This not-so-buttery version is still absolutely delicious! Lightened up by trimming down the butter/oil and using plain yoghurt instead of cream. The end result is a rich, creamy, mild and fragrant dish that the whole family will love.
Tips to help cut down on total fat when making a curry at home:
- Use non-stick pans.
- Replace coconut milk or coconut cream with a reduced fat coconut milk.
- Replace cream with fat-free plain yoghurt or low fat ideal milk.
- Limit oil to 1 teaspoon per person that you cook for e.g. for a family of five – only 5 teaspoons oil.
- Once finished cooking or with leftovers, a layer of fat may separate to the top – skim off and remove this extra fat.
- Dry roast spices and seeds to add flavour to your food e.g. chilli pepper, black mustard seeds, cumin, ginger, coriander, and garlic don’t need oil to release their aroma. Alternatively use spice mixes like garam masala, goda masala, and curry leaves.
- Brown onions or vegetables without oil: use water instead.
- Sauté meats and vegetables without oil: use alternatives such as water, low-sodium soy sauce, vegetable broth, meat stock, wine, rice vinegar, tomato juice, lemon juice, and ginger/garlic/tamarind/tomato pastes and purées.
- Buy pots and pans with well-fitting lids – a simple method to loosen any vegetables or meat etc. that stick to the pan, is to just close the lid. The moisture that remains and circulates within the closed pan will loosen the contents.
Chicken thighs work really well here – unlike chicken breast, they dont dry out despite the long, slow simmer. The garam masala is added right at the end to preserve the aroma and flavour of the spices and gives your dish a little boost just before serving.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 600 g boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cube
- 20 g (4 teaspoons) butter
- 1 onion
- 2 teaspoons crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoon crushed ginger
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon curry powder (I use medium)
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- 1 can (410 g) Indian Diced Tomatoes (with curry leaves and spices), pureed/blended to smooth
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) plain yoghurt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- coriander leaves to garnish (optional)
- In a heavy-based saucepan heat the oil. Add the chicken and toss until sealed. Remove and set aside.
- Reduce the heat on your saucepan to low and add the butter, onion, garlic, ginger and all the dried spices.
- Once sizzling and aromatic, add the chicken back to the pan.
- Add the blended tomatoes and sugar and season with salt and pepper.
- Cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 50 - 60 minutes until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened.
- Stir through the yoghurt and garam masala and serve.
You can make your curry a day ahead and chill overnight (I often think curry is even nicer on day 2). Delicious served with rice, cauliflower rice or wholewheat wraps, enjoy!