Main image of Vegan Butter "Chicken" with Baked Tofu

Vegan Butter "Chicken" with Baked Tofu

40 min

Meal

This veganized butter chicken is sure to become a new dinner favourite! It's beautifully spiced and wonderfully creamy. The grilled tofu has a great texture, bursting with flavour, while the blended cashews and coconut milk add a velvety creaminess to this delicious curry.

Servings

Total

40 min

Prep

10 min

Cook

30 min

Contains

Soy symbol

soy

Treenut symbol

tree nut

Free from

Peanut symbol

peanut

Sesame symbol

sesame

Gluten symbol

gluten

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (32 g)
    raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour or at least 2 hours or overnight
  • 15.8 oz (450 g)
    extra firm tofu, pressed, cut into 1 cm cubes
  • ½ cup (120 mL)
    unsweetened soy yogurt
  • 2 tsp (3 g)
  • 1 tsp (3 g)
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (2 g)
    ground coriander
  • ½ tsp
    ground turmeric
  • 1 pinch
    salt
  • 1 Tbsp (15 mL)
    vegetable oil
  • 5
    cloves garlic, minced
  • 1
    large onion, diced
  • 1
    fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 2 tsp (4 g)
    fresh ginger, grated
  • 1½ Tbsp (8 g)
  • 1½ Tbsp (9 g)
    ground coriander
  • 1½ Tbsp (13 g)
    ground cumin
  • 1 tsp (6 g)
    salt
  • ¼ tsp
    cayenne pepper
  • 1⅔ cups (400 g)
    canned diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    canned tomato paste
  • ½ Tbsp (7 mL)
  • 1⅔ cups (399 mL)
    canned full-fat coconut milk

Serves well with

  • cooked rice
  • fresh cilantro
  • lemon slices
  • unsweetened soy yogurt
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Directions

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  1. Soak the raw cashews in boiling water to soften. Set aside while chopping the vegetables.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C).
  3. In a bowl, combine the tofu, yogurt, garam masala, cumin, coriander, and turmeric.
  4. Transfer the tofu onto a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake the tofu in the centre rack of the oven for 15 - 20 minutes, turning every few 5 - 10 minutes for even cooking, and to keep an eye on it to prevent burning.
  5. To a large pot on medium-high heat, sauté the oil, garlic, onion, jalapeño, and ginger until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add splashes of water as needed to deglaze the pan.
  6. Add in the garam masala, coriander, cumin, salt, and cayenne pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring throughout to toast the spices.
  7. To the pot, add the drained cashews, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, agave syrup, and coconut milk. Blend everything using an immersion blender or transfer to a standing blender to blend until smooth. Let simmer on low, and cover with a lid. Once the tofu is golden, remove it from the oven and add it to the pot. Give it a gentle stir, and serve with rice, naan, a sprinkle of fresh cilantro, some plant-based yogurt, and some lemon wedges. Enjoy!

Storage

Plate method

The Plate Method is a visual tool that helps us ensure our dietary needs are on track. Touch the image below to see how this recipe measures up.

Grains 0%
Proteins 45%

raw cashews

extra firm tofu

unsweetened soy yogurt

Fruits & Veggies 55%

clove garlic

large onion

fresh jalapeño

fresh ginger

canned diced tomatoes

canned tomato paste

Calcium

extra firm tofu

unsweetened soy yogurt

Fat

raw cashews

vegetable oil

canned full-fat coconut milk

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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Katie R - April 28, 2021, 3:54 p.m.

This recipe is delicious. I have made it several times for my husband and me. Thank you for inspiring us to eat more plant-based.

It sounds like a lot of spices, but it all works SO WELL! If anyone is concerned about the spice, just reduce the cayenne (I halved it).

The second time I made this, I added some oil to the tofu so it would stick to the pan less. I also added some leftover cauliflower (1/4 a head) to the tofu mixture, and that worked great.

Highly recommend this!

PUL Team - April 29, 2021, 1:21 a.m.

We appreciate the review and kind words very much, Katie! Wonderful tips and go happy you enjoyed the recipe 🙂


Irene - April 6, 2021, 6:05 p.m.

I'm not familiar with Indian cuisine and I hadn't tried the "original" butter chicken before going plant-based, but this recipe was absolutely delicious and rather quick to make, I will definitely make it more often! Also love the new scale feature, makes cooking even quicker and easier when you're a student only cooking for yourself ;-)

PUL Team - April 7, 2021, 3:33 a.m.

Thank you for taking the time to share your review, Irene! We're so glad you enjoyed the recipe and the new site features 🤩


Lani - April 5, 2021, 7:37 a.m.

I made this recipe for my boyfriend and our two children of 6 and 9 years old and they loved it. They are very picky eters and love meat (unfortunately - but on our way to become vegetarian) but they thought this dish was perfect. My boyfriend said he want to eat this every two weeks now.
I didn't notice beforehand that the cashews had to be soaked for at least one hour, I did only soak them for 20min. but it still came out very well.

PUL Team - April 5, 2021, 7:40 p.m.

This is so lovely to hear, Lani! We're so glad your little ones and boyfriend enjoyed it 🤩


Agate - March 22, 2021, 8:41 a.m.

Overall, very nice dish if you can find garam masala. I didn't have garam masala, so I made my own from scratch. I didn't have enough cumin, so my garam masala ended up being a bit too intense from other spices. So my suggestion - if you are mixing spices yourself, taste the dish as you add them. Lemon is listed as one of the serving suggestions, but I would highly recommend adding it. Without it the sauce part was lacking some acidity (at least for my taste buds). I didn't add any sweetener and I don't think the dish was missing it. To boost up the veggie content I also added some lightly sauteed broccoli and whole, toasted cashews - tasted great! Another important detail - you must use full-fat coconut milk. If you use reduced fat (like I did - I suffer from heartburn), the sauce will be a bit too runny.

Sadia - March 29, 2021, 4:28 p.m.

Oooh I love all the suggestions, Agate - thanks for sharing! I definitely agree about the lemon adding some acidity 🍋🙌