Kasuri Malai Murg is a flavorful, creamy Indian chicken curry with a fenugreek cream sauce. In this vegan version, we use tofu and chickpeas for the proteins in a flavorful vegan curry sauce spiced with cardamom, ginger, and fenugreek.
Table of Contents
The sauce for this aromatic, Mughal curry is seriously bursting with flavor! The subtle earthy notes of black cardamom and clove, spice from ginger and black pepper, bitter sweet flavor from fenugreek(kasuri/kasoori methi) all in a creamy sauce to envelop whatever protein or veggies that you like. This Mughlai Indian sauce is perfect witb crisped up pieces of tofu and toothsome chickpeas that nestle in that rich, spiced gravy.
It’s perfect served with naan or over rice for an easy, weeknight meal, but it’s special enough to serve on special occasions.
Why You’ll Love Vegan Kasuri Malai Murg
- It’s rich, creamy, flavorful sauce with tender chunks of tofu and toothsome chickpeas.
- Naturally gluten-free.
- Soy-free and nut-free options.
- Easy, vegan weeknight dinner.
- Amazing Indian flavor
More Vegan Chicken Recipes
Kasuri Malai Murg Tofu
For the protein:
- 7 oz (198.45 g) firm or extra-firm tofu , pressed for at least 15 minutes and then torn into organic pieces
- 1 cup (164 g) cooked chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or minced 1/2 inch ginger and 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or use paprika
- 1 tablespoon non-dairy yogurt or non-dairy cream of choice
For the sauce:
- 2 teaspoons vegan butter or use oil
- 2 whole cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 black cardamom pod slightly open
- 1 1/4 cup (200 g) finely chopped red onion
- 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste or 1/2 inch ginger and 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons tomato puree or use 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, kasuri methi
- 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder or use paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1 cup (236.59 ml) cashew cream ( 3/4 cup raw cashews blended with 1 cup of water.)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt more as needed
- pepper flakes, cilantro
Bake the proteins.
- Press for 15 mins and tear the tofu if you haven’t already and add it to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, lime juice, ginger garlic paste and non-dairy yogurt and mix. Combine the spices in a small bowl and sprinkle them all over and toss well to coat. Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400º F (205 c) for 18-20 minutes.
Meanwhile make the sauce.
- Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cloves, black peppercorns and black cardamom. Cook for a minute or until fragrant. Then add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is golden. This can take anywhere from 7-10 minutes. Add a few splashes of water in between to help the onions brown evenly.
- Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Then add the ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree or tomato paste, the spices, and 1/4 teaspoon salt and mix in. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the cashew cream and remaining salt and mix in.
- Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of water to thin out the cream a little bit and bring to a boil again. (Adjust water amount based on how saucy you want the dish)
- Add in the baked tofu-chickpea mixture and mix to coat well. Switch off the heat. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.
- Garnish with some pepper flakes and cilantro. Serve with roti, Naan, flatbread or rice.
- black cardamom: use green cardamom instead
- Cloves- use 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and add later with other ground spices
- black peppercorns- omit and add 1/8 tsp black pepper with ground spices
- fenugreek leaves: these are an important flavor in the dish. You can use 1/2 tsp powdered fenugreek seed. Or use 1/2 tsp ground mustard and 1 tsp maple syrup.
- tofu – Packed with protein, tofu torn into rustic pieces and baked gives it a tender, chicken-like texture. You can use more chickpeas or other vegan chicken subs, if you prefer.
- chickpeas – Chickpeas bring even more protein and texture to this dish! Their firm texture is a wonderful contrast to the rich, creamy sauce.
- non-dairy yogurt – You use this in the coating for the chickpeas and tofu . You can use your favorite thick, non-dairy cream of choice instead as long as it’s as thick or thicker than yogurt.
- cashew cream – to add creaminess to the sauce. To make the cashew cream, blend 3/4 cup raw cashews with a cup of water until smooth and creamy. For nut-free, use pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds instead of cashews.
- spices – This vegan curry is all about the spices! Garam masala, cardamom, black peppercorns, fenugreek, and more bring a mouthwatering flavor to this dish. If you can’t find the Kashmiri chili powder, use paprika instead.
- tomato puree/tomato paste – A little tomato brings some color and an umami flavor to the sauce.
- onions – Cooking the onions until they are golden ups the flavor profile and adds a hint of caramelized sweetness. Such a nice complement to the spices in the sauce!
- To make this recipe nut-free, use a nut-free non-dairy cream or use coconut cream. You can also make a cream from hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds or blended up silken tofu or a mix of tofu and pumpkin seeds. So many options!
- To make this soy-free, omit the tofu and use two cups of cooked chickpeas instead.
- You can also use cauliflower. Bake it until the cauliflower is cooked through and add it to the sauce.
- You can use vegan chicken substitutes like seitan or store bought chicken substitutes.
