Having learned to cook Indian food from my mother in law, it was particularly fun to showcase a vegan butter “chicken” recipe for the recent Sunday Brunch episode on Channel 4 which aired on May 8th. The first step was to re-create a creamy butter without the use of any animal products. I made my butter with coconut oil (using a refined coconut oil which has been bleached will result in an odourless butter, but I like to keep my food natural), agar agar flakes, grapeseed oil, coconut milk and apple cider vinegar. The other trick to delicious Indian food is to toast your spices for 1-2 minutes on medium heat before making the gravy. Lastly, I’ve substituted the chicken with roasted cauliflower which is a deliciously versatile vegetable!
- 95g coconut milk
- 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 180g coconut oil
- 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp agar flakes
- 70g ginger, grated
- 70g garlic, grated
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp cardamom
- 2-3 tbsp vegan butter
- 4 x 400g chopped tomatoes, pureed
- 1 head (750g) cauliflower
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 200ml soy yoghurt
- Add vinegar to the milk. Stir and leave to curdle for 10 minutes.
- Boil milk and agar flakes stirring until flakes dissolved.
- If coconut is solid, melt over water bath until liquid or in microwave for 30 secs.
- Add all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 3 mins.
- Pour into a silicon mold, place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for up to 1 month).
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets and toss in olive oil, 1 tbsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bake on parchment lined baking tray for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
- Grate the ginger and garlic.
- Mix 1 tbsp garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a small bowl.
- Blend canned tomatoes using hand blender or blender.
- In a heavy bottomed pot, heat vegan butter on medium high heat. Add spices and cook 1-2 mins until fragrant. Then add garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat until for 45 mins stirring occasionally.
- Add soy yoghurt and more vegan butter (if desired) and cook for another 5 mins.