I absolutely adore butter chicken! Discovering that I could no longer eat dairy, grains, tomatoes, or curry powder (thanks to additional allergies beyond gluten issues) definitely threw a wrench into this dish! A few weeks ago, the cravings got the better of me and inspired me to create something that would scratch that itch. I’ll admit it’s not the same, but it’s delicious, and close enough to be very satisfying. Note the additional ingredient options indicated for those who can tolerate ingredients that don’t work for me, but could enhance the flavour. It’s also worth noting that this sauce could be made in a larger quantity and frozen for faster meals. Unfortunately, this dish is not AIP, but is reintroduction friendly.
Ingredients (3 or 4 servings)
- 1 medium Butternut Squash, peeled, seeds removed, and chopped into cubes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- 1 – 1½ tsp salt
- 1½ tbsp garam masala (I like Cha’s blend)
- ½ cup fresh chopped cilantro
- 2 tbsp avocado oil
- 2 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces (could substitute chicken thighs, cod, or chickpeas)
- Diced onion
- Paprika, chili powder, or cayenne
- Gluten free naan bread
- Cauliflower rice
I ate this dish with Meatified’s Cassava Flour Tortillas. If you get some nice toasty spots on them, they are very much like a chapati, just a bit thinner. Using slightly more water can also make them a teeny bit softer and easier to work with. I would recommend making the cassava flour tortillas ahead of time (they freeze well with parchment paper between them), or cooking with an assistant. Doing them at the same time as the meat and sauce can become a bit of a juggling act.
1. Peel, seed, and cube the butternut squash. Place in a large pot with the avocado oil, and cook over medium-high heat. (if using onions and garlic, saute them first)
2. Add coconut milk, vinegar, and dried spices. Simmer until squash becomes soft. Add a bit of water or more coconut milk if it seems to have cooked out too much of the moisture too quickly (and/or turn down the heat).
3. While the sauce is simmering, cut up and saute your chicken in a separate pan, seasoning with avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Once it is cooked through, you can set it aside and portion it out as it is being served, or add it to the sauce AFTER it is blended. If I were to do this with boneless, skinless chicken thighs, I would marinate them in garlic, lemon, avocado oil, salt, and garam masala, and bake them at 375℉. I have also served this sauce over pan fried cod seasoned with salt and pepper, and it was lovely. I would imagine that chickpeas would make an excellent vegan option. If you keep the proteins separate, this would be an easy meal to make for a group that combines meat eaters and vegans.
4. Once the squash is soft, remove the sauce from heat and blend smooth with an immersion blender. I stirred in half of the fresh cilantro at this point, but keep it on the side if you are serving folks who don’t love it.
5. You can combine your protein of choice with the sauce and simmer a few minutes longer, or simply pour the sauce over the protein (and rice/caulirice). Garnish with fresh cilantro.
6. Serve with warm tortillas or naan.