Tofu Tikka Masala

Well Plated by Erin

Cold climate requires heat spices and recipes that depart us feeling hugged and comfortable. Few genres of delicacies match the duty so superbly as Indian meals. Tofu Tikka Masala is ideally poised to be the precise dinner recipe we want proper now. You’ll notice it as quickly as you’re taking a chew!

Creamy Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala on rice with naan bread

I’m smitten with this masala recipe (and Indian meals on the whole) proper now for a number of causes.

The apparent: it’s completely delish, wholesome, makes for glorious leftovers, and regardless that this recipe is simple, it should depart you feeling extremely impressed along with your culinary abilities after you make it.

The much less apparent: Tofu tikka masala is consolation meals that doesn’t depart me feeling like I must rush into my sweatpants, curl up, and hibernate till April (or every time it’s heat sufficient outdoors for salads to start out sounding appetizing once more).

While I’m actually an keen participant in a stable, food-coma-inducing dinner particularly in the course of the winter months (hello, carbs!), it’s not the form of dinner I can eat each night time.

At the identical time, nonetheless, I crave recipes that depart me feeling heat, glad, and absolutely happy in urge for food and in spirit.

The good bridge between wholesome and homey: Indian meals!

This tofu tikka masala is deeply flavored and richly textured—you’ll discover greater than sufficient of each to qualify it as consolation meals—however it should additionally depart you feeling mild sufficient to proceed on along with your night (or at the very least to make it to the sofa for a snug spherical of Netflix).

An easy and healthy vegetarian Indian recipe in a bowl with brown rice and naan bread

Tikka Masala – A Quick Overview

Tikka masala is normal time period used to explain an Indian dish consisting of a protein cooked in a thick, creamy, and richly spiced tomato curry sauce.

  • The “tikka” refers back to the protein. Traditionally it’s items of boneless, marinated, skewered meat (normally hen or lamb) that’s roasted in a sizzling clay oven, known as a tandoor. Heard of tandoori hen? That’s the place the identify originates.
  • The “masala” refers back to the gravy/sauce. The recipes for it fluctuate, however most embody a tomato base, garam masala (a mix of a slew of spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, and extra), and a creamy factor like yogurt or coconut milk.

If you’ve by no means had Indian meals, the flavour of tikka masala is hard to explain. The spices are intense and heat, however not “spicy” within the sense of “sizzling,” and there’s a delicate, welcome underlying little bit of tang that provides refreshing brightness.

Why Tofu Tikka Masala

While I really like a superb hen tikka masala (particularly this Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala, which is very doable and a 5-star reader favourite recipe), my absolute favourite Indian dishes are vegetarian ones. 

  • Much of India is vegetarian by faith, in order that they’ve had generations to nail meatless cooking. I spent three weeks in India and Ben lived with a vegetarian host household there for a full summer time, and we each agree that the vegetarian recipes are our favorites.
  • I really like the frugality of vegetarian consuming, and the way in which it celebrates how humble components like chickpeas, paneer, or tofu might be elevated into one thing elegant.
  • We go meatless a number of days per week. If you want to add extra plant-based meals to your eating regimen, whether or not it’s for well being, environmental, or another excuse, vegetarian Indian cooking has a world of recipes ready to please you.

Today’s tandoori tofu tikka masala recipe is a based mostly off of my favourite Paneer Tikka Masala. Paneer, a gentle and agency Indian cheese that tastes so significantly better than it sounds, is a well-liked vegetarian protein in India, however within the states, it may be more difficult to seek out. My aim was to provide you with a vegetarian tikka masala that makes use of a extra extensively accessible plant-based protein. Enter, tofu!

Pieces of crispy and firm tofu on a baking sheet

How to Make Great-Tasting Tofu

Tofu by itself tastes bland and spongy, which is why should you’ve tried it and haven’t loved its taste or texture, likelihood is it wasn’t cooked correctly.

