The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Butter Chicken Recipe

The Not-So Starving Student—Easy Butter Chicken Recipe

Butter chicken is one of my all-time favorite recipes that boasts bold, rich flavors. Butter Chicken with a bowl of basmati rice or drizzled over naan makes for a hearty meal, enough to transport you to a different world. Butter chicken originated in India and was introduced with ingredients from both British and Indian cuisine. It is prepared with spices and dairy-based ingredients that create a smooth, creamy base. When we typically think of butter chicken we think of a delicious, albeit less-healthy, dish with ample amounts of butter. However, my favorite butter chicken uses very little butter and does not leave you feeling greasy.

Although ethnic cuisines can sound intimidating and difficult to master, there are many shortcuts that can make your butter chicken taste as good as restaurant-quality ones with minimal effort. I’ve tweaked many of the recipes I’ve used in the past for Indian butter chicken for the most effective, delicious, and nutrient-conscious results. You may already know from my previous posts that I am a big fan of short cuts in the kitchen – whatever helps our already busy schedules as an AU student is a win!

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Overall taste: 9/10
Nutrition: 7/10

Ingredients (prepares 2 servings)

340 chicken breast
30 grams ginger
170 grams sweet potato
2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp minced ginger
7 grams cilantro
¾ cup basmati rice
160 grams roma tomato
110 grams yellow onion (1 large onion)
165 mL coconut milk
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sugar (optional)
2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
¼ tsp salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F and wash all the vegetables
  2. Cut sweet potatoes into half inch pieces. Peel and finely chop onions and mince the ginger
  3. Roughly chop the cilantro and set aside for garnish
  4. Add rice to boiling water in a pot. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook until rice is tender and liquid is gone (takes approximately 12-14 minutes)
  5. While rice cooks, pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper then sprinkle with half of the following powders
    1. 2 tsp turmeric
    2. 1 tsp ground cumin
    3. 1 ½ tsp garam masala
    4. 1 tsp coriander powder
    5. 1 tsp red chilli powder
    6. 1 tsp minced ginger
  6. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium to high heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil and add turkey. Cook until golden brown and crusted on each side (1-2 minutes per side).
  7. Move the turkey to the baking sheet with sweet potatoes and bake thoroughly for 8-10 minutes
  8. When turkey and sweet potatoes finish cooking, heat the same pan over medium heat. When hot, add 1 tbsp oil, add onions and tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally until onions are soft (3-4 minutes). Add ginger and the remaining half of the following powders:
    1. 2 tsp turmeric
    2. 1 tsp ground cumin
    3. 1 ½ tsp garam masala
    4. 1 tsp coriander powder
    5. 1 tsp red chilli powder
    6. 1 tsp minced ginger
  9. Cook and constantly stir until veggies are soft (1-2 minutes).
  10. Add coconut milk, soy sauce and ½ cup of water to the same pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cooking and stirring often until the water has evaporated (10-20 minutes).
  11. When sweet potatoes and chicken are done (cut chicken into thin strips) from the oven, stir into the curry. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir the cilantro and 1 tbsp butter. Season with salt.
  13. Divide rice between plates and top with cilantro.