Vegan Butter Mushrooms
Mushroom and tofu marinade:
1 package extra-firm Soyganic tofu
2 cups mushrooms, chopped
2 tbsp tandoori masala paste
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
1 tsp garlic paste or 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 can full fat coconut milk (use the creamiest parts for the sauce below)
1 tbsp oil
Butter "Chicken" sauce (Makhani):
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter - it burns less easily than butter)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ tsp ginger paste
1 ½ tsp garlic paste
1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder (see notes)
1 ½ tbsp coriander powder
1 ½ tsp cumin powder
3/4 can full fat coconut milk (the creamy portion)
½ tsp garam masala
¼ tsp dried fenugreek leaves (crushed between fingers)
Optional: 1 cup chopped spinach, bok choy or swiss chard leaves, mostly the dark parts
Flavour enhancers: 2 fresh green chili peppers, slit; 4 green cardamoms;
½ tsp fenugreek seeds; 1.5 inch cinnamon stick; 2 cloves; ½ tsp methi/fenugreek seeds
For the tofu and mushrooms, combine the tandoori masala, ginger, garlic, and coconut milk in a medium bowl. Whisk until smooth, adjust seasonings to preference. Add the tofu and mushrooms and allow to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
To make the butter sauce, heat the ghee in a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until they turn translucent and start to sweat, about 5-7 minutes. Don’t allow the onions to brown. If you are adding any flavour enhancers, add them here and cook a few more minutes until the spices start to crackle a bit in the oil. Add ginger and garlic paste and let cook for 30 seconds, stirring to prevent them from burning. Add the can of crushed tomatoes along with the chili powder, coriander powder, and cumin powder and continue to cook for 5 minutes. If the mixture starts bubbling rapidly, add about ¼ cup of water and continue to cook.
Remove from heat, add the mixture to a blender and blend until smooth, you may need to add a couple of tsp of water to help it blend (up to ¼ cup). Depending on how large your blender is, you may want to blend the mixture in two batches. Remember to hold the lid of the blender down with a kitchen towel when blending to avoid accidents
MAKE AHEAD OPTION: At this point you can cool and refrigerate the sauce for 24-48 hours (or freeze it for up to 3 months), it will help blend the flavors even more, just remember to bring the sauce back to room temperature (use the microwave) before proceeding with the recipe OR you can continue on with the recipe as below.
Pan-fry the tofu and mushrooms in a dry-heated pan at medium heat. Allow the tofu to brown slightly, shaking the pan occasionally to brown more than one side. Add the sauce and keep to a slow simmer, for at least 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens a bit and the tofu is heated through. Add the optional chopped greens, stir, and allow the greens to wilt. Serve atop brown or jasmine rice or with whole wheat naan bread and garnish with cilantro. Also pairs beautifully with coconut rice, recipe found here!