  • When dealt with effectively, the gentle taste of tofu is definitely ultimate for absolutely flavored recipes like tikka masala. It will act like a sponge and absorb the flavors you add to the recipe.
  • With correct cooking method, tofu might be delightfully crisp on the surface and pleasantly agency, whereas nonetheless giving option to a young inside.

This tasty tofu tikka masala is tofu at its greatest.

  • It’s pressed to take away extra liquid, which begins it on its option to an optimum agency texture.
  • It’s marinated to infuse taste.
  • Last, it’s baked till golden and crisp on the surface and agency (however tender) on the within. It gained’t lose its form, and it actually doesn’t style mushy. The baking creates the tikka tofu have an effect on, mimicking the method of tandoor cooking.

Tasty tofu tikka masala in a bowl with brown rice and naan bread

How To Make Tofu Tikka Masala

The lengthy record of spices in Indian recipes might be intimidating. I’ve streamlined them as a lot as potential and chosen solely ones which might be simple to seek out at most grocery shops. I additionally lower down on prep time to make this tofu tikka masala as fast as potential, with out sacrificing genuine taste. Still, you may have a look at a few of these components and suppose “oh, I don’t personal that” or “that’s lots of steps” and transfer on.

My recommendation: put money into these spices. They’ll final you a very long time, and also you’ll open your self to a complete world of scrumptious, invigorating recipes like this Slow Cooker Butter Chicken (and Instant Pot Butter Chicken), and this Instant Pot Lentil Curry that you simply may in any other case have skipped. As far because the steps: the tofu bakes when you make the masala sauce, which means this recipe is quicker than it seems at first look.

The Ingredients

  • Tofu. We’ve coated lots of the explanation why I really like utilizing tofu on this recipe, however I also needs to point out that it’s filled with each essential amino acid that your physique wants. It’s additionally low in energy, excessive in protein, and budget-friendly.
  • Cauliflower. Like the tofu, the scrumptious and gentle cauliflower florets soak up spices magnificently. Plus, cauliflower is a wonderful supply of nutritional vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
  • Garam Masala. Garam masala is a mix of spices. It’s sometimes manufactured from cumin, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, bay leaves, pepper, fennel, mace, and dried chilies. <—Quite the record. Every spoonful is filled with taste! A mix like garam masala can be a critical timesaver, since you don’t need to tediously measure every spice individually. Most grocery shops will carry it, however it’s also possible to discover it on-line right here.
  • Additional Spices. I additionally used turmeric and cayenne pepper, traditional components in Indian cooking, to carry further flavors to the sauce.
  • Crushed Tomatoes + Tomato Paste. The base of our deeply flavored and straightforward masala sauce.
  • Ginger and Garlic. They give the masala sauce a spine of freshness and life.
  • Greek Yogurt. My sneaky option to lighten-up this recipe. Greek yogurt supplies crucial physique and creaminess to the sauce. To make a vegan tofu tikka masala, swap the yogurt for a non-dairy yogurt or stir coconut cream into the masala to thicken it as an alternative.
  • Vegetables. I added onion and frozen peas to up the vegetable content material on this dish.

The Directions

  1. Prepare the tofu: Press water out of the tofu, and lower it into items. Stir collectively the yogurt, ginger, garlic, and spices in a bowl. Add the tofu and stir till coated. Let marinate for at the very least 30 minutes (both at room temperature or within the fridge).

  2. Lay the marinated tofu in a single layer on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake at 400 levels F for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu as soon as midway by.

  3. Prepare the masala: Sauté the cauliflower and onion with ginger and garlic. Once the greens are tender, add the tomato paste and extra spices. Stir within the crushed tomatoes and broth, then simmer the sauce to thicken it.

  4. Off the warmth, stir within the peas, yogurt, and baked tandoori tofu. Serve with cilantro and naan or brown rice. ENJOY!

