high-heat cooking oil


The chicken, I decided to cut mine in small pieces but looking back bigger pieces would’ve looked prettier somehow.
No-Butter Chicken

Finely mince the red onions. How I love my new magimix! I bought it as a punishment for Kenwood, who are unable to deliver me new parts for their own food processor and mini chopper making them useless.
No-Butter Chicken

Peel and grate the ginger. Is there anything more addictive than the scent of fresh ginger? If there is, I haven’t found it yet.
No-Butter Chicken

Heat the oil and cook the onion and ginger for 3 to 4 minutes.
No-Butter Chicken

Add the cumin seeds. The original recipe says 1 tbsp but in my humble opinion that was way too much. I wouldn’t take it past 1 tsp the next time.
No-Butter Chicken

Add the chili flakes, garam masala, turmeric and salt. I think a pinch of cinnamon might work really well, too. Never be afraid to use spices and try unconventional flavors.
No-Butter Chicken

And spoon in the tomato paste. Cook the whole shebang for 2 more minutes. The scent that will rise now is like crack to a foodie.
No-Butter Chicken

Add the chicken pieces, stir to coat them all with the mixture.
No-Butter Chicken

Add a nice bit of freshly cracked black pepper for a little extra zing and cook the chicken for 5 to 7 minutes.
No-Butter Chicken

Add the sugar and pour in the yoghurt.
No-Butter Chicken

Stir to blend the yoghurt with the spices.
No-Butter Chicken

Okay, one more shot. Don’t tell me you don’t think this looks good, you’d be lying!
No-Butter Chicken

Pour in the water (or chicken stock) and bring it to a boil.
No-Butter Chicken

Let the chicken cook for 10 to 15 minutes over high heat without the lid on. We want the sauce to really cook down.
No-Butter Chicken

Right before it’s done you might want to check the seasoning, I added a little more salt.
No-Butter Chicken

This was fabulous! It could use a little lime, perhapse some coriander if you like it, but this is really great food!
No-Butter Chicken

No-Butter Chicken
    2 chicken breasts
    1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger
    2 red onions
    1 tbsp tomato paste
    2 tsp brown sugar
    1 tbsp cumin seeds (Too much for me. I’ll opt for 1 tsp)
    1 tsp turmeric
    2 tsp chili pepper flakes
    1 tbsp garam masala
    1/2 cup yoghurt
    1 cup water (or chicken stock)
    1 tsp salt
    freshly ground black pepper
    2 tbsp high-heat cooking oil
    Coarsely cut up the chicken. Finely mince the onions and peel and grate the ginger.

    Heat the oil and cook the onions and ginger for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the spices, salt and tomato paste, cook for 2 minutes before adding the chicken. Coat the chicken with the mixture, crack some black pepper on top and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.

    Add the sugar and pour in the yoghurt. Mix well. Pour in the water or stock, bring to a boil and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, over high heat and without the lid on.

    Check the seasoning, squeeze a little lime juice all over and garnish with coriander.
Meal type: main course
Servings: 4
Copyright: © kayotickitchen.com

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    1. 1

      Ouh! Looks awesome! I tried the recipe from the Eat, Shrink and be Merry sisters. It was amazing! :) Can’t wait to try this one

      Gabrielle on Feb 2, 2011 @ 1:34 pm Reply
    2. 2

      Funny, most Americans I know despise Guy Fieri, at least the person. I’ve only seen a few of his diner programmes last time I was in the US and didn’t find him too obnoxious.
      Regarding the cumin, that might well have been a printing error, one tablespoon is A LOT, for any ground/seed spice,  except for a fresh chopped herb.

      Karohemd on Feb 2, 2011 @ 1:48 pm Reply
    3. 3

      I love to watch Guy Fieri in his show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. And yes his recipes are great! Nice pics Kay.

      arrisje on Feb 2, 2011 @ 1:53 pm Reply
    4. 4


      I think he’s adorable :)

      When it comes to curry powder or garam masala, a tbsp is a normal amount. Mustard seeds as well, but this was definitely an overkill for me.

      Kay on Feb 2, 2011 @ 1:57 pm Reply
    5. 5

      I made butter chicken the other day for the first time and it was delicious but I kept thinking that the next time I’m gonna skip on the butter. I rarely use butter in cooking, only in baking. Reading how much you liked a no-butter version gives me hope that the dish will be good even without all that fat.
      It looks great by the way Kay!  Cumin seeds do tend to give an overpowering taste to whatever they are added in. Ground cumin work best for me.

