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Better Butter Chicken

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

Renowned South African cook Chantal Lascaris, recently shared a story about how she once made a delicious butter chicken recipe for a group of friends and left out the rice - by accident of course. Today she shares that delicious for better butter chicken with us!

I love the idea of making this all-in-one dish. It’s one of my favourite ‘go to’ meals as it has all the qualities and flavours of butter chicken, but with a little less fat than is usual. It’s more about flavour than mere hot spice so it appeals to just about everyone. The secret to the tender chicken is the marinating, so the longer you leave it in the sauce, the tastier and more succulent it will be.

Stovetop – large pot

400–500g chicken breast fillets, sliced into strips

1 onion, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

50g roasted cashews, chopped

1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes

1 tsp crushed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

2½ Tbsp sugar or sugar substitute

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp curry powder

2 tsp white wine vinegar

2 Tbsp water

3 Tbsp butter

5 Tbsp Greek yoghurt

fresh coriander for garnishing

sliced fresh chilli for garnishing (optional)


½ tsp crushed fresh ginger

½ tsp crushed garlic

1 tsp curry powder

1 Tbsp olive oil


To prepare the marinade, place the ingredients in a sealable bag and add the chicken. Massage well, ensuring that the chicken is coated. Leave to marinate for approximately 30 minutes, or longer if possible.

Meanwhile, in a large pot, gently sauté the onion in the olive oil until softened. Add the chopped cashews to the onions, along with the canned tomatoes and stir together. Mix in the garlic, salt, pepper, sugar, garam masala, curry powder, white wine vinegar and water until well combined. Leave to simmer for approximately 10 minutes.

Remove from the heat and, using a hand blender, blend the ingredients until fine. Add the marinated chicken (including any leftover marinade) to the sauce and continue to cook until the chicken is done. Be careful not to overcook the chicken.

Add in the butter and Greek yoghurt and stir until the butter has melted and all the ingredients are well blended. Garnish with fresh coriander and sliced chilli (if using).

Serve with a starch of your choice.

Author: Chantal Lascaris


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