Paleo butter chicken recipe

Pete Evans' paleo butter chicken with cauliflower rice
Pete Evans' paleo butter chicken with cauliflower rice Photo: Pete Evans

The paleo way of life is not meant to be restrictive, as you can see from this lovely butter chicken recipe. All the nasties have been replaced with good-quality ingredients that make it as good, if not better, than the original. I prefer chicken thighs for their superior flavour and tenderness. And be adventurous with your vegetable component. Try eggplant, okra, zucchini, asparagus, pumpkin, sweet potato and Asian water spinach and replace rice with cauliflower rice.


4 tbsp coconut oil

1 large onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cumin

½ tsp paprika

1 to 2 pinches of cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tsp ground turmeric

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 tsp sea salt

2 tbsp lemon juice

1 x 400 ml can coconut cream

700 g chicken thigh fillets, cut into bite-sized pieces

Coriander leaves, to serve

Cauliflower rice (see recipe), to serve


1. Heat four tablespoons of the coconut oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

2. Add the onion and sauté for four minutes until translucent. Turn the heat down to low and stir in the garlic and spices. Add the tomato paste and cook for one minute. Add the salt, lemon juice, coconut cream and mix well.

3. Turn the heat up to medium and bring the sauce to a simmer. Add the chicken and stir until well coated with the sauce. Cover the pan with a lid and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

4. Garnish with the coriander and serve with plain cauliflower rice.