Healthy Turmeric Chicken Recipe

If you are looking for a healthy alternative to butter chicken, chicken tikka masala this turmeric chicken is your answer!

All credit for this recipe goes to my mom by the way! And thanks to all the spices, the flavor is bold and wholesome. I know the ingredient list can seem intimidating but I promise the actual recipe isn’t very complicated. Also if you are missing one or two ingredients from the list it’s okay. I won’t tell anyone ;).

The turmeric has great anti-inflammatory properties and this recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free. If you’d like to make it creamier, you can always add yogurt to the marinade. If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute an equal amount of tofu for chicken.

Healthy Turmeric Chicken Recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3-4
  • 1 lb organic boneless chicken thigh*
  • 1.5 inch of ginger, grated
  • ½ lemon, squeezed
  • 1.5 tsp of turmeric
  • 1-1.5 tsp of salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ large onion, diced
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 whole cinnamon stick
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp garam masala (optional)
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  1. Place chicken in a large bowl and toss with 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp chili powder, and ½ tsp black pepper. Drizzle lemon juice and grated ginger over chicken. Leave to marinate for at least 1-2 hours. For a bolder flavor, you can leave it to marinate overnight.
  2. In a small bowl, mix ½ tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp ground coriander, 1 tbsp tomato paste, ¼ cup of water to make a paste. Set aside.
  3. Add coconut oil to large pan on medium heat. Let the oil heat about for 30 seconds before adding in the cumin. The cumin seeds should start to pop. Add garlic, onions, bay leaf, cloves, 1 inch stick of whole cinnamon and 4-6 peppercorns to the pan. Then add the chicken. Keep stirring on medium heat until the pinkness in the chicken is gone from the outside. Add diced tomatoes to pan and keep on stirring for a few minutes.
  4. Add the paste to the chicken and cover the pan with a lid and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  5. Uncover after 20 minutes to check if chicken is cooked. Taste chicken and add salt if necessary. Now add a few sprigs of cilantro and garam masala. Cover again and let it sit on medium-low heat for another 15-20 minutes to let the spices infuse.
  6. Once done, garnish the chicken with fresh cilantro and serve!


Hope you enjoy! If you like this recipe, be sure to check out my free turmeric recipe eBook. You’ll find the recipe of this chicken along with 6 other turmeric based recipes :).

Receive your free turmeric ebook!

Author: Akansha