janet @ the taste space

Vegan Butter Chickpeas

In Mains (Vegetarian) on December 23, 2015 at 7:52 AM

Vegan Butter Chickpeas

Before I was vegan, the only Indian food I liked was butter chicken. Then I met Rob and we explored lots of great, naturally vegan curries. While we have veganized some of Rob’s favourite curries (see this Vegan Khao Soi), I never even thought to veganize butter chicken.

Until of course, I spotted a healthier version that was mostly vegan, except for that chicken.

Vegan Butter Chickpeas

This is probably a dish where mock chicken (the kind I see at Asian grocers but have yet to make myself) would work really well. However, I went with what was in my own kitchen: chickpeas and tofu.

The sauce was surprisingly simple for what I postulated was an elaborate recipe. Instead, this recipe is super easy with garlic, ginger, coconut milk, tomato paste and curry powder. Pick a nice, sweet curry powder for best results.

In a slow cooker, the sauce reduced and became lusciously creamy. I reckon this could also work on the stovetop with a gentle simmer for an hour or so, taking care it doesn’t burn.

I am not sure how many posts I get in over the next few weeks. This is the first year I am hosting Christmas dinner, so between work and cooking, it will be a busy holiday.

In any case, Happy Holidays! Best wishes to you, your family and friends.

Vegan Butter Chickpeas


Vegan Butter Chickpeas
Adapted from Sweet Potato Chronicles and Delish Knowledge

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 tbsp chopped ginger
14 oz can coconut milk
6 oz can tomato paste
1 tbsp curry powder (I used Penzey’s sweet curry powder)
3 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained if canned
1 lb tofu, pressed and chopped

1. In a skillet (or instapot) over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add onion and saute until translucent. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant 1-2 minutes.

2. Stir in the coconut milk and lift off any browned bits. Transfer to a slow cooker if working in a skillet (I just used the saute function on the instapot). Stir in the remainder of the ingredients. Slow cook on medium for 8 hours or until you obtain the consistency you desire.

3. Serve with naan, rice or roti.

Serves 4-6.

  1. I was obsessed w/ butter chicken when I first had it (many years ago before I could google a million recipes to try) and had a super long trial and error process of trying to figure out how to mock it at home. Had some cookbooks, but those were too “authentic”…nothing tasted like that butter chicken I fell in love with (it was at Matagali on Elm st.). Yours looks so good! We also have it with coconut milk and chickpeas now (still w/ chicken), but have come a long way in adapting it. Try garam masala vs. curry powder…I think it’s a little more butter chicken-y, but I’m sure curry powder is delicious as well.

    • Thanks Sofia. I saw a recipe that had some garam masala added to it but was worried it would make it a bit more bitter. I will have to try that next time. 🙂
      I used to love the butter chicken from Amaya!

  2. Strangely enough I had a discussion about making a vegan butter chicken just last week so this is timely. This looks great. Hope you have a great christmas and good luck with the big dinner

  3. I never actually had butter chicken before going vegan. This sounds way better anyway. I think I like the sound of the tofu option as the mock meat, too.
    I hope your Christmas dinner went well =)

  4. […] Vegan Butter Chickpeas are super easy  and flavoured with garlic, ginger, coconut milk, tomato paste and curry powder. In a slow cooker, the sauce reduced and became lusciously creamy recipe & photo –  The Taste Space […]

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