This delightful Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala replaces the traditional chicken with tofu, creating a wholesome and satisfying meal. Marinated tofu cubes are baked and added to a rich creamy onion-tomato gravy. Let’s see how to make this mouthwatering vegan and gluten-free curry at home.

Tofu Indian curry with roti

Who doesn’t love a good tikka masala? This vegan variation of tikka masala is so delicious, you will think you have been transported to a fancy Indian restaurant.

My family loves tofu, so many good recipes such as kung pao tofu, palak tofu, panang curry, and broccoli tofu stir fry.

So I created this tofu tikka masala recipe as my kids have been super enjoying tikka masala these days. This one is inspired by my chicken tikka masala and paneer tikka masala recipe.

This tofu tikka masala is great to serve with naan, roti, or rice. I hope you all enjoy this easy and delicious curry!

What is Tofu Tikka Masala? 

Tofu Tikka Masala is a vegan version of the classic chicken tikka masala (which is the UK’s national dish, and also an Indian restaurant favorite).

It consists of tofu cubes marinated in a blend of spices and yogurt (or vegan yogurt) and then baked to perfection. The marinated tofu is then cooked in a rich, creamy curry sauce made with tomatoes, onions, spices, and coconut milk.

The result is a flavorful and satisfying dish that will leave your taste buds wanting more. Pair this curry with some cumin rice or serve with vegan naan or Indian flatbread, roti, or paratha.

Indian Tofu Tikka Masala garnished with cilantro

Ingredients

To make Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala, you will need the following ingredients:

Tofu tikka masala ingredients
  • Extra firm tofu: Tofu is a versatile and protein-rich soybean ingredient. It is pressed and cut into cubes to provide a satisfying texture to the dish. It is important to use extra firm tofu, so it does not break apart n the curry.
  • Vegan yogurt (plain and thick), Greek yogurt, or coconut cream: The yogurt adds a tangy flavor and helps tenderize the tofu. 
  • Ginger: Ginger adds a warm, zesty flavor and enhances the dish’s overall taste.
  • Garlic: Garlic adds a savory and aromatic element to the marinade, enhancing the overall depth of flavor.
  • Lime juice: Adds a refreshing citrusy tang, balancing the richness of the other ingredients.
  • Ground turmeric (Haldi powder): Turmeric gives the tofu a vibrant yellow color and adds a mild earthy flavor.
  • Kashmiri red chili powder or paprika: Adds subtle heat and a beautiful red color to the tofu marinade. 
  • Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)Coriander powder brings a warm and aromatic flavor, enhancing the overall taste profile.
  • Garam masalaAdds a complex and warm flavor to the marinade, complementing the other spices.
  • Salt: Enhances the overall taste and balances the flavors in the marinade.
  • Vegan butter or olive oil: Adds richness and depth to the curry, providing a smooth and flavorful base for the other ingredients.
  • Green cardamom pods (Elaichi): Cardamom pods are aromatic and provide a subtle, sweet, and floral flavor to the curry, enhancing its overall fragrance.
  • Cinnamon stick (Dalchini): Cinnamon stick adds a warm and comforting flavor to the curry, complementing the other spices.
  • Chopped onion: Onion adds a sweet and savory base to the curry, providing depth of flavor.
  • Tomatoes: Provides a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the curry, contributing to its overall richness and texture.
  • Water: It helps to create the desired consistency of the curry and ensures the flavors are well incorporated.
  • Coconut milk: Adds a creamy and luscious texture to the curry, making it rich and indulgent.
  • Sugar or other sweetener of choice: It balances the flavors in the curry, reducing any excessive tanginess from the tomatoes.
  • Dried fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi): It has a unique and slightly bitter flavor to the curry, adding depth and complexity to the overall taste.
  • Garnish: Fresh cilantro leaves add a fresh and herbaceous flavor to the dish, providing a vibrant garnish.

How to Make Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala?

Prepare the Tofu

  • Press the tofu for 15-20 minutes to remove excess liquid. You can use a tofu press if you have one. Otherwise, press it with a heavy weight on top such as cans or a rolling board. Pat it dry with paper towels and cut it into cubes.
  • In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients of vegan yogurt, ginger paste, garlic paste, lime juice, ground turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and salt. Add the tofu cubes and gently toss to coat. Allow the tofu to marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Transfer the marinated tofu cubes to a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once in between.

Make the Curry

  • Heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Add vegan butter (or olive oil), green cardamom, cinnamon stick, and let them sizzle for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the chopped onion, diced ginger, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until they turn golden.
  • Add the diced tomatoes and spices (red chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, and salt). Mix well and cover the pan with a lid for 2-3 minutes to soften the tomatoes. Remove the lid and saute for a couple more minutes.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick and transfer the mixture to a blender. Blend until it is smooth. Let the mixture cool down a bit before blending to avoid hot splatters.
  • Transfer the blended mixture back to the same pan. Add water and stir well. Cover with a lid and let the curry simmer on medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid.
  • Stir in the coconut milk, sugar, garam masala, and lime juice. Cook for another minute.
  • Crush the dried fenugreek leaves between your palms and add them to the curry. Stir it. If you can’t find fenugreek leaves, then skip them.
  • Add the baked tofu cubes and gently stir them into the curry. Simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat to allow the tofu to soak up the flavors of the sauce.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves.
Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala in a Laddle

Serve the Tofu Tikka Masala with naan or rice. Enjoy!

