Hi, Katie here. My husband (who’s American) only discovered Indian food, like curry, later in life. And, not being a massive spice fan, he found butter chicken an easy transition into the complex and often very different flavours, of Indian cuisine.
So, I’ve been thinking about working out a vegan version of Butter Chicken for some time, but my recent trip to India really inspired me to get on with it. I knew I wanted to use Jackfruit in lieu of chicken because the incredibly neutral flavour means it works well with any sauce and it’s firm, fibrous texture is a perfect substitute.
‘Butter’ Jackfruit Curry
This is a fairly big recipe and does take some time, but if you can prepare it ahead of time, the flavours will mature the longer you leave it (within reason, obviously!) It’s therefore perfect for prepping 24 hours in advance of a dinner party and is perfect for impressing people.
Time to make:
- Prep: 45 minutes
- Cook: around 30 minutes
- Total: around 1.5 hours
I tend not to do nutritional information (so you know the ‘Katie’ recipes when you see them!) I do ‘good for’ instead. This is Good For:
- Keto (if you don’t serve it with rice)
- Depth/complexity of flavour
- Showing off
- Colds/flu (it is not shy on the garlic front!)
- 800g of Jackfruit (usually tinned in 400gs)
- Liquid smoke (see below in specialist equipment)
- 2 cloves of garlic minced/crushed/chopped finely
- 1 tbsp grated/minced fresh ginger (pre-minced from a jar is also fine, but won’t be as tasty)
- ½ cup coconut yoghurt
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon grated/minced fresh turmeric (pre-minced in a jar, turmeric paste is also fine or dried ground turmeric is also fine)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli powder
- A few good grinds of good quality salt.
- 1 large brown onion, diced
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 gloves of fresh garlic crushed or minced from a jar
- 1 tbsp of fresh ground ginger (minced from a jar is also fine)
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
- 1.5 teaspoon ground corriander
- 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
- Few good grinds of good quality salt
- 2 bulbs of garlic (yes, bulbs not cloves) – roasted (see method instructions)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 cup cashew nuts (soaked for 1 hour)
- Water (~ ½ cup – adjust as necessary for desired consistency – see photo)
- Salt – enough to lose the ‘yeasty’ flavour, adjust as necessary
- Dried fenugreek leaves (you can usually find these in specialist Indian grocers, they’re hard to find in regular supermarkets. If you can’t find them at all, don’t worry, they are not essential but do add an incredible fragrance that adds to the authenticity).
- Fresh coriander
- Juice of 1 lime
- Gloves for grating your fresh turmeric
- Food processor/blender
- Liquid smoke.
You can get liquid smoke from most specialist supermarkets. I used Colgin liquid smoke from Foodland (Australia) which you can get from Tesco (UK). You can also buy it online (from the Cruelty Free Shop, Australia only, here: https://www.crueltyfreeshop.com.au/products/colgin-liquid-smoke-hickory?variant=3446866369) or from Amazon here: https://www.amazon.com/Colgin-Liquid-Natural-Hickory-4-Ounce/dp/B0005Z8NCM
- Put the cup of cashew nuts in a bowl of cold water and set aside
- Wrap the two bulbs of garlic (leave skin on) in tin foil and place in oven (220 deg) for approximately 30 minutes or until you can feel that the cloves inside have turned soft
- Drain the tinned jackfruit
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and add the jackfruit, stirring well to cover, then set aside
- Time to make the jackfruit ‘butter’! Drain the cashew nuts and squeeze the roasted cloves of garlic out of their skin, they should be soft. Put the cashews and the garlic in the blender with the other ‘butter’ ingredients and blend into a smooth paste – think the texture of a hummus – add water as required. Set aside.
- Heat a large pan and add the olive oil and onions, cooking until soft.
- Turn the heat way down and add the marinade covered jackfruit and scrape the bowl of any leftover marinade into the pan
- Cook slow and low until the jackfruit softens and starts getting some colour.
- Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, garam masala, coriander and salt to the pan. This will dry up the pan which is fine, but don’t let the spices burn. Keep moving the mixture around until fragrant.
- Add the tinned tomatoes along with ~1.5 cups of water to loosen the mixture.
- Add 4-6 heaped tablespoons of the ‘butter’ (varies to taste and how ‘creamy’ you like it!)
- Add 6 tspn of liquid smoke
- Stir, bring to a simmer and keep it there for about 10 minutes. If the sauce becomes too thick or dries up, add more water as required.
- Serve in a large bowl with a squeeze of lime juice on top, some chopped coriander and the dried fenugreek leaves (to create a dusting of the fenugreek, rub between your palms over the dish) along with rice or naan or both or neither!