Butter chicken curry

Butter chicken curry and salad.

Butter chicken curry is a wonderful dish that takes only 60 minutes to prepare. All that flavour is from the spices and herbs, and a creamy sauce from the coconut milk. What is more, it has zero refined ingredients and no preservatives; it is better for you and your family.

You can make your butter chicken curry from breast fillets, but I choose the whole bird. It is cheaper and we love the bones for a wholesome broth for soups and other dishes.

But it will take a little longer to cut up the carcass; if you are in a hurry, buy chicken breast fillets.

Published: August, 2020 By: Bernie

Spatchcock chicken.

Then alas you will not have time to marinade it properly either; this takes less than an hour, but some planning the day before is required for a truly memorable meal.

Since butter is back, and actually should never have been banished to Coventry in the first place, we prefer not to fry the onions in oil.

Olive oil would also be good, even better, but that from sunflower is high in omega-6 which is not to be recommended; it is highly inflammatory.

Since at least half the nutrients are in the pulp, we prefer to use whole lemons, rather than the juice; add a touch of the zest too.

Coriander is probably the easiest of the all the herbs to grow in your garden. It seeds itself and could be called a weed if it was not so delicious; we add it to many of our dishes.

So, let us get to the butter chicken curry.


  1. Two whole chickens
  2. A cup of yoghurt or kefir
  3. Half a lemon
  4. Two onions, chopped
  5. 5 cloves of garlic and a thumb-sized piece of ginger
  6. 1-2 T of masala and 2 tsp of freshly ground cumin
  7. Half a red chili or 5 peppadews
  8. Two very ripe tomatoes
  9. 1 can of coconut cream
  10. 1 cup of fresh green coriander

Butter chicken curry

Butter chicken curry will be even tastier if you allow it to marinade overnight in the yoghurt and lemon juice.

After that, you can plan on no more than an hour from start to finish.

Let us cook

Butter chicken curry with coconut cream.

Cumin is the one spice that really deteriorates with time. So buy whole seeds; they are very inexpensive. Or use the powdered spice for a second grade curry.

  1. Peel the lemon or lime and mush it with the yoghurt using a stick blender in a large bowl.
  2. Cut up the chickens into drumsticks, thighs, wings and breast, and the remaining carcass. Later you will use the bones for a broth; about 1kg of meat. Add it to the lemon and yoghurt mixture, spooning it thoroughly, and leave it to marinade, preferably overnight, in the refrigerator.
  3. Next day, in a large pot fry the chopped onions in a couple tablespoons of butter on low heat; season with salt and pepper. Do not hurry the process, waiting until they are completely translucent before turning up the heat to brown them; add a cup of water and keep frying until it has all boiled away.
  4. Meantime, peel and chop the garlic and ginger, slice the tomatoes and chili and, together with the masala and cumin, add to the fried onion; add a teaspoon of salt. Keep stirring for about ten minutes.
  5. Add the chicken marinade to the onion and spice mixture, turning up the heat, and stirring periodically. Ten minutes, removing the lid once it is boiling.
  6. Meantime wash and chop the green coriander, and then add it together with the coconut cream to the pot. Boil for five minutes, again with no lid on the pot. You could add some chickpeas for vegetable protein and to thicken the butter chicken curry.

This dish tends to be a little watery so always cook without the lid and boil off all the liquid in step 3.

This butter chicken curry will make 8 people very happy.

Serve with a green salad, and either thick slices of wholemeal bread and butter, or brown rice.

There are three important criteria for all our meals.

First they must be nutritious; we avoid refined food. So there is no white Basmati rice, favoured though it is.

Secondly, it must be simple and quick to prepare. I certainly do not have the time, and I am sure most of you reading this recipe will not either, to spend hours labouring in the kitchen.

And thirdly, the taste should be out of this world. Mind you, I believe we have been seduced into believing that we need eat only those meals that resonate strongly with our tongues.

Food is to make us and our children strong and robust, not just titillate our desires.

This is not a Cordon Bleu site. So there is no sauce thickened with cake flour, and we refuse to use refined bread crumbs. We keep bacon, and all processed meat for that matter, for high and holy days, much as we love it.


Your well-being is primary at this site; we make no apology. If you have plenty of time, and no concerns what goes into your butter chicken curry, and you are wanting chicken cordon bleu, then be my guest.

The grandchildren are coming

If the grandchildren are coming to Sunday lunch, and you have planned on making butter chicken curry, then obviously adjust the spices.

In the photograph above, I have added only one tablespoon of masala and removed all the seeds from the peppadews, so the colour is a little anaemic; from the yoghurt and coconut cream, of course.

In fact I never advocate following any recipe slavishly; make it your own by adapting it.

Durban curry was integral to rising above a system of indenture, designed to turn people into cogs in the colonial labouring machine by innovating and experimenting with memories of what was left behind and what was available in this neck of Africa.

Ashwin Desai


Can you see the vapour rising from the these cumin seeds being roasted?

Cumin is a basic spice to so many dishes from the Indian subcontinent; you may not notice the difference in your butter chicken curry if it is old, but in dishes like hummus with subtle flavours where it is the only added condiment, it makes a huge difference if freshly ground.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • What are ultra-processed foods?
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  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
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In any case, it is a lot cheaper to buy in bulk, and so easy to roast and grind your cumin; the aroma that comes off will fill your kitchen and send you into a fantasy. It is that good, believe you me.

Can you see the vapour rising from these cumin seeds being roasted?

We keep it in the fridge under olive oil, but for no more than two weeks; it goes bitter when old.

Marinade rules

Making your own marinade not only saves you a lot of money, but it also helps you evade the chemicals that are now being fingered as a big part of the cause of non-infectious chronic diseases. Here are a few rules.

  1. 2 parts oil to 1 part acid ingredient.
  2. The acid ingredient would be the kefir, wine, vinegar and so on.
  3. Don't forget the herbs and spices.

Butter is back

Like eggs, butter is back and it is now agreed by scientists that there is evidence that it increases your blood cholesterol, or even that is the main problem. The real fly in the ointment is raised blood glucose; that is what causes our arteries and veins to become inflamed and raises the spectre of cardiovascular disease.

Did you know the average American consumes half a cup of sugar every day? And I will bet it is just as bad in South Africa; two of the most obese nations in the world.

So enjoy your butter chicken curry without guilt. Do have the salad on the side, with olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice; we love to add a tablespoon of this easy authentic hummus recipe. That is where most of our cumin goes.

A mixed salad with hummus.

Enjoy foods like butter chicken curry, with a salad and, no much how much fat you add to your dinner, you'll never have to take statins; did you know they actually increase the rate of prostate malignancies, and impotence is one of the side effects?

A life without medication really is not such a pipe-dream; no, I have not been smoking opium.

I am prediabetic so I avoid all refined starches and especially white rice; but 100% wholemeal bread is a delight. I have not shown it with the meal above, but it is out of the picture.

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Homemade bread and pesto.

Sourdough bread like this can be enjoyed by those who are gluten intolerant; the lactobacillus help to break down the stubborn amino acid chains that cause some people problems.

  1. Bernard Preston
  2. Fast healthy dinner recipes
  3. Butter chicken curry

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa