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square image of vegan butter chicken in a bowl with two other bowls above it

Vegan Butter Chicken

  • Author: Jess Saunders
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


This vegan butter chicken, or tofu makhani is a creamy curry dream. You could mix it up by adding cauliflower, broccoli or any other vegetables of your choice!


Units Scale
  • 1 onion - roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 inch piece of ginger - finely diced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 300ml tomato passata
  • 250ml oat cream (or other non-dairy cream)
  • 1 tbsp non-dairy butter
  • 1/4 cup ground almonds
  • 350g extra-firm tofu - chopped into cubes
  • 1/2 cup of frozen peas
  • Juice of 1/2 lime (optional)
  • Splash of groundnut oil
  • 1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)


  1. Put your oil in a large pan and bring up to a medium-high heat.
  2. Fry the onion until it starts to soften and turn translucent.
  3. Add the garlic, ginger, spices, bay leaf and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
  4. Pour in the passata, give it a stir and bring up to a simmer.
  5. Stir in the cream, butter and ground almonds - if the curry starts to look too thick at this point, just add some water, as the almonds can cause it to thicken up.
  6. Add the tofu and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. Put the peas and lime juice in (if using), give it a good stir and season to taste, around 1/4 teaspoon of salt should be enough.
  8. Serve up with rice and some of our delicious naan bread.


  • If you don’t have oat cream, you can use coconut milk, cashew cream or plant based single cream.
  • If you don’t have tomato passata, you can substitute blended tinned tomatoes or blended fresh tomatoes. If using fresh tomatoes, consider adding an extra two tablespoons of ground almonds to thicken the sauce.
  • Almond flour can be substituted for ground almonds.
  • Try coating the tofu in cornflour and frying off in two tablespoons of oil before adding it to the curry. It creates a lovely crispy coating on the tofu.
  • Tofu can be switched out for any other vegan chicken alternative.
  • This curry freezes well for up to 3 months in the freezer.
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stove-top
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: vegan butter chicken, tofu makhani