Chicken · entree · Indian

Butter Chicken with Coconut Rice

Can we discuss this?


That’s decor. Fall Decor.

They’ve already got fall/Thanksgiving decorations out at Hobby Lobby!!! What?! It’s JULY!

Don’t get me wrong, I adore fall décor, but…this is a bit much. And yes, I did thoroughly scope out the two autumny aisles.

Anyway, Rob & I are two days displaced from going on vacation!!!!!1!1 I’m so ready to be on a plane bound for Montana. We’re going to see my family and then take a road trip to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and stay in a wonderful cabin up there! I’m super stoked.

I didn’t want to cook anything this weekend since we’ll be gone for a full week and I didn’t want leftovers (I ALWAYS have leftovers), but I did cook last weekend. I made a staple dinner in my household: butter chicken. A couple of years ago, when I was on a paleo kick,  I made this Indian butter chicken recipe for the first time.

I fell in love with it. FullSizeRender (416)

I’ve made it a few times since, and I’ll either serve it completely paleo with a side of sautéed greens (chard, kale or mustard greens) or with my favorite: coconut rice. The butter chicken is so fragrant with all of those wonderful spices mixed in, and the sauce is a beautiful combo of tomato and coconut milk.

Even though the flavors are complex, this dinner is incredibly easy to whip up. It only takes about 45 minutes to make from prep to serve! FullSizeRender (406)

Butter Chicken with Coconut Rice

  • 2.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 TBS. coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. fenugreek powder
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 can coconut milk, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBS. butter
  • 1 cup uncooked basmati rice
  • 3/4 cup water
  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.FullSizeRender (408)
  2. Turn heat down to low and add cardamom, coriander, fenugreek and chili powder to onion mixture. Stir until it sort of makes a paste.FullSizeRender (409)
  3. Add tomato paste to the skillet and stir well. Turn heat back up to medium and add the 1/2 cup coconut milk and salt. Whisk mixture until no lumps remain and a thick sauce has formed.FullSizeRender (410)FullSizeRender (411)
  4. Bring sauce to a simmer and add the chicken pieces. Stir well, then cover and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or until chicken is done. Add butter and mix into sauce until melted.
  5. Make the Coconut Rice: In a small saucepan, bring the rice, water and remaining coconut milk to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until rice is tender. Fluff with a fork and serve with chicken and sauce. FullSizeRender (418)

If you’re wondering what those little seed looking things are, that’s fenugreek seed. I could NOT find fenugreek powder at any grocery store, but I finally found a packet of fenugreek seed at my local farmer’s market, of all places.

I used my mortar and pestle to attempt to grind up the seed, but they are so hard. Using whole seeds seemed fine, and I think cooking it makes it a little soft—so it’s not like you’re biting into a hard piece of inedible seed. FullSizeRender (407)

And did you know coriander and cilantro are basically the same thing? Yeah, I didn’t either. One is ground up and one is leafy. One is used more in Asian cooking and one is used more in Mexican cooking. I wouldn’t recommend using cilantro in place of the coriander in this recipe, though.FullSizeRender (415)

Hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I do! With any luck, this recipe will end up in your “regular dinner” arsenal!


6 thoughts on “Butter Chicken with Coconut Rice

  1. My family has a cabin on Coeur’d’Alene Lake!!! It’s been in our family, and a summer retreat since before I was born! Where abouts on the lake will you be staying? What bay?

    1. I have no idea! My uncle is the one who took care of everything for my whole family, so it will be a surprise for me to where we’re staying! I’ve been once before many years ago and I loved it. So beautiful!

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