Butter Chickpeas Tikka Masala

This aromatic stew, a vegetarian take on Indian butter chicken, is flavored with cinnamon, garam masala, and fresh ginger and is rich and creamy thanks to the coconut milk. Cubed tofu for a soft textural contrast, or cubed seitan for a chewy one, could be added here. Alternatively, serve it over rice to soak up every last drop of the delectable sauce. You certainly don’t want to leave any behind.

Serves 4


4 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, minced
1 ½ teaspoons salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons sweet paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 small cinnamon stick
1 can whole peeled plum tomatoes
1 can coconut milk
2 cans chickpeas, drained
Ground chili powder
Cooked white rice, for serving
½ cup coriander leaves


In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Cook, stirring periodically, until the onion is golden and browned around the edges, about 20 minutes. You’ll be tempted to increase the heat to medium-high, but don’t because you’ll burn the butter!

Cook for 1 minute more after adding the garlic and ginger. Cook for another 30 seconds after adding the cumin, paprika, garam masala, and cinnamon stick.

Toss in the tomatoes and their juices. Break up and smash the tomatoes in the pot with a large spoon or flat spatula. Combine the coconut milk and the remaining 1 teaspoon salt in a mixing bowl. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and mashing up the tomatoes as needed to help them break down.

If desired, add chickpeas and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Return the pot to a simmer and cook for another 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
Serve with white rice and garnished with coriander.

Nicholas Lin

Nick is a multi-faceted, entrepreneur, restauranteur, and luxury curator. Passionate about wine, good food, fitness and travel, Nick left his management consulting job in New York City to pursue his passions for food and started a chain of sit-down restaurants in Singapore. After exiting the F&B business in 2019, he began to explore his other passions for fine wines, luxury travel, and a healthy lifestyle. Nick obtained WSET level 2 and attends numerous wine masterclasses each year. He writes about a myriad of topics and aspires to produce films in the very near future.

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