Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce (with Video)

Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce

Are you ready for this? Vegan butter chicken sauce? Ahhh my gawdd! It was so so so delicious and so so easy! I will be making this again again! My only regret is that I didn’t make more! I had a number of friends stroll in the day I made this vegan butter chicken sauce and everyone of them loved it (and none of them are even vegan). 🙂

I want to make this again and eat this right now. 🙂

The picture here doesn’t look super saucy but not to worry! I’ve adapted the recipe to double the sauce and that’s what I have shared below.

Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce |
Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce |
Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce |
Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce |

Ingredients for Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup soaked cashews
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (or vegan butter)
  • 2 tsp freshly ground/grated ginger
  • 2 tsp freshly ground/grated garlic
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 1 cup tomato puree (from the can)
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2-3 fresh green chillies, optional
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh coriander to garnish, optional
  • 1 block tofu
  • 1 tsp of sugar, optional (I didn’t add this but “traditional” butter chicken often includes this)

Directions for Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce

  1. Soak the cashews (you can do this for however long you like. I have a high powdered blender so I usually skip the soaking process entirely but if you don’t have a high powdered blender, you can soak the cashews overnight or for a minimum of 30 minutes). Place the soaked cashews in a food processor / blender, add the coconut milk and blend them until they are completely smooth. Set aside.
  2. Drain tofu and prep tofu. I usually do this by placing it between 2 plates, putting something heavy on top, and letting it sit for about 10-20 minutes. If you would like a “meatier” tofu texture, you can then bake the tofu after it’s drained on a greased baking sheet/parchment paper. Bake it for in about 30 minutes on 400 degrees, flipping mid-way through.
  3. Heat the olive oil (or vegan butter) in a large pan over medium heat.
  4. Add the green cardamoms, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon.
  5. Sauté for a couple of minutes then add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for a couple of more minutes.
  6. Add the tomato puree, red chilli powder, garam masala, salt, and fresh chillies, if using.
  7. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil (you can add more water if you find the mixture sticking to the pan. I did not do this though).
  8. Reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  9. Add the tofu and simmer for another five minutes or so. Add the coconut milk & cashew mixture.
  10. Adjust spices to taste.
  11. Serve hot with naan or roti. I eat this with my Paleo Coconut Flour Naan or my Buckwheat Flour Chapati.

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  1. What do you mean by red chilli powder? Like an American chili powder blend? Or do you mean a specific chili like cayenne or chipotle?

    1. Hi Jared, I use cayenne / red chilli powder (that’s what it’s called on the packet). I don’t think a chilli powder blend would give you the same taste. Hope that helps!

  2. hey. i just wasted ingredients so i’m a little flustered. when you say ground ginger and garlic do you mean the powder or fresh? i don’t think the powder yielded good results. so i’m going to start over with fresh ingredients. and for tomato puree do you mean crushed tomatoes? it looks like tomato puree to me. you know, the ones you buy in cans. also, do you really keep the peppercorns, cormadon, cinnamon stick, etc in the pan the whole time? you don’t remove them? anyways thanks

    1. Oh no France! I’m sorry you had to waste ingredients. 🙁 Yes, it is freshly ground or grated ginger and garlic.
      And yes, it’s the tomato puree from the can.
      I keep the peppercorn, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom in the whole type though you can remove them when you are done cooking.

      Sorry about the confusion and thank you for letting me know – I have updated the recipe with clearer instructions.

    1. Hi Michael! I have frozen this recipe but without the tofu, I’m sure you can do it with the tofu as well but just haven’t tried it. The sauce definitely works great! 🙂

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