Vegan Tikka Masala with ginger on the side

Expert Tips

  • Extra firm tofu: It is important to use extra firm tofu, else it can break apart when stirring in the marinade or cooking in the curry.
  • Yogurt: Use thick creamy yogurt for the marinade. If you can’t find vegan yogurt, then use coconut cream. Add some extra lime juice to the marinade.
  • Leftover marinade: If you have any leftover tofu marinade, add it to the curry and coconut milk for extra flavor.
  • Smoky flavor: You can add a teaspoon of smoked paprika or liquid smoke to the tofu marinade for a smoky taste.
  • Spice: Adjust the spice levels according to your preference by increasing or decreasing the amount of red chili powder. If you prefer a milder curry, reduce the amount of red chili powder or use sweet paprika instead.
  • Coconut milk replacement: You can use cashew cream if you can’t find coconut milk or prefer not to use it. Blend 1/3 cup cashews with 1/4 cup water.

Variations:

  • Vegetable Tikka Masala: Enhance the dish by adding vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or peas to the curry.
  • Make it spicy: If you like it spicier, add chopped green chilies or increase the amount of red chili powder.
  • Make it creamier: For a creamier curry, add more coconut milk or coconut cream.

What to Serve with Indian Tofu Curry

Tofu Tikka Masala pairs perfectly with naan or steamed basmati rice. You can also serve it with jeera rice (cumin rice) for an aromatic twist. Add a side of cucumber raita (yogurt sauce) or a kachumber salad to complement the meal.

Vegetarian Tikka Masala with Tofu garnished with cilantro

Common Questions

How to Store? 

If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When reheating, gently warm the curry on the stovetop or microwave until heated. The flavors develop and intensify after a day or two, making it even more delicious.

Can I freeze tofu tikka masala?

Yes! You can freeze tofu tikka masala. Portion in small containers. Then freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator and then reheat on the stovetop or microwave.

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4.75 from 4 votes

Tofu Tikka Masala

This delightful Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala replaces the traditional chicken with tofu, creating a wholesome and satisfying meal. Marinated tofu cubes are baked and added to a rich creamy onion-tomato gravy. Let's see how to make this mouthwatering vegan and gluten-free curry at home.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Ingredients 

Tofu Marinade

For Curry

Spices

Instructions 

Prepare Tofu

  • Press the tofu for 15-20 minutes to remove any extra liquid. Then pat dry wth paper towels and cut into cubes.
  • In a bowl, combine the marinade ingredients, then add the tofu and gently toss to coat. Let the tofu rest for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Transfer the tofu to a lined baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring once in between.
    Tip: If there is any leftover marinade, add it to the curry with the coconut milk.

Make the curry

  • Heat a large pan on medium-high heat. Add vegan butter, cardamon, cinnamon, and cumin seeds, and let them splutter for about 30 seconds.
  • Add onion, ginger, and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes while stirring frequently until they are golden.
  • Add the tomatoes and spices. Stir and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes to help the tomatoes soften. Remove the lid and saute for couple more minutes.
  • Remove the cinnamon stick. Then blend everything using a blender and blend until smooth. Let the ingredients cool down a bit before blending. Transfer back to the same pan.
  • Add water and give the curry a stir. Cover with a lid and let the curry simmer on medium-low for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid.
  • Add the coconut milk, sugar, garam masala, and lime juice and stir it in. Cook for another minute.
  • Crush dried fenugreek leaves between your palms and then add to the curry. Give it a stir.
  • Add the tofu and gently stir it in the curry. Simmer for 2-3 minutes on low heat so the flavors of the sauce soak in the tofu.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve with naan or rice. Enjoy!

Video

Notes

Yogurt: Use thick creamy yogurt for the marinade. If you can’t find vegan yogurt, then use coconut cream. Add some extra lime juice to the marinade.
Air Frying Tofu: You can air fry the tofu in an air fryer, at 400°F for 10 minutes, flipping in between. Spray with little oil. 
Frying Tofu in Pan: Heat oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the tofu cubes in a single layer and brown and crisp until all sides are golden. Remove the tofu and set aside. You may need to cook tofu in batches.
Store Leftovers: If you have any leftovers, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. When reheating, gently warm the curry on the stovetop or microwave until heated.

Nutrition

Calories: 245kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 12gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0.03gCholesterol: 2mgSodium: 951mgPotassium: 417mgFiber: 4gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 635IUVitamin C: 18mgCalcium: 211mgIron: 4mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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