The Goods

Recipe: Vegetarian Butter "Chicken"

This delicious dish is no longer off-limits for vegetarians.

This delicious dish is no longer off-limits for vegetarians

Don’t worry, it’s not just sauce. This recipe for Vegetarian Butter “Chicken” is not only meat-free, it serves up a meal for four for just $10, and it’s super delicious. Chef Shahir recommends making your own spice mix from your spice rack instead of buying a whole new one. And instead of the usual tofu substitute, opt for a very affordable jackfruit, which also has a great texture. Finally, vegetarians won’t have to miss out on this decadent dish any longer!


  • 1 cup jasmine rice
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika, divided
  • 2 tsp turmeric, divided
  • 2 tsp ground cumin, divided
  • 2 tsp ground coriander, divided
  • 2 tsp ground ginger, divided
  • 1 tsp ground cloves, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 can (796 mL) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (540 mL) chickpeas
  • 1 can (540 mL) young jackfruit in brine
  • ¼ cup 35% cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


Cook jasmine rice according to package instructions, keep warm until ready to serve.

Mix together paprika, turmeric, cumin, coriander, ginger and cloves, set aside. Next, mince garlic and dice onion. Heat a large dutch oven or high sided saucepan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp vegetable oil, onions and garlic to pan and sauté until softened. Next add half of your spice mixture and a generous pinch of salt and pepper to onion mixture and fry for another 1-2 minutes. Add unsalted butter and cook for a few minutes to slightly brown and increase flavour. Add crushed tomatoes, simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring every so often, until thickened.

While sauce is cooking drain and rinse chickpeas and cut jackfruit into bite sized pieces, discarding liquid. Add chickpeas and jackfruit to a medium bowl along with 1 tbsp vegetable oil, other half of spice mixture and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Toss so everything is coated. Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add last tbsp of vegetable oil. Add chickpea and jackfruit mixture to the pan and fry until all sides are browned and slightly crispy.

Once sauce has simmered and thickened add ¼ cup 35% cream, fried chickpeas and jackfruit and stir. Season with salt and pepper again if necessary. Sauce can be ready to eat now but the longer you simmer, the more flavourful it will become. Serve over cooked rice, enjoy!

Servings: Makes 4 servings


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