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Light Butter Chicken The Healthy Slow Cooker by Ross Dobson (Murdoch Books, £18.99). Photography by Jeremy Simons.
February 2024
Reading time 2 Minutes
We all love butter chicken, but it can be a guilty pleasure. This version, however, is delicious and contains only a tablespoon of butter, which works out to be barely a teaspoon per person. So put aside any guilt and enjoy!
20 minutes
about 4¼ hours
  • 750g chicken thigh fillets
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 3cm piece ginger, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 large green chilli, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1⁄2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp chicken stock powder
  • 400g can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 cup natural yoghurt
  • brown basmati rice, to serve
  • handful roughly chopped coriander
  • lemon wedges, to serve

Heat your slow cooker to High. Trim off all the fat from the chicken thighs and discard. Cut each thigh in half, or into thirds if large, bearing in mind that they will shrink as they cook. Refrigerate until needed.

Put the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli into a food processor and process until you have a chunky paste.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the paste and cook for 8–10 minutes, until the liquid from the onion has evaporated and the paste looks dry. Stir through the butter and cook for a minute until the butter has melted. Stir in the chilli powder, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika and cardamom pods. Add 2 tablespoons cold water and stir to incorporate any stuck-on bits. Stir in the tomato paste and stock powder, then scrape the contents of the frying pan into the bowl of the slow cooker. Add the crushed tomatoes, cornflour, yoghurt and chicken. Give everything a good stir, nudging the chicken into the sauce, then cover and cook for two hours.

Give it a stir, then quickly cover again to avoid losing too much heat. Cook for a further two hours, until the chicken is very tender and the sauce is thick.

Serve the butter chicken on brown basmati rice, garnished with chopped coriander and with lemon wedges on the side.

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