Vegan Butter Chicken with Basmati Rice

Today I’m excited to share another Indian-inspired classic dish that I’ve “veganized”: Butter Chicken with Basmatic 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 next to samosas (of course). More recently, my brother-in-law would make us a vegetarian version of this quintessential Indian dish using paneer as a substitute for chicken. It was incredible. I recall asking J.F. for the recipe at one time but to my disappointment was told “I don’t have a recipe…I just threw it together”.Since I’m on a curry kick still these days and getting more and more comfortable with the capabilities of my Thermomix I set out to create the ultimate vegan butter chicken recipe that could be made in less than 30 minutes… Using fresh, ripened on-the-vine tomatoes and this medley of fragrant spices are key to the success of this recipe. Using soaked cashews not only helps to thicken the sauce but adds a hint of nutty flavour that complements the curry flavour. My daughter is an incredibly picky eater and she ate her entire plate of this dish so I immediately knew I had a Vegan Rhapsody-worth dish on my hands. If you’re looking for a soup to accompany this dish I would highly recommend our Creamy Curried Cauliflower Soup and some roti (of course). I would love to hear how this turns out if you have a chance to try it for yourself.



  • 1/Soak 1 cup raw cashews in room temperature water for approx 1 hour.
  • 2/Prepare basmati rice as directed (I recommend cooking 3-4 cups dry rice for 4 servings)
  • 3/Rinse 2 blocks (350g pkg x 2) of extra-firm tofu in cold water. Using a dry tea towel wrap each block of tofu and squeeze to release as much water as possible. Cut into bite-size pieces and set aside.


  • 1 medium onion, halved (85g)
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled (10g)
  • 1 one-inch piece of ginger root (5g)
  • Canola oil (20g)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 6 tomatoes on-the-vine, quartered (455g/1lb)
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked and drained
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth (or 1 tsp vegetable bouillon powder dissolved in ¾ cup water)
  • 2 Tbsp Patak’s mild curry paste (or similar)
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup frozen peas
  • 2 blocks extra-firm tofu, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, fresh (5g)
  • Pinch of Himalayan pink salt


  • 1/Place onion, garlic and ginger in your Thermomix mixing bowl. Chop 5 sec/Speed 7. Using a spatula, scrape down the sides of the bowl to collect the onion-garlic-ginger mixture at the base of the bowl.
  • 2/Add oil, spices (garam masala through turmeric), salt and pepper in the TM bowl. Sauté 3 min/120C/Speed 1. Once again, scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula.
  • 3/Add tomatoes and cashews. Blend 25 sec/Speed 7.
  • 4/ Add vegetable broth, curry paste and brown sugar. Cook 3 min/100C/Speed 1.
  • 5/Add chopped tofu, frozen peas, cilantro and a pinch of salt to the TM bowl. Cook 3 min/75C/Speed 1 (Reverse blade). Serve sauce over a bed of basmati rice.

Note: This recipe was made using a Thermomix appliance, however it can easily be adapted using similar food prep tools (e.g. mutli-function processor, immersion blender etc) or using a more traditional stovetop method.


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