Keto Indian butter chicken

Keto Indian butter chicken

Namaste! We have a confession to make... Butter chicken is one of our favorite Indian dishes and we know we're not the only ones! Luckily enough, we have Jill who invites you to try her keto version of this fabulous butter chicken, served with oven-roasted cauliflower.

Keto Indian butter chicken

Namaste! We have a confession to make... Butter chicken is one of our favorite Indian dishes and we know we're not the only ones! Luckily enough, we have Jill who invites you to try her keto version of this fabulous butter chicken, served with oven-roasted cauliflower.
6 servingservings


Indian butter chicken
  • 2 lbs 900 g boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 1 tomatotomatoes
  • 1 1 yellow onionyellow onions
  • 2 tbsp 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 2 garlic clovegarlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp 1 tbsp garam masala seasoning
  • ½ tbsp ½ tbsp dried coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • ½ tbsp ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup 175 ml heavy whipping cream
  • 3 oz. 75 g butter or ghee
Oven-baked cauliflower
  • 1 lb 450 g cauliflower
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tbsp ½ tbsp coriander seed
  • ½ tsp ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 oz. 50 g butter
  • ½ cup 125 ml fresh cilantro (optional)
  • ¼ cup 60 ml heavy whipping cream (optional)


Instructions are for 6 servings. Please modify as needed.

  1. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  2. Into a food processor, add tomato, onion, ginger, peeled and chopped garlic, tomato paste and spices. Blend until smooth. Add the cream and mix for a couple of seconds.
  3. Marinate the chicken in the mixture for at least 20 minutes, but preferably more, in the refrigerator.
  4. Place a large frying pan over medium high heat and add a third of the butter. Add the chicken in the pan and fry for a couple of minutes.
  5. Pour the remaining marinade over the chicken and add the rest of the butter. Let simmer over medium heat for 15 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked. Salt to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh cilantro and drizzle with a splash of cream.
Oven-roasted cauliflower
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Trim the cauliflower and cut into small slices.
  3. Spread them out on a baking tray, sprinkle over seasoning and butter. Bake for 15 minutes in the oven.


If you have time, you can marinate the chicken the day before you're actually cooking it. The chicken will be incredibly soft and it's going to taste even more heavenly!

Slow cooker

This stew is excellent to make in a slow cooker. Place fried chicken in the cooker and add the marinade and butter. Cook for 4–6 hours on low temperature. Season with salt.

On the grill

You can also grill the chicken instead of frying it. Then thread the marinated chicken cubes onto skewers and grill on medium heat, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the chicken is done.

Put the remaining marinade together with the butter in a frying pan and let it simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve the sauce together with the grilled chicken and cauliflower.


How to make Indian butter chicken

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  1. 3 comments removed
  2. Pixi
    I didn’t fry it. I just bunged the whole lot into the oven and cooked it, and it’s fine!
  3. Katie Egervari
    Butter Chicken isn't Butter Chicken unless you're using Kashmiri Chili Powder and grilling the chicken to char it like it would be in a tandoori oven. This recipe is also missing things like cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks. Honestly, this isn't really butter chicken - it's more like an americanized version of it.

    It would be more fruitful to use these recipes from Monika Gowardan:

    They can *easily* be modified to be low carb (i.e. take out of the flour and honey :P) and would produce a butter chicken dish way more authentic and about 10x as delicious as this recipe.

    Reply: #6
  4. Jill Wallentin Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Katie,
    Thank you for your input. We strive to make the recipes as simple as possible. That's why we chose to skip the grilling part (even though the taste would be even better and more authentic as you mentioned). Regarding the seasoning we chose to use garam masala instead which actually contains cloves, cinnamon and cardamom :)

    Have a great day!

    Reply: #10
  5. susan
    I cooked it last night and loved it will be having it again tonight as made extra
  6. susan
    I cooked it last night and loved it will be having it again tonight as made extra
  7. Mary
    I note that the recipe says 2/3 tomato...what is that? Presumably not 2/3 of an actual tomato!
  8. Vikki
    Has anyone had any success in freezing this, is the cream ok when reheating or does it curdle?
  9. Katie Egervari
    Hi Jill,

    Thanks for the comment. Adding the garam masala will not achieve the same affect. You don't want to grind the spices and consume them - you want to infuse the flavours into the butter and build the sauce from that - it will come out very differently than just adding garam masala.

    In Indian Cooking, Garam Masala is more of a garnish - sprinkled in small amounts near the end of the dish. It is very rare in my experience (and I've cooked at least 100 different indian recipes) for it to be a major component in Indian food.

    Simplicity is okay - I'm down for that - but the dish should be called something like "Jill's Easy Low-Carb Butter Chicken".

    Personally, kashmiri chili powder is what makes the dish red, and the flavour is unmistakable. That also makes it possible to go much, much easier on the tomatoes, which would ironically make it even lower carb.

    If you wanted to substitute kashmiri chili powder, then use 1 part cayenne with 3 parts smoked paprika. It won't be identical, but it will be a lot closer compared to a regular chili powder blend that India doesn't even use.

    Just my thoughts,


  10. Katie Egervari
    I actually made butter chicken today, just to make a more accurate keto-approximation to put my money where my mouth is. I'm on very restricted carb, so I don't go past 10 net carbs and the dish had to satisfy that while allowing for another meal during the day. My version is 645 calories, 8.4g of net carbs, 65.3g of protein, and 35.6g of fat.

