Nutrient Rich Food for a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

The Conscientious Cook

No Butter Chicken

I love Butter Chicken but being dairy free it really doesn’t love me so I developed this recipe using dairy free alternatives, it works really well and gives a lovely creamy, buttery flavour anyway.

I cooked it for our New Years Eve family and friends get together but prepared it way before Christmas and popped it in the freezer.  It is extremely delicious, super quick and freezes really well, it’s best made the day before serving so the flavours really develop.

I served this as part of an all day buffet, so to make life easy I reheated it in our slow cooker, perfect because I could forget about it and enjoy chatting with friends. Just before serving I gave it a good stir added the yoghurt and sprinkled with coriander and flaked almonds. I served it with plain basmati rice and a Vegan Sweet Potato & Spinach Dahl.

Serves 10


6 inch piece fresh ginger, grated
8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1-2 red chilli, deseeded and chopped – depending on how spicy you like your curry
6 cloves, smashed
8 cardamon pods
300ml coconut cream
100g ground almonds
4 bay leaves
2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cinnamon
500ml chicken stock
2kg Chicken, I used a mixture of organic or free range boned thighs and breast, skin removed. Cut into large chunks
2 tbsp coconut oil 2 onions, diced
75g coconut yoghurt Coriander, chopped
Flaked almonds, dry toasted in a pan


Put the ginger, garlic, chilli, cloves and cardamom in a pestle and mortar or blender and grind to a paste.

In a mixing bowl, combine the paste with the coconut cream, almonds, bay leaves, garam masala, turmeric, cinnamon and chicken stock. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper.

Now add the raw chicken and leave to marinade over night or for at least an hour. In a large, heavy based pan melt the coconut oil and fry the diced onions until soft about 5 mins.

Then add the chicken plus the marinade making sure you don’t leave any of it behind in the bowl! When it starts to bubble turn the heat down and simmer until the chicken is cooked, about 20-30 mins.

If you are preparing the dish the day before or freezing it then allow to cool before refrigerating or freezing. If however you are eating straight away then add the coconut yoghurt and coriander (keeping about 1tbsp for serving). Cook for a further 5 mins. Taste for seasoning, scatter with the rest of the coriander and some dry toasted flaked almonds.

If you are using another day, then ensure you reheat the curry throughly, about 5mins before serving add the yoghurt and coriander and stir well.  Then scatter with the last ingredients.