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vegan butter tofu in pan
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4 from 1 vote

Vegan Butter Tofu

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 8 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Planted and Picked


Marinade for Tofu

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup plain plant based yogurt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground ginger or 1 tsp freshly grated
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric or 1 tsp freshly grated
  • pinch sea salt and pepper

Spice Blend

  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp sea salt

Butter Tofu

  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (such as Earth Balance)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch piece ginger, minced
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 14 oz can crushed tomatoes (we like Eden Organic in a glass jar)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar
  • ½ cup plant based creamer (we used an oat creamer)


Marinated Tofu

  • Combine the ingredients for the marinate in a covered dish.
  • Turn the tofu on it's long side and cut in half. Cut each half into bite sized cubes.
  • Place the tofu in the marinade and stir to coat (it will be thick).
  • Cover and refrigerate for up to 8 hours. The longer, the better.

Spice Blend

  • Measure and add all the spices into a small dish. Set aside.

Buttered Tofu

  • Dice the onion into small pieces. Mince the garlic and the ginger.
  • On medium heat, in a deep pan, add the vegan butter until melted and simmering a little (a few minutes). If you are vegetarian, you can substitute the vegan butter with Ghee.
  • Add the onions and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes. Onions should be translucent but not overly brown.
  • Add the ginger and garlic. Stir and cook for about another 2 minutes.
  • Add the spice blend. Stir and cook for about a minute. Spices should smell fragrant.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth (or water), cinnamon stick and sugar. Turn up the heat a little to bring the mixture up to a simmer. Stir to dislodge all the brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  • Add the marinated tofu, along with the marinade. Stir to combine.
  • Bring mixture to a simmer, cover and reduce heat so that it is on a low simmer. Set timer for 20 minutes. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the creamer and stir to combine. Cover and continue to simmer for another 10 minutes or so.
  • This rich dish can be served with rice and a green vegetable for a wholesome and satisfying meal. It keeps well if made ahead (for up to 5 days) and reheated on low. The flavours will continue to develop.