Indian Butter Chicken

OK, as promised, here’s one of my favorite recipes from Laura Lee of This is taken from her cookbook called The Laura Lee Balanced Cookbook. It's one of those recipes that’s always safe to go-to. Even if you don’t like Indian food, you’ll still like it with its range of deep flavors. It’s easy, rich, and satisfying. How could you not love it? 

I love to throw in a little extra garlic and serve it over rice (even cauliflower rice!). A few notes: If you’re feeding kids, I would skip the cayenne — it still tastes so good! And if you don’t have any arrowroot starch in your kitchen, you can use cornstarch and it’ll turn out great. It’s also a great freezer meal — just double the batch, put it in the freezer and voila, dinner on a busy weeknight. Usually we eat this as a meal on its own, but you could throw an easy veggie on the side like green beans or a salad.

— I hope you enjoy it as much as we do! 


What you'll need: 

  • 3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and cut into 1-inch pieces

  • 1 15-ounce full-fat coconut milk

  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste 

  • 2 tbsp. honey or maple syrup

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped into ½-inch pieces

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 

  • 2 tsp. chili powder 

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 1 tsp. turmeric

  • 1 tbsp. sea salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper (optional, if you like spice!)

  • 2 tbsp. arrowroot starch (sub non-GMO cornstarch)

  • Fresh basil or cilantro, lime juice, crushed roasted peanuts or cashews, or yogurt (optional garnish)

*I do not recommend substituting chicken breast, as they tend to turn out dry. 

What to do:

  1. Add all ingredients except arrowroot/cornstarch to a slow cooker (at least 6-quart size). Stir to combine and turn to low heat. Cook for 8 hours. Taste for more salt and add accordingly. In a small bowl, mix starch with 2 tablespoons water until dissolved. Add to slow cooker and stir until mixture thickens, approximately 1 minute. Enjoy over rice or other grains, with garnish of choice. 

  2. Leftovers will keep tightly sealed in the refrigerator for 5 days, or frozen for a month.

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