    I just used whole chicken thighs because I was lazy, but you could debone them and cut into pieces to make actual chicken tikka - it really doesn't matter that much. The one benefit to keep them as thighs is that it's easy to separate servings after it's cooked.

    To cook the chicken, marinate it overnight in a spice mix, without the tomatoes - there's no need to even use whole tomatoes. Put them on skewers on top of a roasting pan on a rack, and pour 1 cup of water in the roasting pan to trap the fat and marinade to prevent burning. Bake them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, and then set the broiler to high and cook both sides until slightly charred.

    Make the sauce in a french oven - start with butter, whole spices, onions, then move on to ginger/green chilis, and then spices with tomato paste, and then the cream. Season with salt - probably 1/2 teaspoon. Put all of the charred chicken in a coating them and mixing everything for a 8 minutes on very low heat.

    The final touch is to add apple cider vinegar. Usually fresh lemon juice is used to add more of an acid component to the dish, but that's 2-3g of carbs, so not doing that. 1/2 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar not only protects against insulin resistance, but adds the missing acid element the dish is missing.

    Basically, follow these recipes below, but exclude wheat flour from the marinade and replace with almond flour. To the butter chicken sauce, replace the honey and lemon with apple cider vinegar at the end. The dish doesn't need sweetness to taste good and I don't miss it.

    Anyway, that's what I think one should do.

  11. Corinne
    Absolutely delicious, the cauliflower was really nice, I didn't miss my usual egg fried rice at all!
  12. John
    It would be more appropriate to create your own food blog vs typing pages of info on how it falls short. These are intended to inspire free thinking ideas not a target for complaints.
  13. Heather
    My thoughts exactly John. The butter chicken was lovely. Suggest you do your own recipe blog Katie.
  14. Annalisa
    Hi I'm just wanting to make this recipe tonight , can you subsitute the cream for coconut cream ? Thank you
  15. Sharyn
    I found this to be far too overpowering. Way too spicy for the kids (who normally adore butter chicken). I can’t decide if it was too much ginger or Garam masala, but something in it was way too much (even though I followed the recipe exactly). :(
  16. Rose
    I am a Butter Chicken freak. I love this recipe.

    btw: I agree with John and Heather, and we really should be grateful to the Diet Doctor/Contributors for all their advice/assistance and recipes.

    Thank You everyone at Diet Doctor.

  17. Elias Barnes
    Made it last night - a tweak here or there maybe - and it was awesome. Fast, flavorful and plate cleaned which probably is whole point.
  18. Monica
    I loved it - only change I made was swapping the chili for paprika as I wanted a milder version that kids could eat. Also agree - no need to post long messages about recipes - a blog link would be much more appropriate. And, thank you Jill for the yummy recipe :)
  19. Hema
    I thought Katie Egervari was being helpful! Everyone has a right to comment - and so what if its a long post - scroll past it! I will try this recipe this week - and may well add some whole spices too!!
    Reply: #25
  20. Danielle
    I made this the other night and it is really good! I love butter chicken! I couldn’t get my sauce smooth however. I made a few additions because I like mine spicy. I added curry, more chili powder and cayenne pepper. I also didn’t feel like it was saucy enough, so next time I will try doubling the sauce recipe. Any suggestions on how I can make the sauce smoother? Overall great recipe! And I’ll probably make it again next week lol
  21. Filao
    Have just made this, exactly as recipe. I marinaded overnight to save myself time next day - Gorgeous!
  22. Alice
    Mine looked more pinky then orange?
  23. Jill
    I made this by accident because I mixed up a couple butter chicken recipes I printed out. So glad I did! Our family really enjoyed it. Kids too! It taste just as good as an authentic Indian family sells in our area.
  24. Christan
    Everyone has a right to comment, yes; however, not everyone has a right to comment *in any/all venues*. Diet Doctor is kind enough to supply this forum and doesn't have to allow commentary at all; it'd be completely within it's right to limit or delete whatever it wishes (and I'm sure it does).
  25. Christian
    Next: can the cooked chicken and marinade be frozen? Thank you.
  26. Christian
    Next: can this cooked dish be frozen? Thank you.
    Reply: #28
  27. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    Yes, this can be frozen/thawed at any stage.
  28. Sherry
    Is the chicken skinless, or can i leave the skin on?
    Reply: #30
  29. Kristin Parker Team Diet Doctor
    That would be up to your personal preference.
  30. Fran
    Tastes great I doubled up on the spices for more of a kick, as the first time I made it was very mild and bland.
  31. Denise
    I made this for the first time tonight using the slow cooker method- WOW! Really delicious. My husband loved it too. Definitely to be repeated. Added a bit more of the spices as we quite like that. Hugely recommend this dish.
  32. Linda
    I’ve made this dish and it’s amazing. My husband also enjoyed it. It’s just too good to be true how delicious these dishes are and they are helping keep our daily carb to <20 a day.

    You’ve changed our lives. Thank you!!

  33. 1 comment removed
  34. Michelle
    I made this last night, absolutely delicious but 6 servings, really?? It was literally 1 ladle full and same of the cauliflower (also delicious!) i felt hungry as hell afterwards.....

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