Vegan Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Before I met Janik — in what I call my “meat-centric” days —  butter chicken was always one of my top picks at any Indian restaurant. Since I’m on a curry kick still these days I set out to create the ultimate vegan butter chicken recipe that could be made in less than 30 minutes and this is IT! Paired with our Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup this is the ultimate Indian-inspired meal.  Enjoy!


This & That 

  • 2 pkg extra-firm tofu (350g), pressed  & cubed


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked & drained
  • Glug of olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1-inch piece ginger root, minced
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in ¾ cup water)
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder (highly recommend Vadouvan, see Recipe Notes) 
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • Fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt


Prep It

  • 1/Pour boiling water over 1 cup raw cashews; let sit for 10 minutes
  • 2/Prepare basmati rice as directed (I recommend cooking 3-4 cups dry rice for 4 servings)

Make It 

  • 1/Add a few glugs of olive oil to a pot on medium-low heat. Sauté chopped onion, minced garlic and minced ginger until fragrant.
  • 2/Fold in garam masala, cumin, coriander seeds , cinnamon, turmeric powder, salt and pepper until well combined.
  • 3/Add reserved (soaked) cashews, canned tomatoes, vegetable broth, curry powder (or similar spice blend) and brown sugar. Using an immersion blender (or similar) process until smooth. Cook (lid on) for 5-10 minutes.
  • 4/Add reserved (diced) tofu, frozen peas, fresh cilantro and a pinch of salt to the pot. cook (lid on) for another 5 minutes. Process with immersion blender until your sauce reaches desired consistency.

Serve It

Serve sauce over prepared bed of basmati rice. Devour.

Recipe Notes

(1) Vadouvan is a French derivative of masala. Varieties typically include shallots, onion, garlic, mustard seeds, sea salt, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chiles, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, curry leaves and/or fenugreek leaves.




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