Vegetable ‘Butter’ Masala

Vegan food

Butter paneer is one of my favourite Indian dishes but very indulgent with all that cheese and cream. So this recipe is a vegan twist on the Indian classic. Somewhat healthier but equally delicious and very easy to prepare. I use my shashlik recipe for the marinade, but you can easily prepare a basic marinade yourself.

  1. Selection of vegetables:
  2. 350g new potatoes, skin on and 2-3cm diced
  3. 2 carrots, peeled & 2cm diced
  4. 200g cauliflower, 2-3cm florets
  5. 100g green beans, top and tailed
  6. 100g mushrooms, 2-3cm diced
  7. 2 tbsp shashlik paste, mixed with 1-2 tbsp plain soya yoghurt (I use The Hungry Gecko, but you could use other marinades) or substitute with following simple marinade
  8. Basic marinade:
  9. 1-2 tbsp plain soya yoghurt
  10. 4 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
  11. 1” piece of ginger, finely minced
  12. 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  13. 1 large red chilli, finely chopped
  14. 1 tbsp paprika powder
  15. ½ tsp chilli powder
  16. 2 tsp garam masala
  17. For the butter masala:
  18. 50g veg oil or veg ghee
  19. 6 cardamon pods, crushed
  20. 2” piece of cassia bark (or cinnamon)
  21. 6 cloves
  22. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  23. 2” thumb fresh ginger, finely chopped
  24. 4 green chillies, cut lengthways (add less if you want it less spicy)
  25. 2 ½ tsp paprika powder (mild variety)
  26. ½-1 tsp hot chilli powder (add less if you want it less spicy)
  27. 1 tsp garam masala powder
  28. 1 tsp coriander powder
  29. 4 tbsp tomato puree
  30. 120mls soy or almond cream
  31. 2 tbsp agave syrup
  32. 1 tsp fenugreek powder
  33. 1 tsp salt
  34. Handful of fresh coriander

  • Marinate prepared vegetables, using either the shashlik paste marinade or the basic marinade you have made yourself. Cover and set aside in fridge for half an hour.
  • In a large pan, add the vegetable oil then add the cardamom, cassia bark and cloves. Gently fry until aroma is released, then add chopped onion. Fry gently until onion is transparent and starting to turn golden. Remove the whole spices.
  • Lay the marinated vegetables (except the green beans and mushrooms) on a well oiled tray and bake in a hot oven (200C) for 15 minutes, turning occasionally to ensure nicely browned on all sides. The potatoes may need an additional 5-10 minutes depending on the size of the pieces. Check they are cooked through. Add the green beans and mushrooms to the tray and bake for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the ginger, chillies, paprika, coriander, garam masala and fenugreek powder to the large pan, and fry gently for 2 minutes. Then add the tomato puree, syrup and two cups of water. Bring to simmer and season to taste with salt. Simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, then add soy or almond cream and bring back to simmer.
  • I prefer to place the roasted vegetables in a bowl and pour over the masala, as this helps the vegetables keep their lovely marinade. But you can add the vegetables to the large pan also, stir gently and then serve immediately.
  • Serve with steamed rice and soft chapatis or parathas, garnish with fresh coriander, and some freshly sliced cucumber, red onion and a wedge of lemon on the side.

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