Home » Luscious Tofu Tikka Masala
Tikka Tofu Masala

Luscious Tofu Tikka Masala

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

This Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala is exceedingly delicious! This recipe requires some prep & planning ahead. I don’t find it difficult to make, especially after making it so many times.

The dish this is vegan-ized from Chicken Tikka Masala which originated in either the UK or Scotland. I’ve adapted this recipe from the massively skilled Nisha Vora at Rainbow Plant Life.

Prep For Success

I recommend doing the prep stuff below. In general, I recommend prepping prior to cooking most recipes to make the cooking part go smoothly. We’ve talked about Mise en place and being a Culinary Jedi before.

Make-Ahead

For the Tikka Tofu, you’ll marinate it for 2 – 8 hours. You can make the Masala sauce ahead of time and then heat it when you have the Tikka Tofu in the oven.

Vegan Yogurt

Using a thick, creamy greek style plant-based yogurt is important to avoid having too much liquid in the marinade. I like using Kite Hill’s Greek-style almond yogurt.

Super Firm Tofu

This tofu is great for this recipe. Since this tofu is super dense and vacuum-packed you don’t need to press it. If you don’t have access to this tofu you can use extra firm, but you’ll need to press it.

Prep For Tikka Tofu

 Ingredients for Tikka Tofu
Ingredients for Tikka Tofu

Measure the Whole Tikka Tofu Spices for the Marinade and put them in a small bowl. You will be dry toasting these in a small pan. You can use whole or ground. Whole are preferred, but subbing the ground spices works too, just don’t over toast ground spices, they toast fast.

  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons coriander seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 1/2 teaspoon ground)
  • 4 whole cloves (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
  • ~18 whole black peppercorns (or 1/4 teaspoon ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds (can be bought as whole seeds or removed from cardamom pods; or 1/3 teaspoon ground)
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (optional or 1/8 teaspoon ground)

Measure the Tikka Tofu ground spices

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne (less if heat sensitive)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Tear the 16 ounce block of vacu-packed Super firm tofu torn into 1 – 2 in pieces.

In a Large Bowl Add

2/3 cup unsweetened plain greek vegan yogurt.

Mince 2 garlic cloves (I love peeling and pulsing garlic in my small food processor to mince it quickly). You could also use about 2 teaspoons jarred, minced garlic as a shortcut

Mince 1/3 inch piece fresh ginger (can also be peeled and minced small food processor with the garlic). You could also sub jarred ginger for a shortcut

Juice a lemon and measure 1 & 1/2 TBSP for the Tikka Tofu Marinade. Save the rest of the lemon juice for the Masala Sauce

2 teaspoons grapeseed or high heat oil

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Now you can make the Tikka Tofu Marinade and get the tofu pieces marinating. Mix everything together until evenly combined. Then add and coat the tofu pieces. The Tikka Tofu will marinate from 2 – 8 hours.

Prep for the Masala Sauce

Select and set aside 4 whole dried red chilies or you can sub with ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or omit for less heat.

Dice 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions. Mince 6 garlic cloves (you guessed it, I pulse the garlic and then the onions in my medium bullet food processor).

Mince or grate a 1 & 1/2- inch piece ginger, you can use I TBSP jarred minced ginger as a shortcut

Seed and dice 1 jalapeño pepper. Use two jalapeño peppers for more heat. Leave seeds in for lots more heat.

Finely chop cilantro stems & roughly chopped leaves of 1 cup cilantro.

Measure

  • 1 TBSP cumin seeds
  • 3 TBSPs grapeseed oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne more or less depending on heat preference
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 TBSPs tomato paste. If using the double strength kind in the tube, you only need 1 TBSP
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 TBSP garam masala
  • 1 TBSP vegan butter
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice (from the lemon juice you set aside earlier) more to taste if desired
  • 3 TBSPs water

Open

  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced or petite diced tomatoes; I like fire roasted; do not drain
  • 1 13.5 ounce/400 mL can full-fat coconut milk

Let’s Make Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala

Make The Tikka Spice Blend

Heat a small or medium frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the Whole Tikka Tofu Spices and dry toast. Shake the pan frequently, until the spices are very fragrant and toasty, and the lighter seeds have browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds out of the pan and allow to cool.

