Best Vegan Butter Chicken Curry (30 Min Recipe)

Suppose you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan version of the butter chicken curry. 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.

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.

Recipe ingredients

  • Tofu: To replace the chicken and keep it vegan-friendly, tofu is one of the best ingredients for this dish. If you are vegetarian, you could use paneer which is also another famous recipe in India. Ensure you press and drain the tofu (much as possible), marinate it, and you can either fry or bake it. Another advantage is that tofu is naturally low in calories which means eating this with naan bread or rice can still be a macro-friendly type of meal.
  • Spices: There are three types of spice mixes for this recipe. One for the marinated tofu, second for the sauce, and third for when you combine the tofu and sauce. It may sound complicated by you just need these spices in your pantry: garam masala, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, and dried fenugreek.
  • Nut Butter: You will need an alternative for the butter to make this recipe vegan-friendly, and the good news is that you can use nut butters! Cashew butter would be ideal if you can get that, but I used peanut butter. You can also use almond butter.

Frequently asked questions

Can you reheat vegan butter chicken curry? Is it good for meal prep?

Yes, vegan butter chicken curry is a fantastic recipe for meal prep or batching because it reheats well in the microwave or stove top. You can keep this stored in the fridge for 3-4 days which is ideal for turning this into a make-ahead option. Simply reheat and serve with rice, naan bread or flat bread.

Can you freeze vegan butter Chicken curry?

Yes, you can freeze this curry for up to 3-4 months but ensure you use an u003ca href=u0022https://spicymealprep.com/best-meal-prep-containers/u0022u003eair-tight meal prep containeru003c/au003e or freezer bag.

If you love this vegan version of butter chicken, why not try:

Vegan Butter Chicken Curry Recipe

Mani
Suppose you are looking for a vegetarian or vegan version of the butter chicken curry. 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.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 300 kcal

Ingredients
  

Tofu

  • 400 g organic tofu pressed and drained.
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 lemon squeezed
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Paste

  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 4 fresh tomatoes chopped
  • 25 g cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp red chill powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup of water

Instructions
 

Tofu:

  • 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.

Paste:

  • 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.

Notes

  • Keep stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days or freeze for 3-4 months

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 300kcalCarbohydrates: 22.1gProtein: 12.7gFat: 19.1gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6.1gSodium: 1882mgFiber: 4.8gSugar: 8g
Keyword Plant-based butter chicken, Vegan Butter Chicken, Vegan Butter Tofu Curry Recipe, vegan murgh makhani
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Top view of the Vegan Butter Chicken Curry in one-pot
Infographic explaining the history of Vegan Butter Chicken Curry

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