Butter Chicken without Cashews (Easy Recipe)

Butter chicken is a classic Indian dish known for its rich and creamy tomato-based sauce.

However, if you have a nut allergy or simply prefer to avoid cashews, you can still enjoy this delicious dish!

This recipe for butter chicken without cashews is just as flavorful and creamy, perfect for a cozy Indian dinner at home.

Butter Chicken without Cashews

Butter Chicken without Cashews

This butter chicken recipe is a crowd-pleaser and is sure to become a family favorite.

Tender tandoori chicken is smothered in a velvety tomato sauce, spiced with aromatic Indian spices.

It’s best served with steamed basmati rice or naan bread for a complete meal.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need for this butter chicken recipe:

  • 1 kilo tandoori chicken, on or off the bone, cut into small pieces
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 4 whole pods green cardamom, smashed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • a pinch of ground mace
  • 800 grams tinned tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1-inch ginger
  • 3 green chilies
  • 120 grams crème fraîche (½ cup) or cream/full-fat yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a pinch of dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi)

How To Make Butter Chicken without Cashews

Follow these steps to make butter chicken:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the smashed cardamom pods and minced garlic. Saute for a minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  2. Add the ground mace, tinned tomatoes, ground cayenne powder, and salt to the pan. Stir well to combine the spices with the tomatoes.
  3. Grate the ginger and add it to the pan along with the green chilies. Adjust the level of heat by adding more or fewer green chilies, depending on your preference.
  4. Simmer the tomato sauce for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  5. In the meantime, heat a separate pan and melt the butter. Add the tandoori chicken pieces and cook until they’re fully cooked through and slightly charred in spots.
  6. Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to the simmering tomato sauce. Stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the sauce.
  7. Add the crème fraîche or cream/full-fat yogurt to the pan and mix well. Let the butter chicken simmer for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together.
  8. Finally, stir in the honey and dried fenugreek leaves. Adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
  9. Serve the butter chicken hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy it with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.
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Tips for the Best Butter Chicken

  • Marinate the chicken: For extra flavor and tenderness, marinate the tandoori chicken in a mixture of yogurt, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, and a blend of spices before cooking. This step can be done a few hours or even overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Adjust the spice levels: If you prefer a milder butter chicken, reduce the amount of ground cayenne powder or omit the green chilies. On the other hand, if you like it spicier, add more cayenne powder or include a few extra green chilies.
  • Use quality tomatoes: Tinned tomatoes provide a convenient option, but using good quality canned tomatoes will enhance the overall flavor of the dish. Look for brands that use ripe and flavorful tomatoes.
  • Don’t skip the fenugreek leaves: Dried fenugreek leaves, also known as kasuri methi, add a distinct flavor to the butter chicken. It can be found at most Indian grocery stores and is worth the extra effort.

Recipe Variations

  • Vegetarian option: Replace the tandoori chicken with paneer, a type of Indian cheese, for a vegetarian version of butter paneer without cashews. Simply cut the paneer into cubes and proceed with the recipe as directed.
  • Creamy coconut milk: For a twist on the classic butter chicken, substitute some or all of the crème fraîche or cream/full-fat yogurt with coconut milk to add a hint of sweetness and a creamy texture.
  • Grilled chicken: Instead of using tandoori chicken, you can grill or broil chicken breasts or thighs and then cut them into smaller pieces. This method will provide a slightly different flavor and texture to the dish.

What to Serve With Butter Chicken

  • Basmati rice: Serve the butter chicken alongside steamed basmati rice for a traditional and satisfying meal. The fragrant and fluffy rice pairs beautifully with the creamy tomato sauce.
  • Naan bread: Tear off pieces of soft and pillowy naan bread to scoop up the butter chicken sauce. The combination of the crispy edges and chewy center of the bread is a perfect complement to the dish.
  • Raita: Cool down the heat of the butter chicken by serving it with a side of refreshing cucumber raita. This yogurt-based condiment is made with grated cucumber, chopped mint, and a sprinkle of roasted cumin powder.
  • Indian salad: Add a fresh touch to your meal with a simple Indian salad. Combine thinly sliced onions, cucumber, tomatoes, and cilantro, and toss with lemon juice, salt, and a pinch of chaat masala for a burst of tangy flavor.
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Storage Tips

  • Refrigeration: Store any leftover butter chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
  • Freezing: Butter chicken no cashews can also be frozen for longer storage. Allow it to cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. It can be kept in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
  • Serving size: If you need to store individual portions, divide the butter chicken into individual containers before refrigerating or freezing. This way, you can thaw and reheat only what you need without having to defrost the entire batch.
  • Accompaniments: If you’re storing butter chicken with rice or naan bread, it’s best to store them separately. Rice can become dry when reheated, and naan bread can lose its texture. Keep them separate and reheat them individually when ready to serve.
Butter Chicken without Cashews

Butter Chicken without Cashews

This butter chicken without cashews is a creamy and flavorful Indian dish perfect for a cozy dinner at home. Tender tandoori chicken is smothered in a rich tomato sauce and spiced with aromatic Indian spices. It's a crowd-pleaser that will satisfy your cravings for a delicious Indian curry. Serve it with steamed basmati rice or naan bread for a complete meal.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 411 kcal

Instructions
 

  • Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the smashed cardamom pods and minced garlic. Saute for a minute until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  • Add the ground mace, tinned tomatoes, ground cayenne powder, and salt to the pan. Stir well to combine the spices with the tomatoes.
  • Grate the ginger and add it to the pan along with the green chilies. Adjust the level of heat by adding more or fewer green chilies, depending on your preference.
  • Simmer the tomato sauce for about 15-20 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
  • In the meantime, heat a separate pan and melt the butter. Add the tandoori chicken pieces and cook until they're fully cooked through and slightly charred in spots.
  • Once the chicken is cooked, transfer it to the simmering tomato sauce. Stir well to coat the chicken pieces with the sauce.
  • Add the crème fraîche or cream/full-fat yogurt to the pan and mix well. Let the butter chicken simmer for another 5 minutes, allowing the flavors to blend together.
  • Finally, stir in the honey and dried fenugreek leaves. Adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.
  • Serve the butter chicken without cashews hot, garnished with fresh cilantro leaves. Enjoy it with steamed basmati rice or naan bread.

Notes

  • Marinate the chicken in yogurt and spices for extra flavor and tenderness.
  • Adjust the spice levels by adding more or fewer green chilies and cayenne powder.
  • Use quality canned tomatoes for the best flavor.
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (kasuri methi) add a unique taste to the dish. Look for them at an Indian grocery store.
  • Customize the dish by adding vegetables like bell peppers or peas if desired.