Toasting whole spices in a small pan for Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala
Toasting whole spices in a small pan for Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala

Once cool, use a spice grinder or mortar & pestle to grind until fine. Pour into a bowl, add the Tikka Tofu ground spices and stir to combine.

Make the Tikka Tofu Marinade

In a medium bowl, mix together the spice blend with the yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, oil, and salt. Pour the marinade over the torn tofu pieces and gently stir with a spatula covering the all of the tofu pieces with the marinade. Cover & refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.

When ready cook Tikka Tofu 

Add a 12-inch cast iron skillet to the second rack from the top and preheat the oven to 500º F.

Once the skillet is smoking hot (usually this occurs right when the oven is preheated to 500° F), transfer it to the stove or a pot holder. Turn the broiler to high.

Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Using a big spoon, spoon the marinated tofu into the skillet, leaving the excess marinade behind.

Return the tofu loaded skillet to the second oven rack and broil until the tofu is cooked through and charred in some spots on top, 10 to 12 minutes. After 5-minutes, check the Tikka Tofu every few minutes to avoid burning since every oven is different.

Make The Masala Sauce

Heat 3 TBSP of oil in a deep, large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, swirling them in the pan frequently. Then add the dried chilies and cook for another 30 seconds, swirling frequently to prevent burning.

Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until soft, ~ 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, if needed, to avoid burning onions.

Then add the garlic, ginger, diced jalapeño pepper, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently. Add the red cayenne, coriander, and tomato paste. Stir frequently for 30 to 60 seconds.

Add the canned diced tomatoes and their juices, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Add the cilantro stems (save the leaves for the garnish), 3 TBSP of water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir. Cover the pan and lower to a simmer.

Cover & Simmer

Simmer the masala for 15 minutes, opening the pot to stir occasionally, until the liquid has mostly evaporated.

Scoop out the dried red chilies and discard.

Add in the coconut milk, garam masala, and Earth Balance. Increase the heat slightly and stir until everything is combined and the Earth Balance is melted.

Add the Tikka Tofu and the lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes and coat the tofu in the sauce. Taste, and if it’s a bit too acidic, add a few pinches of sugar.

Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve tofu tikka masala over rice and/or with naan bread.

Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala
Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala


Store leftovers in fridge for up to 6 days or freeze and thaw in fridge or using the stovetop.

Tikka Tofu Masala
Print Pin
5 from 1 vote

Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala

This Luscious Tikka Tofu Masala is exceedingly delicious! This recipe requires some prep and planning ahead. I don't find it difficult to make, especially after making it so many times.
The dish this is vegan-ized from Chicken Tikka Masala which originated in either the UK or Scotland.
Course Dinner
Cuisine India, Scotland, UK
Keyword dairy-free, gluten-free, rich
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinate Tikka Tofu 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 147kcal

Ingredients

Tikka Tofu

Whole Tikka Tofu Spices (to dry toast & grind or use noted ground spice quantities & dry toast)

  • 2 & 1/4 teaspoons coriander seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or 1/2 teaspoon ground
  • 4 whole cloves or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • ~18 whole black peppercorns or 1/4 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon whole cardamom seeds can be bought as whole seeds or removed from cardamom pods; or 1/3 teaspoon ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds optional; or 1/8 teaspoon ground

Tikka Tofu ground spices

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoons cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Masala (the sauce)

  • 3 TBSPs grapeseed oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1 TBSP cumin seeds
  • 4 whole dried red chilies if not available, you can sub with ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or omit for less heat
  • 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 & 1/2 inch piece ginger minced or grated, you can use I TBSP jarred minced ginger as a shortcut
  • 1 jalapeño pepper seeded and diced, use two for more heat, keep seeds to add lots more heat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne more or less depending on heat preference
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 TBSPs tomato paste If using the double strength kind in the tube, you only need 1 TBSP
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 1 14.5 ounce can diced or petite diced tomatoes I like fire roasted; do not drain
  • 1 cup cilantro, stems finely chopped and leaves chopped save leaves for garnish
  • 3 TBSPs water

