This Vegan Butter Chicken recipe is the plant-based version of the Indian classic. Made with marinated tofu and a velvety tomato-cashew sauce, it captures the rich flavors of the traditional recipe. Serve it with rice or naan for a satisfying and flavorful meal that will transport you to the vibrant streets of India.
Vegan Butter Chicken with Tofu
I've had a fascination with Indian food for as long as I can remember. Whenever I go out to eat, Indian restaurants are my top choice. But, I'll be honest, when it comes to cooking Indian food myself, I used to feel a bit overwhelmed. The spices, the whole new world of flavors – it felt like a big leap. That all changed when I recently took a trip to India to dive deep into the culture, meet incredible people, and of course, indulge in the food! Ever since my trip, I've been feeling so much more confident about trying out Indian recipes and sharing them with others.
Among Indian recipes, one recipe has always held a special place in my heart: Butter Chicken. Oh boy, it was a dish I couldn't get enough of even before I went plant-based. But here's the exciting part – I've come up with a Vegan Butter Chicken recipe using tofu that stays true to the original recipe. Trust me, it's got all the creaminess and mouthwatering flavors you'd expect.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
You'll love this recipe because:
- Creamy and Delicious: The Vegan Butter Chicken recipe offers a rich and creamy sauce that will satisfy everyone's craving for a comforting and indulgent meal.
- Authentic: This recipe stands out by incorporating techniques to increase authenticity. From adding whole cumin seeds at the beginning to using fresh tomatoes instead of canned, the flavors are carefully crafted to replicate the traditional taste of Butter Chicken.
- Comforting and Perfect for Gloomy or Rainy Weather: With its warm and aromatic spices, this dish is perfect for cozying up on gloomy or rainy days. It brings a sense of comfort and warmth to your plate, making it an ideal choice for those seeking comfort food.
- Meal Prep-Friendly: The flavors of this dish actually improve over time, so it's a great option for meal prepping. You can prepare a larger batch and enjoy the leftovers for days, allowing the flavors to develop and intensify.
For this recipe, you'll need these ingredients:
- Firm or extra-firm tofu
- Plant-based yogurt
- Ground garam masala
- Ground coriander
- Ground turmeric
- Cooking oil
- Chili pepper
- Cumin seeds (whole)
- Garam masala
- Raw cashews
- Ground coriander
- Ground turmeric
- Chili powder (or paprika powder)
- Vegan butter
- Soy cream
See recipe card for measurements.
Prepare the ingredients:
Soak the cashews in boiling water.
Cut the tofu into cubes.
In a bowl, mix together plant-based yogurt, garam masala, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and a pinch of salt. Add the tofu cubes to the marinade. Let it marinate for 20-30 minutes. Then cook the tofu in an air fryer or oven at 200 degrees Celsius (400 degrees Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes.
Make the curry:
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is heated, add the onion and whole cumin seeds. Stir-fry until the onion becomes transparent (about 1 minute).
Add the minced garlic, grated ginger, and chopped chili pepper to the pan and fry for an additional 1 minute.
Add the chopped tomatoes, drained cashews, and a little water. Stir for a few more minutes, then add the spices: salt, sugar, ground coriander, ground turmeric, and chili powder. Mix well and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender or stand blender to puree the mixture. Pour the mixture back into the pan.
Add the cooked tofu and soy cream to the pan. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
Serve with rice or naan. Enjoy!
Variations and Substitutes
- Soy cream Substitute: You can replace it with coconut milk or oat cream. These alternatives will provide a similar creamy texture and richness.
- Fresh Tomatoes Substitute: To save time or when fresh tomatoes are not readily available, you can use canned tomatoes as a substitute. Choose diced or crushed canned tomatoes for convenience. Make sure to drain any excess liquid before using them in the recipe.
- Tofu Substitute: If you're not a fan of tofu, you can replace it with other plant-based protein options like tempeh, seitan, or even chickpeas. Adjust the cooking time accordingly based on the protein you choose.
- Nut-Free Option: If you have a nut allergy or prefer to avoid cashews, you can substitute them with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds for a creamy texture and added richness.
- Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add a variety of vegetables to the dish to enhance its nutritional value and flavors. Chopped bell peppers, green peas, or spinach can be excellent additions. Simply sauté or steam the vegetables separately and stir them into the sauce before serving.
- Spice Level: Adjust the spice level according to your preference. If you prefer a milder flavor, reduce the amount of chili powder or omit it altogether. For those who enjoy more heat, feel free to add extra chili powder or incorporate diced fresh chili peppers.
If you have tried my recipe, please let me know what you think by leaving me a review on this page or tagging me on Instagram @veggieanh. I would love to see your creations!Print