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Indian butter chicken in a bowl with cauliflower rice and chai tea

Whole30 Indian Butter Chicken

This Whole30 Indian butter chicken is super flavorful and comes together quite quickly and easily. One of my favorite Whole30 Indian recipes, this Whole30 Indian butter chicken is a family favorite that even my toddler will eat! Whole30 Indian recipes are a great way to break up the Whole30 heaviness, and you'll love this Whole30 Indian butter chicken for sure. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword apple chicken, indian, indian butter, whole30
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 946kcal
Author Cheryl Malik


  • 6 tablespoons ghee divided
  • 2 pounds chicken thigh filets cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 6 cardamom pods bruised with the flat side of a knife
  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1 cup coconut cream only the solid white part
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice plus more to taste
  • plenty of salt to taste
  • fresh cilantro chopped, for garnish
  • cooked cauliflower rice to serve


  • Heat a wok or large skillet until very hot. Add 1 tablespoon ghee and swirl to coat. Add half the chicken and stir fry for 4 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides and no longer opaque. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add remaining tablespoon ghee and stir fry the remaining half of chicken until browned. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour out used ghee.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add 1/4 cup ghee to skillet and melt. Add garam masala, sweet paprika, coriander, ginger, chili powder, cinnamon stick, and cardamom pods and stir fry for 1 minute or until fragrant. Return the chicken to the skillet and mix to coat in the spices.
  • Add the tomato sauce and coconut aminos and simmer, stirring, for 15 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
  • Add the coconut cream and lemon juice and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add plenty of salt to taste; using enough will cut the heavy spice flavor and round out the entire dish. Serve over cooked cauliflower rice with chopped fresh cilantro.


Addition of coconut cream makes it so rich and so creamy.


Serving: 4g | Calories: 946kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 82g | Saturated Fat: 43g | Cholesterol: 280mg | Sodium: 824mg | Potassium: 1081mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1201IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 66mg | Iron: 5mg | Net Carbs: 11g