Vegan butter chicken recipe: plant based curry ideas

Full of antioxidant cumin and anti-inflammatory turmeric, curries are incredibly nourishing while also being good for the soul. But many British versions are often loaded with cream, yoghurt or meat, which means Friday night takeaways can be a struggle for those on a plant-based journey. This butter chicken recipe is here to save the day – replicating the same flavourful dish, without the dairy and meat.

As well as the benefits that come from the classic spices, swapping to coconut milk adds minerals including magnesium to support your muscles while also aiding sleep. And subbing vegan alternatives in place of meat adds huge figures to the fibre content which is essential for gut health and improved mood. Meat-free May just got easier. 

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

1 tsp garlic, chopped

1 tsp ginger, chopped

1.5 tsp garam masala

1.5 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tomato, chopped

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp salt

250ml coconut milk

1 tsp sugar

For the ‘chicken’ 

350 g vegan chicken or tofu (we like planted chicken)

1⁄2 tbsp unflavoured vegan yoghurt

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 1⁄2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp salt

Mix the ingredients for the marinade well and coat over the ‘chicken’. Leave for at least an hour.

Heat vegetable oil in a large pot and sauté onions until soft, then add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute.

To the pan, add the garam masala, cumin and coriander and cook for 20 seconds, stirring continuously.

Add the tomatoes, chilli and salt and simmer for 15 minutes until the sauce thickens. 

Transfer the sauce to a blender and blend until it has a creamy consistency. Return it to the pot and add the coconut milk and sugar to the sauce and bring to the boil. 

Fry the marinated ‘chicken’ in a pan until golden brown (approximately five minutes), then add to the sauce and mix well.

Serve with cooked rice.