Seitan Makhani (Vegan-Style Indian Butter Chicken)


Chicken Makhani is a dish I always loved before becoming vegan. It is my absolute favorite Indian dish, so I knew I had to try to make it so I could curb my cravings. The sauce tastes amazing with naan and white rice. The seitan is an excellent substitute for meat in many dishes. You can buy store-bought seitan, which can be expensive, or you can make your own.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
35 mins
Total Time:
1 hr 5 mins
6 servings


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

  • ¼ cup onion, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 2 teaspoons curry powder

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 cup tomato puree

  • 1 cup soy milk

  • ¼ cup plain vegan yogurt

  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste

  • 1 pinch salt and black pepper to taste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons peanut oil

  • 1 (16 ounce) package chicken-style seitan, cut into strips or cubes

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch

  • ¼ cup cold water


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the shallot and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the margarine, lemon juice, ginger, garlic, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, cumin, and bay leaf. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes more.

  2. Reduce the heat to low, and mix in the soy milk and soy yogurt. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with cayenne, salt, and black pepper; remove from heat and set aside.

  3. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of peanut oil in a heavy skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Add the seitan and cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and season the seitan with 2 teaspoons garam masala and a pinch of cayenne. Stir in about a 1/4 cup of the tomato-yogurt sauce and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the seitan mixture to the saucepan.

  4. Mix the cornstarch and cold water. Return the saucepan to the stove over medium-high heat. Stir the cornstarch mixture into the sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the sauce has thickened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Editor's Note:

To make your own seitan, try this recipe for Best Homemade Seitan.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

250 Calories
9g Fat
21g Carbs
24g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 250
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Sodium 503mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 7%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 5g
Protein 24g
Vitamin C 8mg 42%
Calcium 58mg 4%
Iron 3mg 14%
Potassium 343mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.