“Not Butter Chicken” – Vegetarian Butter Chicken



This recipe is (adapted) from Jeremy Dixon’s first Revive Café Cookbook, and this dish is served at his Revive Café in Auckland. I have changed the quantities because his recipe made a whopping amount. Plus he roasted his carrots for 20 minutes, whereas I diced them and added them into the pot after the onion and garlic.

Remember to place the tofu in the freezer a few days before making this recipe as through some scientific process the freezing changes the texture of the tofu so it becomes more ‘chicken-like’.

Serve this vegetarian butter chicken on top of rice. Boiled cauliflower makes a nice complimentary side dish.





Vegetarian | Serves 3 | Serve on rice


1 packet firm Tofu (about 275g)

2 carrots, diced finely

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed

2 tbspns oil

½ tbspn ginger puree

½ tspn ground cumin

½ tspn ground turmeric

½ tspn ground coriander

½ tspn garam masala powder

½ tspn salt

1/8 tspn chilli powder

1 400g can of tomatoes (diced or chopped in juice)

200ml coconut cream

Fresh coriander, for garnish


  1. Ahead of time, take your tofu, drain it, and store in your freezer for at least 3 days. It will change into a nice chicken-like texture. Defrost and slice into 2cm strips. Gently squeeze excess moisture out of tofu, so it sucks up the flavours in the pot.
  2. Saute onions, ginger, garlic in oil in a large pot until onions are clear.
  3. Add carrots, making sure they are chopped into small cubes, and leave for a while to soften.
  4. Add spices and mix well. Allow spices to cook for a while.
  5. Add tomatoes and cook for around 5 minutes or until bubbling.
  6. Mix in the remaining ingredients.
  7. Taste the heat of the spices and salt content to your liking.
  8. Serve on rice.



The Revive Café Cookbook

Jeremy Dixon

Auckland: Revive Concepts, c2011.

ISBN: 9780473190576

The back cover of the book says: “Revive’s delicious vegetarian food contains whole grains, plant-based protein, fresh produce and virtually no processed sugars or flours. The majority of the dishes are also dairy and gluten free”

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