Masala Vegan

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Vegan Butter Not Chicken

Photo of Vegan Butter Not Chicken

Vegan Butter Not Chicken


Winter brings tempting rich gravies and warming curries along with flavoursome rice dishes or flatbread. Helpfully, thick winter jackets help camouflage all the extra weight too 😄.

Butter Chicken, possibly is the most ordered dish at most of the Indian eateries here. The best part is this recipe probably originates from the UK where a hotter and spicier version of the curry was toned down to suit local tastes.  However, what is a body that doesn’t eat butter and certainly no meat to do… Replicating the sauce was the easy bit with a dash of tomato ketchup and coconut cream saving the day. The flavour combinations of a a wet spice mixture made by grinding onions, garlic, fresh ginger root lend body to the gravy. I’ve used fresh turmeric root in this recipe because I had some at hand, substitute with half a teaspoon of dried Turmeric powder instead.  Then, I found Vegan Chikin (Soy) nuggets at the local Asian store, that could be added to stir fries, rice and……. Vegan Butter Not Chicken!

We need,

  • Onion, large – 1
  • Garlic cloves, peeled – 6
  • Ginger, peeled – 1″
  • Turmeric, fresh root – 1″
  • Tomato paste – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato ketchup – 1/2 cup
  • Coconut cream (not milk) – 3/4 cup
  • Roasted Vegan chicken nuggets – 1 cup
  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Almonds, sliced – 12
  • Fried onions – 2 tablespoons


  1. Grind the onion, garlic cloves, ginger and turmeric together with 2 teaspoons of water to get a smooth paste.
  2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep pan and add the above paste. Cook on low heat till the raw smells goes away.
  3. Add the tomato paste and mix well.
  4. Slowly mix in the tomato ketchup and cook on low heat until the sauce starts to bubble up.
  5. Pour in the coconut cream and whisk well.
  6. Toss the roasted vegan chicken pieces until well coated and take off the heat.

Garnish with sliced almonds and fried onions/ shallots before serving Vegan Butter Not Chicken with hot Naan bread. Enjoy!



I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I'm found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️