• Vegan butter chicken with lachcha parantha (layered bread) (The Chefs' Line)Source: The Chefs' Line

A vegan take on butter chicken - no butter, no chicken. It's made with soya nuggets and cashew nut cream. This is all about the sauce - the soya nuggets do a great job of absorbing the creamy sauce.






Skill level

Average: 4 (71 votes)



  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 cups soya nuggets (see Note)
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 dried chillies
  • 1 cm piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt


Curry sauce

  • 155 g (1 cup) raw cashews
  • 250 ml (1 cup) water
  • 125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2.5 cm piece ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 green chilli, chopped
  • 4 tomatoes, puréed
  • 1 tbsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder (see Note)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
  • ½ white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds, to garnish
  • coriander leaves, to garnish


Lachha paratha

  • 150 g (1 cup) wholemeal flour (atta)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp black chia seeds
  • 1 small pinch salt and sugar
  • 100 ml water (about)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time: 30 minutes

For the curry sauce, soak the cashews in 250 ml (1 cup) water for 30 minutes. Blend the cashews, with enough of the soaking water, to make a smooth paste. Set aside until needed.

For the marinade, bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. While it's coming to the boil, heat the sesame oil in a large frying pan and pan-fry the nuggets until browned on all sides. Transfer to the boiling water and cook for 5-8 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water, then squeeze out the excess moisture, and place in a large ziplock bag.

In a small frying pan, dry-toast the cardamom, cloves and chillies until fragrant (about 1 minute, being careful not to burn the chillies).

Add the spices to the ziplock bag, along with the ginger, garlic, lemon and salt and marinate for 30 minutes. 

For the paratha, combine the flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Gradually add enough water, 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing in with your hand (it's less messy if your hand is lightly greased with oil) until you get a soft but firm dough. 

Divide the dough into 4 balls. Flatten a ball into a circle, drizzle with 1 tsp of oil and spread to cover. Roll up like a log, wrap the log into a spiral, then flatten with your hand into thin round. Repeat with the remaining balls.

Heat the small frying pan over medium heat and cook a paratha on each side for 4 minutes, pressing down with a spatula, until golden. Remove and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining paratha.

To finish the curry sauce, heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the cumin and once they begin to crackle and give off a subtle aroma, add the chopped garlic and cook for 1 minute or until starting to colour. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the minced ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the green chilli and tomato, cover and cook for 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.  

Once the oil starts to rise, add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.

Add the cashew paste, garam masala and fenugreek and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the nuggets and cook, covered, for 5 minutes or until it begins to smell fragrant.

Transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with the sliced onion, pomegranate and coriander leaves, and serve with the paratha. 


Cook's notes

 I like to use the Nutrela brand of soya nuggets (available from Indian grocers and health food stores), and MDH brand for the Kashmiri red chilli powder, garam masala and kasoori methi (also available from Indian grocers).


This recipe is from The Chefs' Line - a brand new series airing weeknights at 6pm on SBS. Can the passion of a home cook beat the skills of a professional chef? Missed all the action? Catch-up online and get all the recipes #TheChefsLine.

This recipe has been edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the series.