Vegan Butter Tofu

When I say “Vegan” butter tofu, it sounds really funny. But I adopted the name from the Indian recipe butter chicken.  For the original chicken recipe, a lot of ghee or butter is added with heavy cream to make a very rich and tasty dish. However, I wanted to make it a vegan dish since I was using tofu, I replaced butter with canola oil (you can use margarine instead) and opted for coconut milk.  But there is no hard and fast rule in using coconut milk. If you can’t find coconut milk, regular milk or even almond milk can be used. Using coconut milk gives an extra flavor and taste as opposed to regular milk.


  • 3 tablespoons melted margarine or canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 red onion finely chopped (after peeling the skin, it’s about 4 oz)
  • 4 garlic cloves peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ inch piece ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 – 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • ¼ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1 medium tomato chopped (about 9 oz)
  • 3 cardamom pods slightly pressed
  • 16 oz medium tofu
  • ¼ cup thick coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • Strand of curry leaves
  • salt


  • Cut tofu into ½ inch cubes and toast slightly in a toaster oven or bake for 15 minutes at 350 F
  • Add melted margarin or oil to a large covered saucepan and add mustard seeds.
  • Once mustard seeds start spluttering add onion with little salt and fry until lightly browned
  • Add garlic and ginger and fry for another couple of minutes or until garlic is soft and lightly browned at the edges.
  • Add fenugreek seeds, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, and chili powder and fry for a minute or on very low flame.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cardamom pods and mix well. Add water and salt and cover and cook on medium flame for 10 minutes. Check to see there is enough gray and if not add a little water.
  • Now add tofu, curry leaves and coconut milk and mix well and cover and cook for about 10 minutes or until the gravy thickens.
  • Serving size – 3 as a side dish
  • Serve with Naan Bread, Roti or cooked rice

2 thoughts on “Vegan Butter Tofu

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