This is an 8-ingredient, 30-minute 1 Pan dump-and-done Indian butter chickpeas recipe. It’s packed with butter chicken sauce flavor, uses tender chickpeas as the protein instead of chicken. No sautéing! Just add to pot, simmer and done. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree
Table of Contents
Murgh makhani, aka butter chicken, is a popular curry in a creamy tomato sauce. Traditionally, the sauce is made using cream and butter for creaminess, but in this vegan version, coconut milk is doing that work.
The resulting dish, with toothsome chickpeas in a spiced creamy tomato sauce, is just as decadent and satisfying without any animal products.
This version is super simple. It uses just 1 pan, no sautéeing step, just add everything to the pan and simmer! A few ingredients, chickpeas, tomato purée, some spices, coconut milk and garlic.
You can use other beans if you don’t like chickpeas, like white beans or kidney beans, or seitan or soycurls even crisped-up baked tofu. It’s all about that sauce!
For a baked version of the sauce, try my baked tofu makhani, for a complex flavored sauce try my whole roasted cauliflower with butter sauce, for a large batch instant pot butter sauce, see my cookbook!
Why You’ll Love Butter Chickpeas
- rich, spiced tomato curry sauce with hearty chickpeas
- easy, 30-minute, one-pot meal
- only 8 ingredients, not counting salt and sugar
- dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free
More Vegan Butter Chicken Sauce Recipes
- Butter Chicken Ramen
- Indian Butter Tofu Paneer
- Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chicken with Soy Curls
- Vegan Butter Chicken Lasagna Bake
- Butter Chicken Bao
Indian Butter Chickpeas
- 8 oz (226.8 ml) canned tomato puree Or unseasoned tomato sauce
- 14 oz (396.89 ml) full-fat coconut milk or use 1.5 cups cashew milk(1/3 cup cashews blended with 1.25 cups water)
- 15 oz (425.24 g) chickpeas can drained or 1.5 cups cooked chickpeas
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika or cayenne or Indian red chili powder or add both
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 2 teaspoons minced ginger and garlic or ginger-garlic paste
- 2 bay leaves, optional
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves, Kasoori Methi
- 2 tablespoons non dairy cream, cashew cream or non dairy yogurt , optional, for extra creamy sauce and 2 tsp more for garnish drizzle
- cilantro, sliced green chilies and lime for garnish
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add all the ingredients and mix really well. Bring to a boil. Taste and adjust salt and flavor. You can add more garam masala if you like or some ground cumin and ground coriander for additional flavor. (Old spices have much less flavor payoff so you might have to adjust as needed. I use fresh spices and spice blends and often use less than listed)
- Continue to cook for another 5-8 minutes to thicken and switch off the heat.
- If the sauce is not thickening enough you can add 2 teaspoons of flour mixed with 2 tablespoons of water or 1 teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon of water (for gluten-free) and mix it in while it’s still boiling. This will help the sauce thicken faster.
- The sauce will thicken more as it cools so you don’t want it too thick while it’s hot.Serve the butter chickpeas garnished with cilantro, lemon juice, and sliced green chilies or with rice or quinoa or flatbread, or naan. You can also add a garnish of non dairy cream.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- canned tomato puree – This is the base for the vegan butter chicken sauce.
- coconut milk – The fat in full-fat coconut milk is replacing the butter that usually gives butter chicken sauce its silky creaminess, so please do opt for full-fat, not light. This is coconut milk that comes canned, not the boxed kind for drinking.
- chickpeas – Use cooked or canned chickpeas, drained. You can also use other beans or even cooked tofu instead, if you prefer.
- spices – Garam masala, paprika, salt, sugar, garlic powder, bay leaves, and fenugreek pack these butter chickpeas with so much FLAVOR! You can use cayenne or Indian red chili powder instead of the paprika. In place of the garlic powder, you can add even more flavor by using minced, fresh ginger and garlic or ginger-garlic paste.
- Don’t worry if the sauce doesn’t completely reach the thickness you want while it’s simmering. It will thicken as it cools.
- That said, if it’s seeming way too thin, you can thicken with flour or cornstarch mixed with a little bit of water.
- Feel free to adjust the spices to your liking as the sauce simmers!
How to Make One-Pot Butter Chickpeas
In a large skillet over medium heat, add all the ingredients, and mix really well.
Bring to a boil, then taste and adjust salt and flavor. You can add more garam masala if you like or some ground cumin and coriander for additional flavor.
Continue to cook for another five to eight minutes to thicken and switch off the heat.
If the sauce is not thickening enough you can add two teaspoons of flour mixed with two tablespoons of water or a teaspoon of cornstarch mixed with a tablespoon of water and mix it in while it’s still boiling. This will help the sauce thicken faster.
Serve the butter chickpeas garnished with cilantro, lemon juice, and sliced green chilies or with rice or quinoa or flatbread, or naan.
Frequently Asked Questions
Butter chickpeas are naturally gluten-free, nut-free, and soy-free.
Typically, butter chicken sauce is made from tomato, butter, cream and/or yogurt, and spices. In this vegan version, we are making the butter chicken curry sauce with coconut milk instead of the butter and cream. You get the same creaminess without any dairy!