      My Little Expat Kitchen on Feb 2, 2011 @ 2:02 pm Reply
    6. 6

      I love Guy Fieri!  I just moved and have no cable/tv right now and I miss the Food Network a lot.
      Kay, do you think I could sub in coconut milk for the yoghurt?  (I don’t mix meat/milk and so normally skip recipes for things like butter chicken, but this recipe looks like the yoghurt is a small enough amount that I could find a way around it.)

      Elisheva on Feb 2, 2011 @ 3:43 pm Reply
    7. 7

      Hah–‘like crack to a foodie’–so true!!

      Jenna on Feb 2, 2011 @ 5:27 pm Reply
    8. 8

      Which Magimix did you buy?  I got the 5200XL and used the mini chopper the other day for dried spices- it was useless, more ended up out of the machine (they were flying everywhere) and in the other basins than in the mini bowl!

      Vanessa on Feb 2, 2011 @ 8:05 pm Reply
    9. 9


      I got the 3200XL. They are so crazy expensive in the Netherlands and $400 was the maximum I was willing to spend on a food processor.

      Kay on Feb 2, 2011 @ 8:59 pm Reply
    10. 10

      Hey there, this looks delicious! Did you mean tomato paste instead of puree, though?

      Marisa on Feb 2, 2011 @ 11:31 pm Reply
    11. 11

      Made this last night and the only thing I’d consider changing is the amount of chili flakes. I’d go with 1 tsp next time as it was bloody hot, tasty but spicy.

      Matt on Feb 3, 2011 @ 1:39 pm Reply
    12. 12


      We’re definitely a huge fan of spicy dishes here. Especially when it comes to Indian food :)

      Kay on Feb 3, 2011 @ 2:04 pm Reply
    13. 13


      Tomato puree is the Dutch word for it. Sometimes I write it down without thinking about it :)


      Kay on Feb 3, 2011 @ 7:33 pm Reply
    14. 14

      I will make this tonight for dinner. Hope it pairs well with rice.

      Kath on Feb 4, 2011 @ 12:21 am Reply
    15. 15

      I might just say this is what is for dinner tonight. :)  However, I cannot stand fresh ginger.  Should I substitute something else or just go with everything else and pretend you didn’t mention it?  :) 

      I must say I love Guy too.  He is a hoot.  He is hosting a game show in the US as well now.  Minute to Win It.  I have never watched it but I am sure he is funny there are well.  Watching DDD can be kinda annoying when he is stuffing his mouth but it is still fun to watch. 

      Kait on Feb 4, 2011 @ 8:43 pm Reply
    16. 16

      Lovely recipe. We cooked it last night. Keep them coming, you have a talent for cooking!

      Christine on Feb 5, 2011 @ 2:23 pm Reply
    17. 17

      I have loved Guy right from the beginning!  Cumin is one of my favorite spices, I must try but I agree that 1 tbsp seems like a typo?

      Rhonda on Feb 5, 2011 @ 5:59 pm Reply
    18. 18

      OMG! that looks AMAZING!!

      Mo Travels on Feb 6, 2011 @ 8:48 pm Reply
    19. 19

      Kay, I made this last week and it was a hit!!!!  Will be making again soon when my husband is home to enjoy it too!

      Kath on Feb 7, 2011 @ 4:12 pm Reply
    20. 20

      We hebben het vanavond gegeten en het was heerlijk!!!!
      Dat knijpje limoen maakte het helemaal af.
      Dankjewel voor je inspirerende recepten.

      Bayla on Feb 7, 2011 @ 7:47 pm Reply
    21. 21

      @Kait:No fresh ginger? Go wash your mouth, Kait! :)

      How about some ground ginger? And just a small dose. Or maybe lemon zest?

      Kay on Feb 7, 2011 @ 7:54 pm Reply
    22. 22

      A delicious chicken curry. Tradtionally in India we do a chicken curry with yogur the same way and it is called Dahi Murgh (translating Dahi = yogurt Murgh=chicken).

      Soma on Feb 11, 2011 @ 9:57 pm Reply
    23. 23

      I’m about to make this now. And I’m NOT going to wash my chicken. :-)  Thinking of adding cauliflower to it, since I have some and I love curried cauliflower.  Will let you know how it turns out.

      Tess Danesi on Feb 12, 2011 @ 7:17 pm Reply
    24. 24

      That butter chicken does look tasty!

      Kevin (Closet Cooking) on Feb 12, 2011 @ 9:06 pm Reply
    25. 25

      There’s nothing bad about butter.  Most cooking oils on the otherhand…

      Jen on Feb 13, 2011 @ 8:20 pm Reply

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