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Tofu makhani (no butter, no chicken)

Updated: Aug 18, 2023

I used to LOVE butter chicken. We'd buy it from the takeaway Indian restaurant nearby almost weekly. Now I know that even lean chicken breast has loads of saturated fat and leads to inflammation, I wouldn't touch it. Butter and cream are equally loaded with fat and probably contributed to my first MS relapse.

I made this recipe for a customer who had me cook a beautiful Indian Feast for her and her young family. She can't tolerate onions and garlic so I came up with this version. This recipe is better than the dish I used to love. It's low in saturated fat, loaded with protein and anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory compounds. Best of all, it tastes delicious (and the kids agree!).


1 300g block tofu, cut into chunks

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1 tablespoon garam masala

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon coriander, ground

1 teaspoon cumin, ground or seeds

¼ to 1 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon cardamom, ground

1 tin tomatoes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup vegetable stock

1/3 cup almond/cashew butter

1 tablespoon red miso

1 tablespoon maple syrup

Slivered almonds, soy yoghurt and coriander to serve


Place tofu on a baking sheet and bake at 180 degrees Celsius until crispy on the edges. In a Dutch oven, dry fry carrot and celery until the mix begins to caramelise. Add a dash of water to release from the bottom.

Add ginger, garam masala, turmeric, coriander, cumin, chili and cardamom and cook on medium heat until fragrant but not browned. Add tomatoes, tomato paste and stock. Allow to cook for about 15 minutes.

To a high speed blender add nut butter, miso and maple syrup. Add tomato and spice sauce from the Dutch oven and blend all ingredients until smooth. Return to pot and add chickpeas and tofu. Place lid on top and put in the oven to cook for about 30 minutes.

Serve with toasted flaked almonds, soy yoghurt and coriander

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