Pumpkin & Carrot Butter Chicken

I wanted to try this recipe after my lovely physio Kath told me she was looking for a good butter chicken recipe but can’t find one that isn’t either too sweet, or loaded with sugar. It’s fantastic – so creamy and delicious, but doesn’t have that horrid cloying sweet flavour that you can often get with takeaways.

Pumpkin and Carrot Butter Chicken

Here’s my (much healthier and delicious) take on the takeaway favourite. It’s got the same lovely creamy, mildly spiced, tomato flavour, but is packed with veges and has much less fat and sugar. Adding grated vegetables to curry is a great way to get everyone eating more vegetables, and the pumpkin and carrot add a subtle natural sweetness to this mild curry.

Serves 4. Ready in 45 mins.


DF (use coconut cream & yoghurt) | GF


  • chicken thighs (boneless, skinless) 600–700g
  • onion 1, finely chopped
  • garam masala, ground cumin, smoked paprika 1 tablespoon of each
  • ground coriander, ground turmeric 1 teaspoon of each
  • ground chilli ¼–½ teaspoon (optional)
  • garlic 2 cloves, minced
  • fresh ginger, finely grated, 2 teaspoons
  • lemon zest of ½
  • salt 1 teaspoon
  • cooking oil a good drizzle
  • butternut pumpkin, grated, 1½–2 cups
  • carrot 1, grated
  • crushed tomatoes 400g can
  • tomato paste 2–3 tablespoons
  • cream (or coconut cream) ½–⅔ cup
  • salt and pepper
  • natural unsweetened yoghurt (dairy or coconut) 3 tablespoons

To serve:

  • natural unsweetened yoghurt (dairy or coconut) ¼ cup
  • coriander, chopped, ¼ cup


Pat chicken dry with paper towels then cut into 2–3cm cubes. Combine with onion, spices, garlic, ginger, lemon zest and salt.

Heat a good drizzle of oil in a large fry pan on medium heat. Add chicken, onion and spices, and cook for about 10–12 minutes or until starting to brown (the chicken doesn’t have to be cooked through yet). If at any time the chicken and spices are catching on the bottom of the pan and burning, add a few tablespoons of water and stir.

Stir in grated pumpkin, carrot, tomatoes, tomato paste and cream. Simmer for 5–10 minutes or until sauce is reduced slightly and chicken is cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Remove from heat and stir through yoghurt.

Garnish with more yoghurt and coriander. Serve with rice and cucumber mint or green beans.


Energy 1464kj / 350kcal; Carbs 14.1g; Protein 35.9g; Fat 15.9g; Sat Fat 8.9g; Sugars 11.5g

Recipe extracted from Let‘s Eat by Nadia Lim, RRP: $49.99 incl GST