Vegan Butter Tofu (tofu Makhani)

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Delicious and comforting Vegan Butter Tofu, with lots of warming spices, creamy coconut and vegan butter sauce, served over basmati rice or fresh naan. This is a vegan version of the Chicken Butter or Murgh Makhani, one of the most popular Indian dishes and rightly so!

If you’re more of a visual person, here’s the video for this recipe!

It is strongly aromatic, because of all of the warming spices, it’s creamy because of the coconut milk and slightly sweet due to the tomato pulp and caramelized onions. Definitely one of the best recipes you’ll ever try.

I’m so so excited to share this Vegan Butter Tofu recipe with you. I tried Chicken Butter for the first time when I still ate chicken in an Indian restaurant in Dubai and it was love at the first bite. I knew right away this would turn into one of my staple dishes… Now that I no longer eat chicken, I substitute it with sautéed tofu and I swear it doesn’t disappoint!

It’s the perfect vegan tofu dish for beginners and the most sceptic non-tofu eaters. My “stepfather” is one of the most sceptical persons when it comes to non-meat dishes and absolutely loved this butter tofu (and served himself twice)! So, give it a try, I swear you won’t regret it.

vegan-butter-tofu-manteiga-tofu-makhani-indiano

How to make Vegan Butter Tofu (tofu Makhani):

STEP 1 – PRESS AND MARINATE THE TOFU (optional)
Press and marinate the tofu in advance. Check my How to Prep & Cook Tofu – comprehensive guide to finding out everything about the pressing process.

STEP 2 – SAUTÉ THE TOFU
In a hot pan sauté the tofu with the marinade until golden, stirring occasionally. This will take about 10 minutes in medium to high heat.

STEP 3 – PREPARE THE SAUCE
Meanwhile, prepare the sauce in another frying pan or, when cooked, reserve the tofu and use the same skillet to make the sauce. Add the olive oil and sauté the chopped onion for a few minutes until translucent and golden. Add the garlic and sauce spices and sauté for a few more minutes, until fragrant.

STEP 4 – ADD THE REMAINING SAUCE INGREDIENTS
Add the tomato pulp, coconut milk, vegan butter and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.

STEP 5 – MIX THE TOFU & THE SAUCE TOGETHER & LET COOK FOR ANOTHER 10 MINUTES
Pour the sauce over the tofu and let cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, on low to medium heat, so the flavours blend together and the sauce reduces a little bit more. Taste and adjust flavours, if necessary.

STEP 6 – SERVE WITH BASMATI RICE, NAAN BREAD AND LOTS OF FRESHLY CHOPPED PARSLEY
Serve over basmati rice, with freshly baked naan bread and lots of freshly chopped parsley. To improve the nutritional content of this dish you can also add some sautéed or roasted veggies to your plate. Enjoy!

Other main dish recipes you might enjoy:

Harvest Stuffed Balsamic Butternut Squash
Roasted Tofu with Cabbage & Corn Bread Crumble
Ravioli with Lemon Rosemary Sauteed Mushrooms
Healthier & Vegan Carbonara
Gomes de Sá Tofu ~ Portuguese Tofu with Veggies

Vegan Butter Tofu (Tofu Makhani)

Delicious and comforting Vegan Butter Tofu, with lots of warming spices, creamy coconut and vegan butter sauce, served over basmati rice or fresh naan.
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Optional Rest Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins

Ingredients

Tofu Marinade

  • 400 g tofu firm to extra firm, pressed (see notes)
  • 1 natural yoghurt
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • Half tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • Pepper to taste
  • Half cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp vegan butter
  • 1 tsp salt

Instructions

Tofu

  • Optional, but beneficial: 1h30 before preparing the recipe, drain and press the tofu for 15 to 30 minutes.
  • After pressed cut the tofu into 2 cm cubes, and add it to a bowl with all the ingredients of the marinade, tossing to combine.
  • Let it sit for an hour. This step is not mandatory but very beneficial.
  • Sauté the tofu and the marinade in a hot skillet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and cook over medium-high heat until golden, for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauce

  • Meanwhile, add to another hot pan (or the same one, after the tofu is cooked), the oil and the onion and sauté until translucent and golden, for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and spices and let them cook for another 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  • Add the tomato pulp, coconut milk, vegan butter and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
  • Add the sauce to the tofu and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Taste and adjust flavours if necessary.
  • Serve with basmati rice, sautéed or roasted vegetables, hot naan bread and lots of freshly chopped parsley!

Notes

Pressing the tofu will help it absorb the flavours and make it chewier and crispier.
Find the link to the “how to press tofu” step-by-step guide in the main text above!
Author: Ana Rebelo
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: Comfort food, Dairy-free, Easy, Egg-free, Fall, Gluten-free, Lactose-free, Plant-based, Sugar-free, Vegan, Winter

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