Butter chicken without the butter? What’chu talkin’ ’bout, Willis?
I loved watching Diff’rent Strokes when I was younger. I loved watching Gary Coleman’s character, Arnold Strokes, pull that cheeky face of his and say ‘What’chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis’? But this post isn’t about a TV show, it’s about a recipe that surprised my taste buds; a recipe for Butter Chicken. Not a traditional Butter Chicken recipe, but something that is a little bit lighter and quicker to make for those days when you want dinner in a hurry without having to resort to getting take-away. The most noticeable differences between this recipe and a traditional Butter Chicken recipe are:
- There is no need to marinate the chicken overnight.
- There is no cream.
- There is no butter.
- And the addition of butternut pumpkin.
When I read the recipe, I had a ‘What’chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis’ moment. Surely, this recipe is too good to be true. I had to try it and find out whether or not it actually worked; surprisingly, it did. It was tasty, flavoursome and this dish was on the table in less than an hour, definitely a dish worth a repeat performance. This Butter Chicken dish can serve four.
‘What’chu talkin’ ‘bout Willis’ Butter Chicken
1 tbs oil
1 large brown onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm-piece fresh ginger, peeled, grated
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp garam marsala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
½ tsp chilli flakes
400g butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
2 cups (500ml) salt-reduced chicken stock
¼ cup (70g) tomato paste
800g chicken thighs, cut into 4cm pieces
½ cup (125ml) low-fat greek yoghurt
1½ tsp cornflour
Steamed rice, to serve
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and ginger for 4 minutes or until soft. Stir in the cinnamon, garam marsala, coriander, paprika, cumin, turmeric and chilli for a minute or until the spices become aromatic. Stir in the pumpkin, stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes or until the pumpkin is just tender. Add in the chicken and stir in to cover the chicken in the sauce. Cook the chicken for about 7 minutes or until almost cooked through. Remove from heat.
Spoon 2 tbs of the sauce into a heat proof bowl. Whisk in the yoghurt and cornflour until smooth and combined. Slowly stir into the chicken mixture. Stir over low heat for 3 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Serve with rice
Note: I’ve only made a slight change to the recipe, i.e. I used chicken thigh meat instead of chicken breast because it’s tastier. If you would like to see the original recipe, click here.