Pumpkin and carrot butter chicken

From my latest cookbook, Let’s eat!, 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.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main
Servings 4
Calories 345 kcal
Dairy Free, Diabetic, Gluten Free, Kid Friendly


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


  • 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, vegetables are soft 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 a Cucumber Mint Salad or Coconut Green Beans as a shared meal.


*To make dairy-free, omit butter from rice, and use coconut cream and coconut yoghurt in curry