Hiya friends! Today I’m bringing you a delicious vegan butter chicken recipe, made using tofu! Certainly, this recipe is as comforting as they come. It’s made by simmering baked tofu in a creamy vegan butter chicken sauce until smooth and thick. Spread onto a bed of rice, or served with naan, and garnished with cilantro. What more could we ask for!?
All-in-all this vegan butter chicken recipe is warm and comforting, mildly spiced (as a butter chicken recipe should be), smooth, creamy and buttery.
I promise that nobody will be missing the real chicken in this recipe, because the baked tofu truly hits the spot. So, let me tell you exactly how to make this recipe so you can enjoy it pronto!
Vegan Butter Chicken Recipe
This recipe is divided into two sections. The first is for baking the tofu, and the second is for the vegan butter chicken sauce.
For the baked tofu, you will need:
- neutral oil
- corn starch (or arrowroot powder)
- sea salt
- garlic powder
For the vegan butter chicken sauce, you will need:
- coconut milk
- neutral oil
- maple syrup
- diced tomatoes
- garam masala
- chili powder
- cayenne pepper flakes
- sea salt
- curry powder
As you can see, this recipe is made primarily of pantry staples, like canned coconut milk, diced tomatoes and of course – lots of Indian spice! Certainly, a well stocked spice rack will be helpful for creating this recipe.
Tips for this recipes
Now, I can promise you that this recipe is very straight forward and easy to make. First, it begins by baking tofu in the oven until crispy and golden. Next, we add the tofu to a spiced tomato-based sauce and simmer until smooth and creamy.
All-in-all, its a pretty straight forward recipe. But let me share a few tips for ensuring you make this vegan butter chicken recipe effortlessly.
How to bake tofu
Now, there are a couple things to keep in mind when baking tofu:
- Use extra-firm tofu for baking
- Press your tofu first
Extra firm tofu
If you’re new to cooking tofu, it’s important to know that tofu comes in various consistency. From smooth silken tofu (great for sauces, creams and desserts), to firm and extra-firm. Each variety can be used for different methods of cooking. Check out this article for all the full guide on tofu varieties, and how to use them.
Now, for baking tofu – I like to use the “extra firm” tofu. This is because extra firm tofu holds its shape better, and will cook into delicious and crunchy golden cubes.
So, when searching for tofu for baking, make sure you pick the package that reads “extra firm” on the label.
Pressing your tofu
So, what does it mean to “press your tofu?” It means to press out all the water content before cubing and seasoning. Which will result in a crispier, more golden baked tofu.
Contrary to belief, you do not need any fancy gadgets to press your tofu. Yes, are many tofu pressers on the market from best to budget picks if you’re interested in buying a tofu press.
But in fact, my preferred method is to wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel, and set a few heavy books on top. Lean the books against your countertop backsplash for support and leave for 10 minutes. This presses out the excess water so you have a drier tofu to work with. Which in turn will result in a crispier, more golden tofu when baked.
Vegan butter chicken sauce
Now, for the vegan butter chicken sauce. This is a simple sauce made by simmering onions and canned tomato with Indian spice and coconut milk. We’ve added spices like garam masala, curry powder, cumin and fresh ginger. All-all-all it’s full of flavour, yet still mildly spiced as a butter chicken recipe should be.
Simmer with your baked tofu until thick and smooth. Serve on rice with cilantro to garnish, or with naan bread.
Other recipes you might like:
If you’re digging this vegan butter chicken recipe, you might also like these:
- best vegan chili
- quick chickpea curry
- vegan potato and cauliflower curry
- garlicky smashed potatoes with harissa yogurt
So there we have it! A very easy recipe for vegan butter chicken, made with tofu and a simple vegan butter chicken sauce. No doubt, this recipe is comforting, creamy and smooth, buttery, full of flavour and mildly spiced. It was a big hit in our home and I’m sure it will be in yours too!
And, if you do make this recipe please let me know in the comments below what you think! I love hearing from you. And of course, tag me on Instagram with the hashtag #twospoons. Nothing makes me happier than to see your recreations.
Vegan Butter Chicken
For the tofu:
- 16 oz extra-firm tofu (450g)
- 2 tbsp neutral oil avocado oil or coconut oil (melted)
- 2 tbsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
- 1 tsp sea salt finely ground
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp pepper
For the sauce:
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 tbsp neutral oil avocado oil or coconut oil
- 1 can diced tomatoes 28 fl oz/795 ml
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 can coconut milk (14 fl oz/400 ml)
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- cooked rice or naan bread
- fresh coriander (cilantro) chopped, to sprinkle
- Preheat oven to 400F/200C. Drain extra firm tofu and rinse well. Wrap in a tea towel and press tofu by wrapping in a clean tea towel and placing a few heavy books on top. Use your backsplash to secure books in place. Press for 10 minutes. Then unwrap tofu and cut into bite-sized cubes.
- In a mixing bowl combine tofu, oil, corn starch, sea salt, garlic powder and pepper. Toss gently to combine. Line a baking tray with parchment and transfer tofu cubes onto tray spreading out so there aren't any clumps. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until golden and crispy.
- Meanwhile add diced onions, garlic and neutral oil to a deep skillet. Bring to medium heat and cook until onion turns transluscent (about 10 mins).
- Pour diced tomatoes, tomato paste and freshly grated ginger. Then season with garam masala, chili powder, curry powder, cumin, and sea salt. Add coconut milk and baked tofu and bring to a low simmer. Finally, add cayenne pepper flakes for heat, and maple syrup for sweetness.
- Scoop vegan butter chicken over cooked rice, or serve with naan bread. Sprinkle with fresh coriander.
VEGAN – VEGETARIAN – GLUTEN-FREE