Whoever said you can't have Vegan Butter Chicken has clearly never had this one. The creamy curry sauce is every bit as good as regular butter chicken sauce, and it's loaded with tofu and veggies for an easy to make and healthy meal.
It's all about the sauce. There, I said it. We don't need to pretend anymore. I mean really, who eats butter chicken for the chicken? Answer: Nobody.
When I was a vegetarian I used to order butter chicken at restaurants and sop up all the sauce around the chicken with a piece of naan. I could never understand why they always had to add chicken to it. Seemed like such a waste. Now when I order it I eat the chicken, but only begrudgingly. It's so not the part I like.
This vegan butter chicken is made using a traditional butter chicken sauce and swapping out the cream for coconut milk. And, of course, there's none of the chicken that nobody wants anyway.
When I make this recipe, I like to use soft tofu as it has a similar texture to the Indian cheese, paneer. I've tried it before with medium and firm tofu, but I find they're both too chicken-y in texture for my taste. (Is that even a word?)
I have to tell you a story …
See that pretty silver bowl of rice in the background? That once held some jasmine rice we were served when we were having dinner at Lemongrass Thai Bistro. It's one of those places that doesn't look like much from the outside but serves awesome food.
I asked the server where the bowls came from and she told me the owner bought them in Thailand. I did what any unashamed food blogger would do and asked if I could buy one. When the owner came over to our table she explained that they only had a few of them and asked what I wanted it for. I told her I was a food photographer and thought the bowl would be so pretty in photos.
You know what she did? She gave it to me. Not sold. Gave. Isn't that the nicest thing ever? She totally made my day. 🙂
I've been wanting to use it in a shoot with some Thai food, but this vegan butter chicken was calling its name. Isn't it so pretty?!!
If you make this Loaded Vegan Butter Chicken make sure to snap a pic and tag @theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on your photos. I love seeing TEM recipes you create!Print
This easy to make Vegan Butter Chicken is even better than the real thing. The creamy sauce is made without any cream or butter. It's delicious!
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (or another neutral flavoured oil)
- 2 yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped ginger
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander, ground or seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin, ground or seeds
- ¼ teaspoon fenugreek, ground or seeds
- ¼ to 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Seeds from 4 cardamom pods
- 1 – 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons almond butter
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2-4 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
- Sea salt, to taste (I like about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 package soft tofu, cut into squares
- Add the grapeseed oil to a medium sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until they are quite brown, about 10 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute.
- Add the garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin, fenugreek, chili powder and cardamom seeds to the pan and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes and ½ cup of water and scrape the bottom of the pot to remove any brown bits. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
- Pour the sauce into your blender and blend on high until smooth. Be careful as the steam from hot liquid can push your blender lid off. Return the sauce to the pan and stir in the almond butter, coconut milk and brown sugar. Taste and salt as needed.
- Add the frozen peas, corn and tofu to the pot and stir gently. Let them heat through then serve immediately.