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Plant-based ‘butter chicken’

  • 5 mins
  • 15 mins
  • Serves 2
  • Entertaining
  • Gluten Free
  • Kid Friendly
  • Nut Free
  • Oil Free
  • Refined Sugar Free

This variation on a butter chicken curry with oyster mushrooms and chickpeas is healthier for you, while being kinder and better for the planet too!

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  • ⅓ cup uncooked brown basmati rice
  • 500g oyster mushrooms, leave whole
  • ½ cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ green chilli, sliced lengthwise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 cardamom pod
  • ½ tbsp dates, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 cup passata or tinned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ cup plant milk (Bonsoy or Vitasoy Protein Plus recommended)
  • ½ tbsp garam masala
  • 200g (about 8 cups) baby spinach leaves


To serve:

  • 2 sprigs fresh coriander leaves


For the rice:

  1. Place the rice in a pot with 1 cup of water. Bring it to the boil then reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook until water is absorbed, about 15mins. Fluff with a fork and cover with lid until ready to serve.

For the curry:

  1. Heat a large pot on a high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté, then set aside in a bowl.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and ginger to the pot, then sauté for a minute until it's starting to caramelise. Add a splash of water to deglaze. Add the chilli, spices (except garam masala) and dates, stir. When aromatic, add another splash of water, stir and sauté for a further minute.
  3. Add the passata, stir, then stir in the mushrooms and chickpeas. Add the plant milk, stir, and simmer on a low heat for a few minutes.
  4. Add the garam marsala and stir through. Test for seasoning. Add the baby spinach and stir through until wilted down.

To serve: Serve in bowls with cooked brown rice and top with a sprig of coriander leaves.

Chef's Tips

  • This adaptable recipe will work with a range of veggies so vary it according to what you have to use up!
  • Although soy milk is my top recommendation, you can use any plant milk in this recipe.
  • If you want a mild version that kids will love, just omit the chilli.
  • Oyster mushrooms are a delicious stand-in for chicken that you can use in any recipe.
Adam Guthrie
Adam Guthrie