Butter Chickpeas

My roommate Maggie (yes, I have a roommate named Maggie as well) always orders Butter Chicken from our local Indian place Deli Masala. She claims it’s the best dish ever solely for the sauce, she cares less for the chicken part. So I told her one day I’d recreate a vegetarian version of it, so here we are. The final verdict on my vegetarian version directly from ATL mags - “Very good, needs more spice!.” I agree.


Yields about 6-8 servings

1 1b dried chickpeas (soaked overnight and cooked in the pressure cooker)

3 tbsp butter

1 tbsp fresh minced ginger

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 small onions or 1 large, diced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped and divided

1 tsp cloves

2 tsp cardamom

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp turmeric

1 tbsp honey

28 ounce can whole tomatoes

1 cup water

¼ cup tomato paste

1 cup heavy cream



  1. Add butter to large skillet.

  2. Add onion, garlic, ginger and spices.

  3. Cook until ginger begins sticking to pan, garlic and onion browns and spices are fragrant.

  4. Add can of tomatoes with juices to the pan.

  5. Using the back of a wooden spoon crush tomatoes releasing more of their juices.

  6. Add 1 cup water.

  7. Add tomato paste and honey.  

  8. Cook mixture 20 minutes, stirring often until thickened.

  9. Transfer mixture to a high powered blender or blend together with an immersion blender.

  10. Transfer back to skillet and gently fold in heavy cream followed by chickpeas and  ½ chopped cilantro.

  11. Use remaining cilantro for serving.

  12. Serve with white rice, naan, yogurt and any desired chutneys.