This Vegan Butter Chicken is luscious and creamy, with a mildly spiced tomato gravy and crispy chunks of Tandoori Tofu. This dish is both kid-friendly and oil-free. It comes together quickly enough for a weeknight but feels special enough for a big weekend meal.
Preheat the oven t 400F or 200C (see instructions in the blog post above if you prefer to use an air fryer.)
In a large mixing bowl add the tofu paste ingredients: nutritional yeast, vegetable broth powder, cornstarch, 1 tablespoon of tandoori spice, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. This will form a thick-ish paste.
Break the tofu into thumb-sized chunks over the paste bowl. Gently fold the tofu into the paste until all of the chunks are covered.
Place the tofu chunks on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the tofu is crispy and nicely browned.
Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce (Gravy)
Peel and chop the onion. In a skillet over medium-high heat, saute the onion until it starts to turn translucent (about 3 to 5 minutes.)
Add the grated garlic, grated ginger, and all of the sauce spices to the skillet and mix to combine. Cook about 1 minute and then add the tomatoes. Stir to combine and then remove from the heat.
Add the spiced tomato mixture, along with the cashew butter, maple syrup, and lemon juice, to a high-speed blender and then blend until smooth.
Return the mixture to the skillet. Add the coconut milk and carefully stir to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced to the consistency of a thick gravy.
Add the cooked tandoori tofu to the sauce and gently fold to combine.
Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve right away with a side of basmati or jasmine rice.
Super firm tofu is vacuum-sealed and has just a little water. It is much firmer than regular tofu and therefore doesn't need to be pressed.
If you can't find super-firm tofu, just use extra-firm tofu that's been pressed for 20 to 30 minutes. (Pressing time is not included in the time estimate for this recipe.)
Do not line the baking sheet with aluminum foil. This could cause the tofu to burn. Use parchment paper or a silicone mat instead.
If you prefer, you can cook this in a large pot instead of a skillet. If you do this, you can add the coconut milk to the tomato mixture and then blend it with a stick blender. This will save you the hassle of transferring the mixture to a high-speed blender and back again.
Nutritional info is calculated only for the vegan butter chicken. Rice is not included.