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Indian Butter Chicken and Cauliflower Rice

My husband started a diet about two weeks ago called the Keto Diet. I won't get into all of the super scientific reasons behind it like he likes to bore - I mean tell - me about but you can read that for yourself here, if you're interested. The bottom-line is it requires that he is basically carb-free. I've been proud of him because he's stuck to it so far but I would definitely say he's been hangry A LOT. Until this dish! He made a butter chicken dish inspired by the uber-talented Cheryl at 40 Aprons. My husband has made several of her recipes and anytime he uses one of her recipes, the food is ah-mazing!

But the secret to keeping this dish carb free and keto-friendly wasn't in the butter chicken. I couldn't imagine having Indian food without rice. You have to have something to soak up all that saucy goodness. Enter cauliflower rice. If you aren't already on the bandwagon with cauliflower as a great carb sub, you need to get there. We subbed cauliflower rice for basmati last night and I swear to you, I didn't miss the rice one bit. And it was super easy to make. We used this recipe from the Minimalist Baker.

For those of you reading who haven't tried Indian food or just think that you won't like Indian food, I challenge you to give butter chicken a try. It isn't overly curry tasting and is a great entry point into testing out Indian. You also don't have to buy tons of crazy spices to make this dish - everything you need will be at your regular grocery store. Growing up, my mom was a very basic cook - not bad, just not adventurous. My mom's recipes for non-American dishes were beef tacos and lasagna - not exactly palette expanding! It wasn't until I was living in Edinburgh, Scotland that I finally had my first taste of Indian food. I've never found Indian food in the US as good as it was in the UK but it is definitely a staple for us now whether we order take in or cook it ourselves. And as soon as my picky toddlers decide to eat anything other than pizza or chicken nuggets, you can bet I'll be exposing them to Indian food on a regular basis.

Okay, now for the Butter Chicken recipe!

What You'll Need:

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of ghee*

  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut into bite sized pieces

  • 4 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger (told you)

  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 cinnamon stick

  • 15 ounce can tomato sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon sugar

  • 1/3 cup full-fat plain yogurt

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • salt and pepper to taste

*Ghee is Indian butter that you can buy in a jar at the store. If this seems too adventurous to you, try subbing peanut oil or olive oil is fine in a pinch if that's all you have.

What You'll Do:

Place chicken pieces in a bowl and massage two teaspoons of the garam masala into the chicken and set aside. Season with some salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet until very hot. Add 2 tablespooons of ghee or oil and then add the chicken and cook until browned. Remove the cooked chicken and set aside.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add butter to skillet and melt. Add garam masala, sweet paprika, coriander, ginger, chili powder, and a cinnamon stick, and cook for about a minute or until fragrant (pay attention here and remember not to burn it!). Return the chicken to the skillet and mix to coat in the spices.

Add the tomato sauce and sugar and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is tender and the sauce has thickened. You'll want to stir this every few minutes and ensure it isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.

Add the yogurt and cream and simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

Add the yogurt and cream and simmer for about 5 more minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Add salt and pepper, if needed. Serve over cauliflower rice. Enjoy!

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