Vegan Keto Butter Tofu is our take on the traditional, non-vegetarian Butter Chicken. It’s a wonderfully creamy, mild-flavored curry. And perfect for cold winter nights. But our vegan keto version is light enough to serve as a breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Any time of the year!
Vegan Keto Butter Tofu: The Origin Story
The non-vegetarian Butter Chicken dish was created around 1948, by the renowned Pakistani-born, Indian chef, Kundan Lal Gujral.
After fleeing Pakistan, Kundan settled in Delhi and opened a roadside food stall where he sold mainly tandoori chicken. A tandoor is a type of oven. It is insulated, made from clay, and cylindrical in shape.
At that time, in India, there were no refrigeration facilities. To avoid waste, he took the leftover chicken from the day before and made a sauce with tomatoes, butter, and cream.
And that was how this dish came to be. Our Vegan Keto Butter Tofu pays homage to this Indian chef, who founded the chain of restaurants, Mot Mahal Delux.
Incidentally, Kundan was also the creator of another popular, mild curry dish known to the West, Chicken Tikka Masala. He also created his own signature dahl dish, called Dahl Makhani.
Dahl, also spelled dal, is a common side dish throughout India. It is a curry dish made from pulses like lentils, split peas, lupins, tamarind, and mung beans (also called Moong).
How easy is it to make Vegan Keto Butter Tofu?
This dish is easy to make if you are used to cooking with spices. If you are a spice newbie don’t panic. The only thing you really need to watch is that you don’t turn the heat up too high. When spices get burned the whole dish is ruined.
Our dish is made with tofu instead of chicken. And coconut cream instead of yogurt or cream. Of course, we substitute butter with coconut oil. You can also use vegan ghee if you prefer.
We also add almond butter at the end for that extra bit of rich, buttery creaminess.
Will it break the vegan keto bank?
This dish is not the cheapest dish to make but it certainly won’t leave you short. I find that having a well-stocked pantry goes a long way in reducing the overall cost of eating vegan keto. If you have supplies in stock then you get a lot more freedom to choose what to cook. And you won’t have to run about and but something every time you make a special dinner.
If you are unsure about what to shop for, check out our vegan keto Essential Shopping list, here.
Vegan Keto Butter Tofu Hero Ingredient
To take this dish from zero to hero we need the fragrant flavors of our chosen spices. These spices form the base for many different curry dishes so if you love food with Indian flava, best you keep the following spices in your pantry.
- cardamoms (elachi)
- ground or whole coriander seeds (dhania)
- ground or whole cumin seeds (jeera)
- fennel seeds (soomph)
- fenugreek seeds (methi)
- cayenne pepper
- mustard seeds
- garam masala
- ground chili powder
- garlic powder
- onion powder
I couldn’t find a spice kit that contained this exact combination of spices but I did get something very close. Check out these spice kit options if you want to order online.
- NOMU spices: 40 spices for just under $80
- SpiceWalla: 18 spices for around $80
- Simply Organic: 8 Indian spices for under $25
- Frying pan
- Hand blender or food processor
Butter Tofu is a dish that puts you in the mood for entertaining friends around the dinner table. Good conversation, good company, good food. Can’t go wrong!
Thanks for reading Vegan Keto Butter Tofu!
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- 1 cup bite-size soft tofu
- 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup coconut cream
- 3 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp almond butter
- 3 tbsp grated ginger
- 1 tbsp grated garlic
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
- seeds from 5 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp salt
- Place a large frying pan with oil on medium heat. Add onions and cook until golden. Season with salt.
- Add garlic and ginger. Stir and add all spices.
- Add crushed tomatoes and water.
- Reduce heat and simmer until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and cool down.
- Blend sauce in a food processor for 2 minutes. Or use a hand blender.
- Place the pan on heat again, add sauce, and tofu. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the heat off, add coconut cream and almond butter.
- Cover and allow flavors to infuse.
- Allow to cool, but not completely. And then reheat.
- Serve hot with sambals and cauliflower rice.
- Category: Dinner