Wait, did you say this is a VEGAN butter chicken recipe? You betcha. I teamed up with my friends at Mountain Rose Herbs to whip this creamy, easy, vegan butter chicken up for you.
Butter chicken is often something someone who is vegan would never think of trying to recreate to make vegan-friendly, however, I did it, and you’ll love it. I promise. This recipe is easy, is loaded with those Indian flavours we love and it’s seriously I think one of my best curry dishes I’ve made to date.
Butter chicken originated in Delhi, the capital of India, sometime during the 50s. The legend says that the cooks of Moti Mahal (a Delhi restaurant) would mix leftover marinade juices with butter and tomato and then stew the tandoori cooked chicken in the sauce. These cooks definitely did something right because here we are, decades later, and still loving butter chicken all the way back here in Canada.
In case you need me to state the obvious, there isn’t actually any chicken in this easy vegan butter chicken recipe. Surprise! I’m still vegan ;)! Instead, I’ve used chickpeas and potatoes to really make this Indian curry fill you up and make it a hardy dish for fall and winter.
Why chickpeas for this easy Vegan Butter Chicken recipe?
Chickpeas are an extremely versatile ingredient that is used a ton in vegan cooking, and especially in Indian cooking. Chickpeas are packed with not just protein, but also nutrients, such as:
They also benefit your digestion and help you keep healthy blood sugar levels + more. Combining the chickpeas with the flavours of the garlic, and this creamy coconut sauce really makes a dish that warms you from the inside out.
Garam Masala = a vegan butter chicken necessity
Garam masala is a key spice to get all the flavours into this vegan butter chicken recipe. I used Mountain Rose Herbs garam masala to get all the authentic Indian flavour into this curry. Their garam masala is organic and filled with all the spices you need to make your house smell absolutely to die for. Their combination of spices include:
Image how annoying it be to have to buy ALL these spices individually? That’s why I love this powder that already mixes all of these flavours into one to make my life easier, and also make sure I have the perfect amount of all the Indian spices needed to make this dish as authentic and loaded with flavour as the real thing.
I find any curry to be seriously addictive. Nothing beats the flavour that comes along with a good curry and this vegan butter chicken doesn’t fall short.
Many vegans think they can’t eat butter chicken but think not, you can enjoy the flavours of it in a vegan way. Just minus the chicken!
Enjoy this comforting meal with rice and garlic naan bread and garnish your dish with cilantro for some extra fresh flavour. If you need a dish that is for sure loaded with flavour but don’t feel like having a million dirty dishes and spending hours in the kitchen, this dish is for you. Loaded with that punch of flavour you need, but easy, and can be made in one pot!
Need more inspiration on how to use Mountain Rose Herbs in your cooking and home? Check out some of my other posts:
In a large skillet or pot heat coconut oil or vegan butter on medium-low heat till melted. Add your white onion and sweat for around 6 minutes or until translucent. Stir often to avoid burning, scraping the browned bottom bits for extra flavour.
Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add garam masala, curry powder, coriander, paprika and cinnamon. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
To the skillet or pot add the chili flakes, vegetable stock paste and canned tomatoes. Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes until sauce thickens and becomes a deep, rich red-brown in colour.
Remove mixture from heat and scoop into a blender and blend until smooth. If the sauce is too thick to blend, then add up to 1/4 cup water to blend. If you have a smaller blender, blend in batches.
Pour the sauce back into the pan. Stir in the coconut milk, sugar and season to taste. At this point you would add your cooked lentils, potatoes, chickpeas, vegan chicken etc. and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Simmer for 15 minutes even if you’re not adding a protein or root of choice. Serve with rice, cilantro and naan.
We had a little mishap in our kitchen with the coconut milk, that is why the images are looking more tomato-based. Had we added coconut milk, the colour would be more orange and creamy like.
The sauce will last up to 1 week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer. Be sure to cool completely before placing it in a tightly sealed container in fridge or freezer.
When you go to re-heat, you may need to add more water to loosen sauce slightly. Then add your protein or root veg of choice.