Plant-Based “Butter Chicken” with Baked Cauliflower

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This is not a traditional “Butter Chicken” by any means, however, it uses a similar principle of combing plenty of warm spices, a hint of tomato and some dairy-free cream. I think the roasted cauliflower is a great substitute for chicken in this flavour-packed Vegan “Butter Chicken” dish. Plus the addition of peas gives this meal an extra boost of protein and nutrition.

Vegan Butter Chicken, plant-based and dairy-free by active vegetarian

Plant-Based “Butter Chicken” with Baked Cauliflower 

Here is an Indian curry recipe with creamy and deliciously flavoured dairy-free sauce. The secret to this vegan-friendly dish is the crispy cauliflower, which you coat in chickpea flour before baking. Serve over basmati rice for a hearty, filling and nutrient-rich plant-based meal. 
Author: Active Vegetarian



  • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
  • 1/2 cup veggie broth or plant-based milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala see Notes
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper powder see Notes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • large aprox.1.5 lb cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces


  • 2 tbsp coconut oil OR 1 tbsp veggie broth (see Notes)
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger minced or finely grated
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder adjust to your taste preference
  • 2 Roma tomatoes chopped
  • 1 14 oz/298 ml) can coconut milk
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen green peas
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt and black pepper to taste

To Serve - choose:

  • Basmati rice
  • Fresh Coriander/cilantro optional


  • In a bowl, combine all marinade ingredients except cauliflower. Whisk well and add cauliflower florets. Toss until all cauliflower pieces are coated with marinade; let it soak up the flavours for at least 10 minutes to an hour (or overnight if time allows).
  • Preheat oven to 400 F and line a large baking sheet with non-bleached parchment paper.
  • Spread the marinated cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the curry sauce.
  • Heat coconut oil or veggie broth in a large pan. Cook the onions until they start to sweat (about 6 minutes) while scraping up any browned bits stuck on the bottom of the pan.
  • Add garlic and ginger and sauté for 1 minute until fragrant, then add ground coriander, cumin and garam masala. Let cook for about 20 seconds until fragrant, while stirring occasionally.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, chilli powder and salt. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally until sauce thickens and becomes a deep brown-red colour.
  • Remove from heat, scoop mixture into a blender, add coconut milk, and sugar. Blend until smooth.
  • Pour the puréed sauce back into the pan, taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir the green peas and lemon juice through the sauce. Add the cauliflower into the pan and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes until the sauce is thick and bubbling.
  • Garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves if using. Serve with basmati rice and/or green salad.


Garam Masala - This is a spice mix that is readily available at supermarkets nowadays. You can find it in the spice section and the cost is comparable to other spices.
Chilli powder - Use good quality Indian chilli powder or cayenne pepper to add a spice kick. Adjust the amount to your preference. 
Oil-Free Cooking- You can replace coconut oil with veggie broth or water. Don’t worry, the dish will still taste amazing! 
Vegan Butter Chicken Cauliflower, plant-based and dairy-free by active vegetarian Vegan Butter Chicken, plant-based and dairy-free by active vegetarian

If you enjoy cooking healthy Indian dishes check out our other plant-based favourites: 

Indian Spiced Mushroom and Eggplant Curry
Palak Vegan ‘Paneer’
Light Vegan Chana Masala

Dedicated to your health & wellbeing, 


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