- Kasuri Malai Murg also works with soy curls! Soak them in hot water first then drain and squeeze out the moisture. Add them to the bowl with the chickpeas and the spices. Bake for only 15 minutes and add it to your sauce.
How to Make Vegan Kasuri Malai Murg Chicken
Press and tear the tofu into rustic pieces, and add it to a large bowl. Add the chickpeas, lime juice, ginger garlic paste and non-dairy yogurt.
Combine the spices in a small bowl and sprinkle them all over and toss well to coat.
Transfer the mixture to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400º F (205c)for 18-20 minutes.
While the proteins bake, make your sauce.
Heat vegan butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cloves, black peppercorns, and black cardamom, and cook for a couple minutes until fragrant.
Then, add the onion and a good pinch of salt and cook until the onion is golden, around 7 to 10 minutes. Add a few splashes of water in between to help the onions brown evenly. Continue to cook. stirring occasionally, until golden.
Now, mix in the ginger-garlic paste, tomato puree or tomato paste, the spices, and a quarter teaspoon of salt.
Cook for just two minutes, then add the non-dairy cream and remaining salt and mix in.
Bring the sauce to a boil, then add a cup of water to thin out the cream a little bit and bring to a boil again. If you like more sauce, then you can add more water before adding the tofu.
By now, your proteins should be done baking. Add them to the sauce, and mix to coat well. Switch off the heat.
Taste and adjust the salt and flavor.
Garnish with some pepper flakes and cilantro. You can serve it with roti, flatbread or rice.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make this recipe nut-free, use a nut-free non-dairy cream or use coconut cream. You can also make a cream from hemp seeds and pumpkin seeds or blended up silken tofu or a mix of tofu and pumpkin seeds.
To make this without soy, omit the tofu and use 2 cups of cooked chickpeas instead. You can also use cauliflower. Marinate with the chickpeas and Bake it until the cauliflower is cooked through and add it to the sauce.
This was delicious! The first night was better than left-overs because the tofu was crispier. It was still good though. I did make some necessary substitutions. I didn’t have black cardamom so used regular ground cardamom. The store didn’t have fresh ginger when I was shopping so I used 1 drop of ginger essential oil to the tofu mixture & 1 drop to the sauce. I may have used a bit less salt. I served it with cauliflower rice.
Vegan Richa Support
glad you enjoyed!
Oh wow this is so delicious! The spice mix is really warming. Super quick to make as well. The only thing I changed was i added slightly less salt and I used whole cardamoms in place of ground. I served it with rice and some yoghurt on the side.
Vegan Richa Support
Ooh Richa, you have so many wonderful recipes I can’t keep up! We are having a pizza from your second cookbook for lunch. I was going to make Tikka masala from your instant pot cookbook for dinner…but now I want this instead x😋. So I guess I’m “complaining” about your diverse, abundant and always delicious recipes. My family and I appreciate you immensely.
Vegan Richa Support
thank you so much for these kind words. so glad the recipes are a hit with your family.
This was amazing. Excellent flavors that developed beautifully. Served over rice, but naan would be wonderful as well.
I’d love to try this recipe, but I wonder if I could substitute fenugreek seeds for the leaves, and if so, how much should I use, and should they be crushed? I also have ground cardamom – can that be substituted for the pod? I have loved all your recipes so far!
You can use powdered fenugreek seeds. Use a quarter of the amount is leaves as the seeds have a stronger butter flavor. So use 1/2 tsp powder .
This was delicious! I didn’t have enough of the garam masala, so I feel like it will be even better when I make it with the correct amount. Never cooked with cloves and cardamon pods, are you supposed to remove them before serving? Thank you for another great recipe.
You can remove them before serving.
SO DELICIOUS! I love your muglai recipes, Richa! This was so yummy ! I added some chopped vegetables with the tofu and baked it all. I also added some chopped spinach at the end😋 thank you!
Vegan Richa Support
thank you for making it 🙂
This one was excellent! I had it with pita but it would also be great over rice. I was feeling reckless so I also added the rest of the small container of yogurt I had left at the end and it made it even more creamy. I have some for lunch at work today and I can’t wait to have it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Made this last night and it was great! Used soy curls and used silken tofu for the cream sauce and it was so good. Will make again soon!
Vegan Richa Support
yay! thank you!
This was soooo good. I made it with seitan, instead of tofu and used coconut yogurt, which was open, instead of cashew cream. I don’t have an oven, so “baked” the chickpeas and seitan in a covered frying pan over a low heat. Perfect.
My only complaint is that there really wasn’t enough, but looking at the ingredient list, I should have realised that. (I should probably have made a vegetable side dish.) I live alone, so always make the recipe for 2 and have leftovers for breakfast (don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!). I ate half with the equally delicious fluffy coconut dinner rolls from a recent post, but could happily have polished off the lot, or at least a good proportion of it. But again, it was soooo good …
Amazing! Definitely double or triple the recipe as needed!
I followed the recipe exactly- absolutely delicious. Thank you Richa!
Vegan Richa Support