Chicken Makhani and Breakfast without Eggs

I love Indian food.  There is an Indian restaurant where I live, and it is wonderful.  It is, however, very expensive (and somehow the prices seem to change each time I go in).  I was talking to a friend from India about mango lassis, and he said, “Oh, I just make those at home.”  Well, duh!  {EPIPHANY}  I could just make Indian food at home!  My friend lives in Mississippi and gets his ingredients somewhere around here.  I can too!  It would save money!  I don’t know about you, but cooking Indian food (or any ethnic food for that matter), especially when I haven’t tasted “real” Indian food because I’ve never visited India, is daunting.  How do I know that it tastes authentic?  What region is the dish from?  Is it too spicy for my spice-challenged friends?  I came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter as long as I liked it and got to researching online.  Purchasing the main Indian spices (garam masala, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, curry, coriander) might be expensive depending on where you buy spices, but it is worth the investment.  I can make almost anything into an Indian dish with these spices and stuff I have in the fridge.

My husband loves Chicken Makhani (Butter Chicken) from our local Indian place.  I still don’t know why it’s called butter chicken when there is very little butter in it, but I digress…

Here is my recipe, which is primal (there is a bunch of dairy).

For the sauce:

  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 c white onion, chopped (I usually end up with way more than 1/2 cup because I’ll cut a whole onion.  It doesn’t really matter.)
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 t lemon juice
  • 1 T grated ginger (Either from a tube, available in the produce section, or I usually buy a ginger root and keep it in the freezer.  You can then break off a piece, peel it, and grate it.  I LOVE GINGER SO MUCH!  I WOULD SMELL LIKE IT ALL DAY IF I COULD.  MAYBE I CAN.)
  • 1 T minced garlic
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 2 t chili powder
  • 2 t ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 c plain yogurt (I use Chobani plain yogurt.  Comes in a big tub so you can eat some for breakfast.  It also makes the sauce thicker, so it feels more substantial when you are eating it without traditional rice as a base.)
  • 2 c half and half (I purchased organic milk without rBST for the first time ever.  I’m not a milk drinker, so I don’t keep it on hand.  I do, however, keep cream on hand, so I just mixed them together to make half and half.)
  • 2 c tomato sauce (You could make your own or buy it.  Make sure you don’t get the flavored kind – one time I bought basil, garlic, oregano without noticing for my butter chicken – not cool.)
  • 1/2 t of cayenne or to taste (I put much more than this.)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Sautee onion until soft and translucent.  Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaves.  Cook, stirring, for 1 – 2 minutes as the exotic aroma fills the air.  Add tomato sauce and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.  Stir in half and half and yogurt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  Season with cayenne, salt, and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.


  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 t garam masala
  • 2 pinches cayenne

Heat oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat.  Cook chicken until lightly browned.  Reduce heat and season with garam masala and cayenne.  Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce to catch all the dry spices floating around in the pan.  Make sure chicken is cooked through and then stir chicken into sauce.  Simmer the sauce so that all the flavors meld, about 5 minutes.

You can serve this on top of rice, but as I mentioned, if you don’t eat rice then the sauce is really thick enough so that you don’t miss it.  I’ve also served this on top of spaghetti squash.

Aside: Have you ever smelled garam masala?  It is lovely.  It is warm, spicy, and comforting.  I could eat it in everything.

chicken makhani

chicken makhani

I really wanted something sweet last night, so I made The Primalist’s Chocolate Avocado Pudding again.  I use dark chocolate cocoa powder (because that’s all I have in my pantry).  My husband thinks it looks unappetizing, and it might… but it tastes really good.  I kinda went overboard with the whipped cream last night (no sugar added), but I think it really cuts the density of the “pudding.”


dessert – mess in the background is all my husband’s fault of course

I also poured a glass of red wine and didn’t drink a single drop.  I poured it back in the bottle before I went to bed (but after having fallen asleep on the couch) so that I could drink it another time.  Apparently this means I am old.

I woke up this morning feeling fine, there was something special on my mind.  Last night I met… Ok, ok, not going to keep going.  Last night I bought a bag of frozen berries so that I could eat the Chobani yogurt for breakfast with some fruit, nuts, and honey.  I love eggs in the morning, but I’ve had a lot of them lately and wanted something a little lighter.  What better way to use up the huge tub of yogurt than eat it for breakfast as well!

I drizzled raw honey on top of the fruit and almonds.  Super tasty.



Honey from Mardis Farms

Honey from Mardis Honey Farm

I bought this honey a few weekends ago at the BTC Grocery in Water Valley, MS.  I have often passed a house with solar panels and beehives, and I always wondered if they sold their honey.  I saw this jar and knew it had to be from there.  With a little investigation, I discovered that yes, my new honey was from about 5 minutes down the road.  I don’t know why this makes me so happy.  It’s the little things.


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