We first had a makhani years ago when we were vegetarian and traveling in Prague – we went to a great vegetarian and vegan restaurant that had it on as a special. It was such a delicious dish that years later we still thought about it every so often, and eventually decided that we needed to create our own vegan tofu makhani.
Makhani translates to ‘with butter’ – it’s a pretty creamy dish and is the same thing as butter chicken (murgh makhani), so also very similar to the British equivalent, tikka masala. If you liked any of those non-vegan dishes, you’ll be sure to like our vegan tofu makhani!
With the rise of the vegan movement and the availability of non-dairy alternatives to ingredients like butter and cream, it was pretty easy to create our own version of makhani that we can cook up any time we think about our trip to Prague!
- 1 onion - roughly chopped
- 3 cloves garlic - minced/finely diced
- 1 inch piece of ginger - minced/finely diced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1/4 tsp chilli powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 250ml tomato passata
- 250ml oat cream (or other non-dairy cream)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy butter
- 1/4 cup ground almonds - we just blend a load of whole almonds
- 250g extra-firm tofu - chopped into cubes
- 1/2 cup of frozen peas
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- Splash of groundnut oil
- Put your oil in a large pan and bring up to a medium-high heat.
- Fry the onion until it's started to soften and turn translucent.
- Add the garlic, ginger, spices, bay leaf and cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
- Pour in the passata, give it a stir and bring up to a simmer.
- Stir in the cream, butter and ground almonds - if the curry starts to look too thick at this point, just add some water, as the almonds can cause it to thicken up.
- Add the tofu and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Put the peas and lime juice in, give it a good stir and season to taste.
- Serve up with rice and some of our delicious naan bread for the perfect vegan tofu makhani.
If you enjoyed this recipe and fancy cooking up some more vegan creamy curries, you could try this recipe for Indonesian Rendang curry with tempeh. According to recipe blogger Davina Da Vegan, it’s simple and sweet, and non-spicy, making it ideal for all the family, including children with sensitive tummies.
If you like Thai curries, you could try making this recipe for red curry. It’s so simple, it only uses one pan, and you could probably make it with ingredients you already have stocked in the cupboard. Recipe creator The Vegan 8 says, “I love this curry for when I need something quick, easy, and yet still full of wonderful flavor. This curry is comfort in a bowl, and the one-pan method makes it simple.”
Elizabeth Shah has also created a simple one-pot curry. Using coconut curried lentils, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your household. Shah says, “in just one pot, it packs so much of the good stuff for a healthy vegan diet – like beneficial garlic and onion, high-fiber lentils, whole-grain brown rice, and antioxidant-rich green leafy vegetables.”
If you’re looking for a side dish, you could also try one of these 15 saag aloo recipes to spice up your dinner.