Butter chicken without tomato is a classic Indian dish that is known for its rich and creamy sauce.
Traditionally, it is made with a tomato-based sauce, but this recipe provides a delicious alternative that omits the tomatoes.
By skipping the tomatoes, the sauce becomes even creamier and smoother, allowing the flavors of the spices and herbs to shine through.
It’s a fantastic option for anyone who wants a different twist on this popular dish.
Butter Chicken without Tomato
This butter chicken recipe without tomatoes is just as flavorful and satisfying as the traditional version.
The tender chicken is marinated in a blend of spices and yogurt, then cooked in a creamy sauce that’s both rich and comforting.
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s incredibly easy to make. With just a few simple steps, you can have a homemade butter chicken that tastes like it came from your favorite Indian restaurant.
Here’s what you need to make this tomato-free butter chicken:
- Bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skinned
- Plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- Ground coriander
- Ground cumin
- Lemon juice
- Ground turmeric
- Chopped onion
- Vegetable oil
- Fresh ginger
- Reduced sodium chicken broth
- Whipping cream
- Chopped fresh cilantro
- Garam masala
How to Make Butter Chicken without Tomato
Follow these steps to create a flavorful butter chicken:
- Marinate the chicken. In a bowl, combine the yogurt, ground coriander, ground cumin, lemon juice, ground turmeric, salt, and cayenne. Add the chicken and coat it well with the marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for even more flavor.
- Cook the chicken. Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
- Make the sauce. In the same skillet, add chopped onion and cook until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and minced ginger, cooking for an additional minute. Add the chicken broth, harissa, whipping cream, butter, chopped cilantro, and garam masala. Stir well to combine.
- Simmer the sauce. Return the chicken to the skillet and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and let it cook over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Serve and enjoy! Serve the butter chicken without tomato over cooked basmati rice, if desired. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and serve with naan bread on the side for a complete and delicious meal.
For the complete list of ingredients and detailed directions, see the recipe card below.
Tips for the Best Butter Chicken
To ensure that your butter chicken without tomato turns out absolutely delicious, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Marinate the chicken: Don’t skip marinating the chicken in the yogurt and spice mixture. This step not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize the meat.
- Use bone-in chicken: Using bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks adds extra moisture and flavor to the dish. If you prefer, you can also use boneless chicken, but adjust the cooking time accordingly.
- Adjust the spice level: Feel free to adjust the amount of cayenne pepper to suit your taste preference. If you like it spicier, add a full teaspoon, or reduce it to a half teaspoon for a milder version.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro: The addition of fresh cilantro at the end not only adds a pop of color but also enhances the overall flavor profile of the dish. Don’t skip this step!
Although this butter chicken recipe without tomato is already delicious, you can customize it to your liking. Here are a few variations you can try:
- Vegan version: Substitute the chicken with tofu or chickpeas for a vegan twist on this classic dish. Use coconut milk instead of whipping cream and dairy-free yogurt for the marinade.
- Cashew butter chicken: For an added nutty flavor, blend cashews into a smooth paste and add it to the sauce. This will give the dish a creamy texture and a rich taste.
- Vegetable butter chicken: Add your favorite vegetables to the sauce to create a hearty and nutritious dish. Bell peppers, peas, and cauliflower are popular options that pair well with the creamy sauce.
- Spicy butter chicken: If you love spicy food, add extra cayenne pepper or even some chopped fresh chili peppers to increase the heat level. Just be sure to adjust the spiciness according to your taste preferences.
What to Serve With Butter Chicken
Butter chicken pairs well with a variety of side dishes. Here are a few options to complete your meal:
- Basmati rice: Serve the butter chicken over fragrant basmati rice for a classic combination. The fluffy, aromatic rice complements the rich and creamy sauce.
- Naan bread: Scoop up the flavorful sauce with some warm and fluffy naan bread. The soft texture and slight sweetness of naan make it the perfect accompaniment.
- Raita: Cool things down with a side of raita. This refreshing yogurt-based condiment, usually made with cucumber and spices, balances out the richness of the butter chicken.
- Indian pickles: Add some tangy and flavorful Indian pickles on the side for an extra punch of flavor. Mango pickles or lime pickles are popular choices that complement the dish well.
If you have any leftovers of this delicious butter chicken, here’s how to store them properly:
- Refrigeration: transfer the cooled leftover butter chicken to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days.
- Freezing: If you want to freeze the butter chicken, allow it to cool completely before transferring it to a freezer-safe container or freezer bags. Label with the date and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Thawing and reheating: When you’re ready to enjoy your frozen butter chicken, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator. Reheat it gently on the stovetop, adding a splash of water or chicken broth to maintain its creamy consistency.
Remember, the quality may slightly change after freezing, but it should still be tasty and satisfying.
Note: It’s important to reheat the butter chicken leftovers thoroughly until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to ensure food safety.
Butter Chicken without Tomato
- 6-8 bone-in chicken thighs and/or drumsticks skinned
- ½ cup plain whole milk Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ – 1 tsp cayenne
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
- ½ cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 tsp harissa
- 3/4 cup whipping cream
- 2 tbsp butter cut up
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 tsp garam masala
- In a bowl, combine the yogurt, ground coriander, ground cumin, lemon juice, ground turmeric, salt, and cayenne. Add the chicken and coat it well with the marinade. Allow it to marinate for at least 30 minutes, or overnight in the refrigerator for even more flavor.
- Heat vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the skillet and set it aside.
- In the same skillet, add chopped onion and cook until softened. Stir in the minced garlic and minced ginger, cooking for an additional minute. Add the chicken broth, harissa, whipping cream, butter, chopped cilantro, and garam masala. Stir well to combine.
- Return the chicken to the skillet and bring the sauce to a simmer. Cover and let it cook over low heat for about 20-25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
- Serve the butter chicken over cooked basmati rice, if desired. Garnish with additional chopped cilantro and serve with naan bread on the side for a complete and delicious meal.
- Adjust the cayenne pepper amount according to your spice preference.
- For a vegan version, substitute the chicken with tofu or chickpeas and use coconut milk instead of whipping cream.
- Customize the recipe by adding your favorite vegetables to the sauce.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and reheat thoroughly before serving.