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Healthy Butter Chicken

This is a lower-fat, lower-calorie version of the ever-popular North Indian Butter Chicken (Murgh Makhani) in tomato cream sauce. The butter is reduced and milk and plain yogurt are used instead of cream. It is still delicious and not difficult to prepare! The brown basmati rice boosts the fibre.
Serves: 4
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 45 min


1 cup brown basmati rice, dry
2 tsp canola oil
1 cup onion(s), diced
¼ tsp turmeric, ground
2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, fresh, minced
1 tbsp garam masala
½ tsp cayenne pepper, ground
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin, ground
½ tsp salt
1 cup homogenized milk, 3.3% MF
¼ cup plain yogurt, 2–4% MF
1 cup tomato purée
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) cubes
2 tbsp lemon juice, fresh
2 tsp brown sugar
½ cup cilantro sprigs, fresh (optional garnish)

Food Safety

Before you start, wash all surfaces and your hands with soap and warm water, and remember to wash your hands, utensils and cutting boards after they touch raw meat or eggs. Avoid cross-contamination by using a different cutting board for your meat and other ingredients. Make sure you’re cooking to safe temperatures and chilling any leftovers within two hours. For more food safety tips, visit our Food Safety at Home Section.


  1. Cook brown rice in unsalted water according to package directions.

  2. Heat oil over medium high heat in a heavy bottom pot. Add diced onion and sauté on medium low heat until softened and lightly golden – about 5 minutes.

  3. Sprinkle with ground turmeric and sauté for another minute.

  4. Add butter, minced garlic and ginger, garam masala, cayenne pepper, black pepper, ground cumin and salt and stir. Sauté for another five minutes stirring often – watch that the spices don’t burn.

  5. Stir in whole milk, plain yogurt and tomato purée. Adjust the heat to medium low.

  6. Cut boneless chicken breast into one inch (2.5 cm) cubes. Add to pot, stir and simmer uncovered for 30 – 45 minutes or until sauce has thickened.

  7. Stir in the freshly squeezed lemon juice and brown sugar.

  8. Serve over hot brown rice. Garnish with sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Info

Per 450 g serving Amount
Protein34 g
Fat14 g
Saturated Fat6 g
Carbohydrate50 g
Fibre5 g
Sugar12 g
Cholesterol90 mg
Sodium450 mg
Per 450 g serving % Daily Value
Vitamin A25
Vitamin C25
Vitamin B646
Vitamin B1240