A non-traditional take on the classic butter chicken dish. In the modern world, many of us have food allergies and can’t enjoy all the foods we used to. This recipe has the same creamy, flavorful taste and texture of butter chicken, but without the meat or dairy.
It’s the first day of 2018 and I thought I’d start it off with a healthy, savory recipe. I was recently thumbing through an old notebook of half developed recipes I had begun working on and abandoned in the past, and thought this one was worth spending more time on. It was definitely a good decision.
If you’re a fan of butter chicken, or used to be before a dietary change, this just might be up your alley. There may not be any butter or chicken in this recipe, but the same flavor profile is there thanks to the magic of seasoning. Our ancestors sure have spoiled us by discovering a plethora of spices all around the world. Would food have the same level of enjoyment if it hadn’t been for them? We are certainly lucky for everything we have.
I had originally intended for this to be a tofu based dish, but not being the biggest fan of that tofu taste, it required a bit of work. I had tried pressing the tofu, marinating it, cutting it in small bites, crumbling and then marinating it, but it seemed that no matter what method I went through with, I could still taste tofu. Suddenly I remember why I had abandoned this recipe for a year.
Since my goal is to make this dish as similar to the real thing as possible, so everyone in the family can enjoy it, the tofu taste wasn’t going to fly. That’s where my new pal, jackfruit came in to save the day. Jackfruit doesn’t have an overpowering taste to it, so it works well in this recipe. Not only that, but the texture is a nice substitute for chicken. I even used two forks to pull each piece slightly apart to give it more of a meaty texture. Not a necessary step, but I liked the end result better when I did it that way.
This recipe makes 2-4 servings – probably more like two if you’re hungry. If you serve it with a hefty portion of rice and some bread on the side, you can maybe stretch it to 4 servings.
- 1 Tbsp Sunflower Oil or other light tasting oil
- 1 Large Onion sliced (about 2 cups)
- 3 cloves of Garlic 1 Tbsp minced
- 1 Tbsp Ginger minced
- 1 Tbsp Garam Masala
- 1 ½ tsp Coriander
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Sea Salt*
- ½ tsp Chili Flakes
- ¼ tsp Cinnamon
- 1 can 400ml Coconut Milk
- 2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
- ¼ cup Coconut Sugar
- 1 can 565g Young Green Jackfruit
Heat oil in a medium sized pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook for 8-10 minutes until they start to brown. Stir often.
Peel and mince garlic and ginger and add to the pan. Stir in spices and salt. Cook for a minute, then pour in the coconut milk and crushed tomatoes and stir.
Chop your jackfruit into smaller pieces, then add to the pan, along with the coconut sugar. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced and thickened. Serve over rice.
*The amount of salt may have to be adjusted depending on your choice of crushed tomatoes. I've been using a can of crushed tomatoes containing salt every time I made this and found 1 tsp to work perfectly. If you use unsalted, keep that in mind and add more to taste.
**You can flake the jackfruit apart using two forks, pulling it in opposite directions to give it more of a meaty texture. An optional, but recommended step.