Vegan Butter Chicken (made with seitan) that delivers the authentic, spicy, north Indian flavors.
Kneading seitan might be the only time-consuming step in this recipe but it’s worth it. Well-kneaded seitan will give this chicken-like texture to your dish.
Vegan Butter Chicken
To prepare seitan,
- 1/2 cup wheat gluten
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon BBQ seasoning mix (optional)
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 cup warm water
- 4 cups veggie broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
To prepare gravy,
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 4 cloves
- 3 cardamoms
- 4 garlic cloves (chopped)
- 1-inch ginger (chopped)
- 2 onions (sliced)
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup coconut cream
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro (finely chopped)
Preparing the seitan 'chicken' pieces,
- In a large mixing bowl, add wheat gluten + nutritional yeast + garlic powder + onion powder + smoked paprika + salt + pepper + BBQ seasoning mix.
- Stir and mix well. Then add soy sauce + warm water. With the help of a spatula, combine the dry + wet ingredients.
- As it starts to form a dough, switch over to your hands and knead well. Kneading is really important (I knead them for like 7-10 minutes). A well-kneaded seitan is meaty and elastic.
- Tear the seitan into smaller chunks (around 1-inch pieces) and set aside.
- Heat a saucepan and add 4 cups veggie broth. Bring it to a simmer. Now add the seitan chunks and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Turn off the heat. Remove and drain the pieces.
- Heat a pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Once it's hot, add the seitan pieces and saute for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Preparing the gravy,
- Heat the same pan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Once it's hot, add bay leaf + cinnamon stick + clove + cardamom. Stir and saute for 2 minutes or until fragrant.
- Add garlic + ginger + onion. Stir and saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn golden brown.
- Add tomato puree + turmeric powder + coriander powder + cumin powder + salt. Mix well, cover the lid, and cook for 8-10 minutes over low heat (stir occasionally).
- Open the lid, add 1 cup water and mix well. Add the browned seitan pieces and mix some more. Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes over low-medium heat.
- Turn off the heat. Add coconut cream + freshly chopped cilantro and give it a gentle stir. Vegan butter chicken is ready. Serve over rice, roti, or naan.
- Nutrition chart is for reference. Nutrition from rice isn't included.