Suppose you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan version of the butter chicken curry recipe. In that case, you need to try out this vegan butter chicken curry recipe made with tofu and peanut butter.
This spicy, creamy, and rich plant-based curry tastes fantastic. It only requires a few substitutions which also happens to be gluten-free and low-calorie.
What is vegan butter chicken?
Vegan butter chicken is a plant-based version of the butter chicken recipe, which looks to substitute the chicken, butter, and cream/yogurt with meat-free alternatives.
Butter chicken is one of the most famous recipes around the world which originates from India. It was invented by mistake as chef Kundan Lal Gujral needed to find a way to keep his leftover chicken fresh for the next today. He added the chicken to a spicy tomato gravy with butter and cream, and this dish became famous.
It is much loved because it is mostly thanks to the sauce as it is so creamy and delicious. The vegetarian version, paneer makhani, is also famous in Indian cuisine and restaurants. You can simply substitute the chicken with paneer chunks.
The vegan version of butter chicken curry requires more work, but you can use the same spices. This recipe calls for the following substitutions: chicken with tofu, replace butter with nut butter and use a plant-based yogurt like coconut yogurt to keep it vegan-friendly.
However, you can also use chickpeas or cauliflower as a plant-based substitute for chicken. Still, tofu works exceptionally well to closely resemble chicken or paneer.
You do not need to buy any pastes from the supermarket. Most of these ingredients you can easily buy from the supermarket for cheap.
The key is to get the spice mix right, and you have got yourself a delicious vegan butter chicken curry.
Why this recipe works?
- Tried and tested plant-based version of butter chicken using tofu, peanut butter and drops of coconut yogurt.
- Perfect for vegan batch cooking and meal prep that’s high in protein and very satisfying.
- Low in calories if you want to eat it with a small serving of rice or flatbread.
- Can be made in one pot or left to cook in an instant pot which is extremely convenient.
Vegan Butter Chicken Curry
- Press and drain the tofu to ensure excess water is fully squeezed out.
- Cut into bite-sized cubes.
- Make the tofu marinade by adding to a mixing bowl the garam masala, red chili powder, garlic paste, ginger paste, lemon juice, cornstarch, salt and black pepper.
- Keep it marinated for at least 30 minutes.
- You can either fry the tofu in vegetable oil or bake it in the oven at 200ºC / 400°F for 20 minutes.
- To a saucepan, add vegetable oil.
- Add the red onions, garlic paste and ginger paste, and sauté until golden.
- Add the red chilli powder, garam masala, ground cumin and ground coriander.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and cashew nuts, peanut butter and stir to combine.
- Allow the simmer by adding water.
- Once it has been cooked and cooled down, place it into a blender and blend until it forms into smooth paste.
- Add the tofu pieces and paste. Add the kasuri methi, red chilli powder and garnish with chopped coriander.
- Optional - if you have a plant-based coconut yogurt, add a few drops of that to the butter tofu curry dish.
- Keep stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or freeze for 3-4 months
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