Butter Chicken without Yogurt (Easy Recipe)

This butter chicken without yogurt recipe is simple to make and packed with aromatic spices and tender chicken.

It’s the perfect dish to serve with hot cooked rice and naan bread.

Butter Chicken without Yogurt

Butter chicken is a classic Indian dish that is rich, creamy, and full of flavor.

However, if you have a dairy intolerance or simply don’t have yogurt on hand, you can still enjoy this delicious dish by making it without yogurt.

Substituting yogurt with alternative ingredients doesn’t compromise the taste and texture of the dish.

In fact, it’s just as delicious and satisfying without the yogurt.

Butter Chicken without Yogurt

This recipe is a flavorful twist on traditional butter chicken, but without the need for yogurt. It’s a great option for anyone who can’t have dairy or doesn’t have yogurt on hand.

The key to this recipe is using other ingredients to achieve the same creamy texture and rich taste. You won’t miss the yogurt at all!

Ingredients

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

  • 1 tablespoon oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tablespoon butter (can substitute with oil or ghee)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, finely minced or grated (or use ginger paste)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced or crushed
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast, cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 4 tablespoons tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder or paprika, adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves (optional*)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (can substitute with half & half for a lower-fat option)
  • Hot cooked rice and naan bread for serving

How to Make Butter Chicken without Yogurt

Here’s how to make this delicious butter chicken without yogurt:

  1. Heat oil or ghee and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until golden brown.
  2. Add the minced ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  3. Add the chicken chunks to the pan and cook until browned on all sides.
  4. Stir in the tomato sauce, garam masala, turmeric powder or paprika, fenugreek leaves (if using), ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Cook for a few minutes until well combined.
  5. Pour in the coconut milk and stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  6. Serve the butter chicken over hot cooked rice and with naan bread on the side.
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Enjoy this dairy-free version of butter chicken!

For the complete list of ingredients and directions, see the recipe card below.

Tips for the Best Yogurt-Free Butter Chicken

  • Use boneless, skinless chicken breast for the most tender and juicy results. You can also use chicken thighs if you prefer.
  • Make sure to brown the chicken well before adding the sauce. This will help develop a deep, rich flavor.
  • Adjust the spices to your preference. If you like it spicier, increase the amount of cayenne pepper or add some chopped green chilies.
  • If you don’t have coconut milk, you can substitute with cashew cream or almond milk for a dairy-free option. Just keep in mind that the flavor and consistency may vary slightly.
  • For an extra indulgent twist, stir in a tablespoon of dairy-free butter or vegan butter just before serving. This will add a rich and creamy texture to the dish.

Recipe Variations

  • Vegetarian/Vegan Option: Instead of chicken, you can use tofu or your favorite meat substitute in this recipe. Skip the browning step and add the tofu directly to the sauce. Cook until heated through, and you’ll have a delicious vegetarian or vegan butter tofu dish.
  • Creamier Option: If you’re not dairy-intolerant, you can substitute the coconut milk with heavy cream or Greek yogurt for a more traditional creamy butter chicken.
  • Spicier Option: If you prefer your butter chicken to have more heat, add extra cayenne pepper, red chili powder, or even a few dashes of hot sauce to the sauce. Adjust the spiciness according to your taste preferences.
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What to Serve With Butter Chicken

  • Basmati Rice: The fragrant and fluffy basmati rice is the perfect accompaniment to butter chicken. Cook the rice according to the package instructions and serve it alongside the chicken.
  • Naan Bread: Naan bread is a traditional Indian flatbread that pairs wonderfully with butter chicken. Warm up the naan in the oven or on a stovetop griddle for a delicious and soft bread to soak up the flavorful sauce.
  • Raita: Raita is a cooling yogurt-based sauce that can complement the spiciness of the butter chicken. If you’re not avoiding dairy, you can make a simple raita by mixing together yogurt, grated cucumber, chopped mint leaves, and a pinch of salt.
  • Salad: Adding a fresh and crisp salad to your meal can provide a nice contrast to the warm and spicy butter chicken. Consider serving a cucumber and tomato salad, mixed greens with a tangy vinaigrette, or a refreshing fruit salad.

Storage Tips

  • Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • Reheat the butter chicken in a microwave-safe dish or on the stovetop over low heat. Add a splash of water or coconut milk to prevent it from drying out.
  • If the sauce becomes too thick upon reheating, you can stir in a little water or coconut milk to thin it out.
  • Freezing is not recommended as the texture of the chicken and sauce may become compromised.

Enjoy your delicious dairy-free butter chicken leftovers within a few days for the best taste and quality.

Butter Chicken without Yogurt

Butter Chicken Without Yogurt

This delicious butter chicken without yogurt is a dairy-free version of the classic Indian dish. It's packed with aromatic spices, tender chicken, and a creamy sauce, all without the need for yogurt.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 people
Calories 366 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 tbsp oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tbsp butter (can substitute with oil or ghee)
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1 tsp ginger finely minced or grated (or use ginger paste)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic finely minced or crushed
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast cut into ¾-inch chunks
  • 4 tbsp tomato sauce or pureed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder or paprika, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp fenugreek leaves (optional*)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 1 cup coconut milk (can substitute with half & half for a lower-fat option)
  • Hot cooked rice and naan bread for serving
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Instructions
 

  • Heat oil or ghee and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until golden brown.
  • Add the minced ginger and garlic to the pan and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Add the chicken chunks to the pan and cook until browned on all sides.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, garam masala, turmeric powder or paprika, fenugreek leaves (if using), ground coriander, and cayenne pepper. Cook for a few minutes until well combined.
  • Pour in the coconut milk and stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Serve the butter chicken over hot cooked rice and with naan bread on the side.

Notes

  • If you prefer a creamier sauce, substitute the coconut milk with heavy cream or Greek yogurt.
  • Adjust the level of spiciness to your taste by adding more or less cayenne pepper or other chili spices.
  • This recipe can be easily customized by adding vegetables such as bell peppers or peas for added texture and flavor.