Vegan Recipes: Indian butter ‘chicken’ and more from Adria Wu…

Adria Wu really needs no introduction on this blog.

Her Fitzrovia-based wellness eatery, Maple & Fitz, has been one of my favourite healthy hangouts since its opening and I’m already counting down to the imminent launch of its offshoot in Kings Cross. From pomegranate grilled hallumi to an umami-rich miso porridge, the Cordon Bleu-trained chef has also shared several of her ridiculously inventive (and oh-so-healthy) recipes as part of this blog’s Kitchen Inspiration series.

Or you’ve likely seen Adria on the telly, as a guest chef on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch!

Well I’m incredibly pleased to welcome her back here, this time, to show us how to recreate comfort food classics… the vegan way! Think vegan Mac n Cheese; Indian butter ‘chicken’ and salted-date chocolate coconut ice cream…

Mac n Cheese

Serves 2



  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp mustard powder
  • 250ml non-dairy milk (almond or soy)
  • 20g nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 stalks spring onions, sliced
  • Chili flakes (optional)
  • 100g macaroni pasta
  • 85g cashews (toasted optional), soak 70g overnight, reserve 15g, chopped
  • 250ml water
  • 85g vegan cheese, grated


  1. Soak 70g of cashews in water overnight or min 4 hours
  2. Preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 500ml of pasta water.
  4. Cook onions and olive oil in a hot pan for 5 mins on medium-high heat. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper and cook for another 2 mins. Take off heat and add milk and yeast.
  5. Slice spring onions and set aside.
  6. Rinse and drain cashews. Blend cashews with infused milk until smooth. Add reserved pasta water if need to ensure consistency is like a gravy. Toss sauce with cheese, cooked pasta and spring onions and bake in oven safe dish with chopped cashews and vegan cheese on top for 20 mins.

 Indian butter ‘chicken’

Serves 4



Vegan Butter

  • 95g coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 180g coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agar flakes

Butter “Chicken”

  • 70g ginger, grated
  • 70g garlic, grated
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter
  • 4 x 400g chopped tomatoes, pureed
  • 1 head (750g) cauliflower
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 200ml soy yoghurt

Butter Method

  1. Add vinegar to the milk. Stir and leave to curdle for 10 minutes.
  2. Boil milk and agar flakes stirring until flakes dissolved.
  3. If coconut is solid, melt over water bath until liquid or in microwave for 30 secs.
  4. Add all ingredients in blender and blend on high for 3 mins.
  5. Pour into a silicon mold, place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for about an hour.
  6. Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (or freeze for up to 1 month).


  1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
  2. Cut cauliflower into bite-sized florets and toss in olive oil, 1 tbsp garam masala and 1/2 tsp sea salt. Bake on parchment lined baking tray for 20-25 mins until golden brown.
  3. Grate the ginger and garlic.
  4. Mix 1 tbsp garam masala, cinnamon, cardamom and 1/2 tsp sea salt in a small bowl.
  5. Blend canned tomatoes using hand blender or blender.
  6. In a heavy bottomed pot, heat vegan butter on medium high heat. Add spices and cook 1-2 mins until fragrant. Then add garlic and ginger and cook for 2-3 mins. Add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat until for 45 mins stirring occasionally. Add soy yoghurt and cook for another 5 mins.

Salted Date Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream

Serves 2



  • 100g medjool dates, pitted
  • 85g hot water
  • 2 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 vanilla bean pod, scrape pod
  • 60g almond butter
  • 500g coconut cream
  • 20g desiccated coconut
  • 60g raw cacao powder
  • 120ml coconut milk


  1. Place a large mixing bowl in the freezer to chill for 10 minutes.
  2. In a blender of food processor, blend dates, water, sea salt, vanilla, almond butter.
  3. Without tipping the cans, scoop out the coconut cream from the cans of coconut milk or use pure coconut cream. Whip with mixer until creamy and smooth then add cocoa powder, milk and salted date paste. Whip until fully incorporate. Taste and add more sea salt if needed.
  4. Transfer to a parchment lined loaf pan and cover with plastic wrap to freeze. Freeze overnight. Transfer to a storage container to store up to 1 month.

Author: The Foodie Diaries

A food travel & lifestyle journal, chronicling my culinary and other adventures around town.

4 thoughts

  1. You had me at vegan mac and cheese! These recipes look fantastic but as mac and cheese is my favourite winter comfort food, I am totally giving this a try this week!

    Liked by 2 people

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