Makhani Curry

This recipe is a vegetarian (vegan if you use vegan butter) version of a butter curry (usually butter chicken curry) known as makhani. You could substitute the tofu for chicken if you prefer.

Butter Vegetable Curry (Makhani)

A butter curry loaded with vegetables
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


Fried Tofu

  • 400g firm Tofu cut into 2cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Makhani curry sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns or 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 5 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated root ginger
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato chopped
  • 400g tin of plum tomatoes
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp harissa paste
  • 2 tbsp methi fenugreek leaves
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 400 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 25 g butter


  • 1/2 courgette chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 1/2 sweet potato chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 2 medium potatoes chopped into 2cm pieces
  • 1 carrot chopped


Prepare the tofu

  • In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients and lemon juice and then add the tofu pieces
  • Mix so the tofu is coated with the marinade
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan
  • fry the tofu until each side is slightly browned
  • Put the tofu back in the marinade bowl and set aside

Makhani curry

  • Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium setting
  • Add the cumin seeds and cook until they start popping
  • Add the cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and peppercorns and stir for 1 minute
  • Add the onion and salt and cook for 5 minutes
  • Add the ginger, garlic and methi and stir for 1 minute
  • Add the tomatoes, coriander, harrisa paste and turmeric and saute for 5 minutes
  • Add the vegatable stock, bring to the boil and then turn off the heat and allow to cool
  • Put the contents of the pan into a blender or bullet, and blend until smooth
  • Pour the blended sauce back into the saucepan
  • Over a medium heat, add the carrot and potato to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the remaining vegatables and tofu and simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the lemon juice, butter and sugar, and stir until the butter has melted into the sauce
  • Serve with rice or naan bread