Masala (add at the end)

  • 1 TBSP garam masala
  • 1 13.5 ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 TBSP Earth Balance
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice more to taste if desired

Options for serving

  • rice or flatbread such as naan or roti
  • more vegan yogurt to spoon on top optional, but it adds a nice nice cooling contrast

Instructions

Make The Tikka Spice Blend

  • Heat a small or medium frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the Whole Tikka Tofu Spices and dry toast. Shake the pan frequently, until the spices are very fragrant and toasty, and the lighter seeds have browned, about 3 minutes. Transfer the seeds out of the pan and allow to cool.
  • Once cool, use a spice grinder or mortar & pestle to grind until fine. Pour into a bowl, add the Tikka Tofu ground spices and stir to combine.

Make the Tikka Tofu Marinade

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the spice blend with the yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, oil, and salt. Pour the marinade over the torn tofu pieces and gently stir with a spatula covering the all of the tofu pieces with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
  • When ready cook Tikka Tofu Add a 12-inch cast iron skillet to the second rack from the top and preheat the oven to 500º F.
  • Once the skillet is smoking hot (usually this occurs right when the oven is preheated to 500° F), transfer it to the stove or a pot holder. Turn the broiler to high.
  • Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Using a big spoon, spoon the marinated tofu into the skillet, leaving the excess marinade behind.
  • Return the tofu loaded skillet to the second oven rack and broil until the tofu is cooked through and charred in some spots on top, 10 to 12 minutes. After 5-minutes, check the Tikka Tofu every few minutes to avoid burning since every oven is different.

Make The Masala Sauce

  • Heat 3 TBSP of oil in a deep, large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, swirling them in the pan frequently. Then add the dried chilies and cook for another 30 seconds, swirling frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add the onions with a pinch of salt and cook until soft, ~ 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, if needed, to avoid burning onions.
  • Then add the garlic, ginger, diced jalapeño pepper, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently. Add the red cayenne, coriander, and tomato paste. Stir frequently for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Add the canned diced tomatoes and their juices, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add the cilantro stems (save the leaves for the garnish), 3 TBSP of water, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and stir. Cover the pan and lower to a simmer.
  • Simmer the masala for 15 minutes, opening the pot to stir occasionally, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Scoop out the dried red chilies and discard.
  • Add in the coconut milk, garam masala, and Earth Balance. Increase the heat slightly and stir until everything is combined and the Earth Balance is melted.
  • Add the Tikka Tofu and the lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes and coat the tofu in the sauce. Taste, and if it’s a bit too acidic, add a few pinches of sugar.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves. Serve tofu tikka masala over rice and/or with naan bread.

Notes

Nutrition Information is approximate.

Make-Ahead

For the Tikka Tofu, you will want to marinate it for 2 – 8 hours. You can make the Masala sauce ahead of time and then heat it when you have the Tikka Tofu in the oven.

Vegan Yogurt

Using a thick, creamy greek style plant-based yogurt is important to avoid having too much liquid in the marinade. I like using Kite Hill’s Greek-style almond yogurt.

Super Firm Tofu

This tofu is great for this recipe. Since this tofu is super dense and vacuum-packed you don’t need to press it. If you don’t have access to this tofu you can use extra firm, but you’ll need to press it.
Store leftovers in fridge for up to 6 days or freeze and thaw in fridge or using the stovetop.
www.planttestkitchen.com 

Nutrition

Calories: 147kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 746mg | Potassium: 198mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 512IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 2mg

For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links. I only link to products I have personally purchased & use myself. If you use these links to purchase products, I might receive a small compensation. Thank you for your support!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also enjoy

Did You Make Luscious Tofu Tikka Masala?

How did it go? Any fun variations? Tell me all about it in the comments section below! If this recipe went well for you, pretty please leave a 5-star rating on the recipe card to help others find it.

Moon Juice Full Moon Collection - Get All Six Moon Dusts & Save $38

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




*