This Tofu Tikka Masala recipe is a vegan take on the delicious Indian curry that’s healthy, gluten-free, delicious yet quick and easy to make in just 20 minutes! Made with spiced tofu chunks fried to crispy perfection coated in a thick, rich, and creamy masala sauce – This dish is the perfect addition to your weekly meal prep!
What can be more gratifying than a generous serving of delicious, creamy, and soul-warming curry dish on a bed of steaming white rice on a cold day?
If you have tried my Cauliflower Tikka Masala, then you would know the answer! This Tofu version of Tikka Masala is a flavor bomb of savory, earthy, and fiery spices, veggies, and seasonings. It is a quick and easy yet belly-filling dish that will leave you feeling fully satisfied. I prefer serving it with rice, but it also pairs well with naan bread.
What is Tikka Masala?
Tikka in English means “piece” or “chunk,” referring to any protein used to make this dish. While masala implies a combination of different spices prevalent in Indian cuisines like cumin, clove, coriander, cinnamon, turmeric, fenugreek, and cardamom. These are usually used in stews and sauces.
Classic tikka masala is made of chicken and may derive from the popular Indian dish “butter chicken”. The origin of chicken tikka masala is not very clear but most sources refer to Indian cooks living in Great Britain.
For the Vegan Tikka Masala
- Tofu: extra-firm tofu is perfect for frying as they are less likely to fall apart. Make sure to press and drain the tofu before using it.
- Coconut oil: or any other neutral-tasting vegetable oil.
- Aromatics: onion, garlic, and ginger are the quintessential base of any Asian cooking.
- Tomatoes: give the sauce a deeper flavor and color. You can add 1-2 tbsp tomato paste or ajvar and 1 tbsp of sugar or syrup for an even more intense flavor.
- Coconut milk: use full-fat if you want your sauce to be extra thick and creamy. You can also use other dairy-free milk or cream as a substitute.
- Cornstarch: is used to coat the tofu for a crispier finish.
- Spices: I used garam masala, turmeric, paprika powder, and chili powder on this recipe. These spices impart a warm and earthy taste and aroma that is distinctive of their middle east origins.
- Salt and pepper: to taste
To serve (optional)
- Rice: I prefer using long-grain fragrant rice like basmati or jasmine. Though any type of rice you have will do.
- Naan Bread: This is my favorite recipe, however, you can also make a quick skillet flatbread or serve it just with rice.
- To garnish: coriander or parsley and sesame seeds
How to make Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala
As always, I recommend checking out this step-by-step instruction and the recipe video first. Then you’ll find the full recipe with exact measurements in the recipe card below!
Step 1: Cook the tofu
Start by pressing the tofu until dry. Then cut into cubes and transfer to a bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch and garam masala and stir to coat. Next, heat some oil in a pan and cook the tofu until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Then remove and set aside.
Step 2: Make the sauce
Heat the remaining oil in the pan and sauté the onions, garlic and ginger. Stir in spices, tomatoes and coconut milk and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Then blend the sauce until creamy (or leave it chunky) before adding the crispy tofu. Here you have it!
Serve your Tofu Tikka Masala with rice and Vegan Naan bread and garnish with fresh coriander or parsley and sesame seeds – Yum!
Tips when Making Tofu Tikka Masala
- If you have a Tofu press, feel free to use it to get rid of the excess moisture in the tofu. If you do not have one, just wrap the tofu block in paper towels and place a flat, heavy object on top. The less moisture it has, the crispier and more flavorful it will be.
- Cut the tofu in equal sizes, so they cook evenly. Let them sit on the pan until browned before flipping.
- Add more plant proteins or veggies to make this dish even more nutrient-rich. Chickpeas, lentils, cauliflower, or broccoli are great options.
- Let the sauce simmer a little longer if you want the sauce to be thicker and creamier. On the other hand, if your sauce is too thick to your liking, add a splash of water or vegetable broth to thin it out.
Make-Ahead and Storing Notes
You can make the sauce 5 days in advance and keep it in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for safe-keeping. It is also freezer-friendly, so you can place it in a freezer pack and keep it frozen for up to 2 months.
Leftovers can be placed in the fridge but should be consumed in the next 2-3 days. The fried tofu won’t be as crisp once reheated but should still be delicious!
This Tofu Tikka Masala Recipe is:
- Easy to make
- Perfect for meal prepping, lunch and dinner!
More Vegan Curry recipes to try
- Red Thai Curry with Crispy Tofu
- Sweet Potato, Chickpea and Coconut Curry
- Thai Green Curry with Vegetables
- Pumpkin Chickpea Curry
- Vegan Black Lentil Curry
- Lentil Meatballs in Indian Curry Sauce
- Indian Chickpea Curry
- Cauliflower Tikka Masala
- Creamy Cauliflower Korma
If you try this Tofu Tikka Masala recipe, feel free to leave me a comment and a star rating! And if you’d like to share a photo of your dish and share it on Instagram, please tag me @biancazapatka and use the hashtag #biancazapatka because I love seeing your remakes! Happy cooking! 🙂
Vegan Tikka MasalaAuthor:
- 14 oz (400 g) tofu
- 3 tbsp coconut oil or other vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tbsp chopped ginger
- 14 oz (400 g) chopped tomatoes 1 can
- ⅔ cup (160 ml) coconut milk
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric optional
- 1 tsp paprika powder
- 1 tsp chili powder or Sriracha to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
*Note: Check out the recipe video + step-by-step pictures above!
- Press the tofu dry and cut into cubes. Then transfer to a bowl, sprinkle with cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of garam masala and mix until coated. Set aside.
- Cook the rice in a pot of salted water according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat 1-2 tbsp oil in a pan and cook the tofu until golden brown and crispy on all sides. Then remove and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pan and sauté the onions for 2-3 minutes. Then add garlic and ginger and sauté for another minute. Now add the remaining garam masala, turmeric, paprika and chili powder and sauté briefly to unfold flavors.
- Now add tomatoes, coconut milk, a little salt and pepper. Give it a stir, cover, and let it simmer over low heat for about 5 minutes. Then taste and adjust seasonings and blend the sauce until creamy (or leave it chunky). Finally, add the crispy tofu and leave the curry on the stove, covered, until the rice is tender.
- For more flavor, you can add 1-2 tbsp tomato paste or ajvar and 1 tbsp of sugar or syrup.
- The nutritional information is calculated without side dishes.
- More tips and information about the recipe are mentioned in the blog post above!
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