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‘Butter Chicken’ … Vegan Style!

A delicious, plant-based version of the Indian dish Murgh Makhani ('Butter Chicken'). It is beautifully flavoured with Indian spices but I’ve kept it mild enough for children (and spice wimps like me!) Serve with your favourite rice and naan bread. My family also loves to add a side dish of roasted cauliflower.
Adapted from Sasha Gill's Butter 'Chicken' in Jackfruit and Blue Ginger, featured in Vegan Life magazine Issue 48
5 from 3 votes
Hands-on time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4


  • ½ TBSP olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 3 tsp garlic paste
  • 2 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 480 ml / 2 cups tomato passata
  • 40 g / ¼ cup cashews (If you don’t have a power blender, soak the cashews in freshly boiled water for 30 minutes to soften them, then drain)
  • 120 ml / ½ cup plant-based milk (I used soya)
  • 1 tsp unrefined sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 450 g / 16 oz seitan ‘chicken’ or store-bought meat alternative*
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves to garnish


  • Heat the oil in a large non-stick pan over medium heat and cook the onion until it starts to soften (about 4 minutes).
  • Add the garlic and ginger paste to the pan and stir through. Stir in the dry spices (cumin, turmeric, cinnamon and garam masala). Add a splash of water if it starts to stick. Cook for a further minute.
  • Meanwhile, add the cashews and plant milk to a high speed blender, and blend smooth.
  • Add the contents of the pan to the blender, along with the tomato passata, sugar and salt. Whizz until smooth.
  • Pour the mixture back into the pan. Tear up the seitan ‘chicken’ into chunks and add them to the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until warmed through. Taste test and adjust the seasoning, to suit.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice and pieces of naan bread. We also love to serve some roasted cauliflower on the side.


* I use home-made Easy Seitan 'Chicken'. Store-bought gluten-free options include Iceland's No Chick Strips and Oumph!'s The Chunk (available in Tesco)
Keyword Family Friendly, Plant-Based, Seitan, Vegan