Crockpot Indian Butter Chickpeas – So flavorful and creamy! and easy! This Vegetarian and Vegan version of Indian Butter Chicken is lightened up and can be made in the crockpot or on the stovetop ( both recipes included) for a simple healthy weeknight dinner. Psst!…leftovers make great lunches to take to work the following day!
Crockpot Indian Butter Chicken has been one of the most popular recipes on Simple Healthy Kitchen for the last couple of years. I thought it was time to make a vegetarian/vegan version too.
Remember the last time you dined at an Indian restaurant? Remember the amazing smells that greeted you as you walked through the front door? Remember the flavorful curries,and dipping your piece of naan bread in to mop up the last possible drop of creamy goodness? Well that’s all about to happen again now, but in your own home!
This recipe is super easy and really flexible. Minimal prep is required, you’ll just need to whisk together the sauce ingredients in the crockpot, sauté the onions and garlic, open a can of garbanzo beans and cut a block of tofu into cubes. Cover and let the crockpot do the work. I’m suggesting cooking on low for 4-5 hours but that’s just a suggestion. The sauce will thicken as you cook but you can adjust to your own schedule. Only have 2-3 hours, no problem. Need to leave it a bit longer to fit your schedule, no problem. You can even make it on the stovetop if you are looking for a quick and easy option. ( see notes in the recipe below).
Don’t forget the Naan! You’ll want to make sure you get every drop!
- 1 package extra-firm tofu ( 12-14 oz.)
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 14 oz. can light coconut milk
- 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp curry
- 1 Tbsp garam masala (found in most grocery store's spice section)
- 1 tsp cumin
- ½ tsp cayenne powder ( more or less to taste)
- ½ tsp ground ginger (or 1"inch knob fresh ginger, minced)
- 3-4 drops liquid smoke ( found in most grocery stores- sometimes in the BBQ sauce area)
- 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
- salt, to taste
- cilantro, chopped ( for garnish)
- Serve over jasmine or basmati rice, or cauliflower rice *
- Remove tofu from package and rinse. Wrap tofu in paper towels and place on a plate or cutting board. Place something heavy on top of the tofu to allow the water to be pressed out. ( I usually place a cutting board on top of tofu and a couple of cans of soup/beans). Let drain approx. 15 min.
- Line a large skillet with 1 Tbsp water ( or olive oil). Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is starting to brown. ( approx. 5 min.)
- While onions are cooking , In a 4 qt (or larger) slow-cooker whisk in coconut milk, tomato paste, curry, garam masala, cumin, cayenne pepper, ginger and liquid smoke..
- Cut pressed tofu into cubes and add to crockpot. Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, add to crockpot. Add cooked onions/garlic. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours.
- Serve over rice or cauliflower rice and garnish with chopped cilantro.
For Stove-top version
In a large sauce pan/ dutch oven over medium heat, sautee onions and garlic until onions become translucent (about 5 min.) add spices( curry, garam masala, cayenne, cumin, ginger and liquid smoke) cook about 1 minute until fragrant.
Stir in coconut milk and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 5 min. Add garbanzo beans and tofu and mix with sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until sauce thickens (approx. 10 min)