Diabetes-friendly butter chicken

Photo of diabetes-friendly butter chicken.

Butter chicken is a classic Indian dish. Creamy and flavourful, you can make it even more healthy with low-fat yoghurt and coconut milk. And with some simple twists, you can enjoy this traditional delicacy without worrying about your blood sugar.

Prep time: 65 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 6

Serving size: ⅙ of the total


For marinated chicken:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs, (1kg) cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Low-fat plain yoghurt, ¾ cup (190g)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • Turmeric, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Coriander powder, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Salt, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Ground ginger, ½ tsp (2.5g)
  • Paprika, ½ tsp (2.5g)

For butter chicken sauce:

  • ½ large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 can tomato puree, 400g
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Low fat butter, 2 tbsp (30g)
  • Light coconut milk, ½ cup (120ml)
  • Curry powder, 1 tbsp (15g)
  • Ground cumin, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Ground ginger, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Paprika, 1 tsp (5g)
  • Salt, ¾ tsp (3g)
  • Fresh cilantro (optional), for garnish


  1. To make the marinade, in a large bowl mix the yoghurt, garlic, turmeric, coriander powder, salt, ground ginger, and paprika.
  2. Once the marinade is mixed, add the chicken and make sure it’s coated in the marinade. Chill for at least 3 hours.
  3. Sauté the onions in butter, then add the garlic, cooking until fragrant.
  4. Stir in the tomato puree, coconut milk, spices, and marinated chicken.
  5. Simmer for 20 minutes, until the chicken is cooked and the sauce has thickened.
  6. Serve hot with whole wheat bread or chapati.

Storage: Store leftover butter chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently before serving.

Nutritional information

Per serving:

Calories - 190kcal

Fat - 8g

Carbohydrate - 6g

Protein - 22g

Sodium - 400mg

Sugar - 1g

Fibre - 1g

Profile photo of dietitian Sarah Khan, contributor of the diabetes-friendly butter chicken recipe.
Sarah Khan

Sarah Khan is CEO of Virtual Clinic Dietitian-cell and a prominent dietitian. She's a specialist clinical dietetic, with a focus in global diabetes management. She's passionate about crafting diabetes-friendly recipes that are both tasty and healthful, and collaborates with major healthcare organizations and health periodicals.

Looking for more recipes like this?

Photo of masala prawns.
Masala prawns

This masala prawns dish is perfect for indulging in seafood without raising your sugar level. Full of aromatic spices and succulent prawns, but low in carbs.

Photo of chicken curry.
Chicken curry

A symphony of flavours, this chicken curry is a delicate blend of exotic spices. Low in carbs, it's perfect for diabetics and won't harm blood sugar control.

Photo of chicken and spinach patties.
Chicken and spinach patties

Nutritious and delicious, these chicken and spinach patties can be prepared in just 20 minutes! And better yet, they're also dairy-free and sugar-free.

Recent recipes

Together, our experiences make us stronger. Send your recipe to us, and we'll help you share it with the diabetic community.

Want to keep up with the latest news, stories and recipes?

Sign up and get the latest updates straight to your inbox.
Thanks for signing up with us! We look forward to having you in our community!
Oops! Something went wrong, have you filled in all your details correctly?