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Close up of vegan tikka masala on a plate with rice
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5 from 1 vote

Vegan tikka masala with tofu

Vegan tikka masala is made with marinated and seasoned "chicken style" tofu. Best served with basmati rice or vegan naan. The creamy, dairy free masala sauce is full of flavorful and warming spices.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, United kingdom
Servings: 6
Calories: 166kcal
Author: Maria


  • 1 cast iron pan
  • 1 large pot



  • 2 (16 oz) packages of extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ inch fresh ginger minced

Masala sauce

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 diced red onion
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger minced
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or sugar


Marinate the tofu

  • Drain the tofu and press it for 15-30 minutes. After it's been pressed, tear it into bit sized chunks about the size of large chunks of chicken. Make sure not to tear them too small.
    2 (16 oz) packages of extra firm tofu
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the tofu chunks, dairy free yogurt, garam masala, cayenne, ginger, garlic, salt and lemon juice. Stir gently and make sure every piece is covered. Put in the fridge and let it marinate while we get our masala sauce together. This tastes best if it's had at least 30 minutes to marinate.
    1 cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt, ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons garam masala, ½ teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic, ½ inch fresh ginger, 2 (16 oz) packages of extra firm tofu

Prepare the masala sauce

  • Add oil to a large pot on medium heat. Let the pot heat up for 2 minutes. Add the cumin seeds and let them cook for about a minute. Add the diced onions and cook until translucent and golden brown (about 5-8 minutes). Season with a small pinch of salt.
    2 teaspoons oil, 1 diced red onion, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Add the turmeric, cumin powder, coriander powder, ginger and garlic and sauté for about 1-2 minutes. Stir constantly. This brings out the flavor of the spices.
    1 inch fresh ginger, ½ teaspoon turmeric, 2 teaspoons coriander powder, 1 teaspoon cumin powder, 4 cloves garlic
  • Add the tomatoes, salt and water. Cover and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes. When sauce has about 10 minutes left, broil the tofu with the directions below.
    ½ teaspoon salt, 2 (15 oz) cans diced tomatoes, 1 cup water, ½ teaspoon salt

Broil the tofu (while the sauce is simmering)

  • While the sauce is simmering, put the oven rack to the second highest rung. Turn oven on to 450 degrees and set a cast iron or oven safe pan in the oven to heat up the pan. This ensures the bottom of the tofu will cook. Heat it up for about 5-10 minutes.
  • With oven safe gloves, take the pan out of the oven. Oil the bottom of the pan and add the tofu to the pan. Add the tofu to the oven and turn the oven to high broil and broil the tofu for about 10-15 minutes, or until the tofu starts to get crispy and golden brown on top. After 10 minutes, check the tofu every five minutes to make sure it's not burning.

Put it all together

  • After the sauce has finished simmering, add the dairy free yogurt, maple syrup and garam masala. Once tofu is done broiling, let it sit for about 5 minutes, then add it to the sauce. Let it all heat up together for another 5-10 minutes on a low simmer. Serve with rice or vegan naan.
    1 cup unsweetened and plain dairy free yogurt, 1 teaspoon maple syrup, ½ teaspoon garam masala


Calories: 166kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 492mg | Potassium: 299mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 44IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 2mg