A richly flavored vegetarian Indian recipe in a bowl with naan bread and brown rice

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips

  • To Make Ahead. Chop the cauliflower florets a day prematurely, and retailer them within the fridge. Refrigerate the marinaded tofu for as much as 12 hours previous to baking.
  • To Store. Place leftovers in an hermetic storage container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven over medium-low warmth. You may reheat leftovers within the microwave till sizzling.

Easy tofu tikka masala served in a bowl with brown rice and naan

Recommended Tools & Ingredient Tips to Make this Recipe

This wholesome, simpler, at-home model of tandoor tofu tikka masala is a heat up that gained’t weigh you down. May it add simply as a lot pleasure to your dinner routine because it has ours.

If you do this recipe, please depart a remark and let me know the way it goes. I really like listening to from you!

Baked tandoori-style tofu in a wealthy, creamy masala curry sauce, this fast model Tofu Tikka Masala is made with simple components and has genuine taste!


  • 2 12 to 14-ounce blocks further agency tofu
  • 2/3 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt*
  • 2 tablespoons minced recent ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic — about Three cloves
  • 2 teaspoons floor coriander
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala**
  • 2 teaspoons floor cumin
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons water


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil — or canola oil
  • 1 medium head cauliflower — lower into florets
  • 1 medium yellow onion — diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced recent ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic — about Three cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-ounce can low sodium vegetable broth or hen broth
  • 1 package deal frozen peas — 10 ounces
  • 1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt*
  • 1/4 cup recent cilantro — roughly chopped
  • For serving: naan — Indian flatbread—my fave! — or ready brown rice
  1. Prepare the tofu: Wrap 1 block of tofu in a number of layers of paper towels or a clear kitchen towel and gently press out as a lot water as potential. Change the towels and press once more. Do not squeeze so onerous that the tofu breaks aside or loses its form, however do attempt to press out a superb quantity of the water. Repeat with the second block. Cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch items. In a big bowl, stir collectively the yogurt, ginger, garlic, coriander, garam masala, cumin, salt, and water. Add the tofu items and stir gently till they’re evenly coated. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or refrigerate for longer (as much as in a single day).

  2. When able to bake, place the racks within the higher and decrease thirds of your oven and preheat the oven to 400 levels F. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper and evenly coat the paper with nonstick spray. Arrange the tofu items on the baking sheets in a single layer in order that they don’t seem to be touching each other (discard any further marinade). Bake within the higher and decrease thirds for 15 minutes, then take away the pans from the oven, flip the items over and return the pans to the oven, switching their positions on the higher and decrease racks. Bake for 15 further minutes, till tofu is deeply golden (see weblog photographs above). Set apart.

  3. While the tofu bakes, put together the masala (sauce): Heat the coconut oil over medium low in a Dutch oven or comparable sturdy, deep pot. Once sizzling, add the cauliflower, onion, ginger, garlic, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring sometimes, for 1 minute, then improve the warmth to medium and proceed cooking till the greens are tender and the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Do not let the onion brown—if it begins to show brown, scale back the warmth and proceed cooking till smooth. Add the tomato paste, garam masala, turmeric, and cayenne. Cook and stir always for 30 seconds, till very aromatic.

  4. Stir within the crushed tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce the warmth to low and simmer, stirring sometimes and scraping the underside of the pot with a wood spoon or rubber spatula to forestall the sauce from sticking, till it’s thickened barely, about 15 minutes.

  5. Remove the pan from the warmth and let cool for 1 minute. Stir within the peas, then the 1/2 cup yogurt. Stir within the cooked tofu to heat by. Taste and add further salt and pepper as desired. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve heat with naan bread or brown rice.

  • TO STORE: Place leftovers in an hermetic storage container within the fridge for as much as 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Gently rewarm leftovers in a Dutch oven over medium-low warmth. You may reheat leftovers within the microwave till sizzling. 
  • TO MAKE AHEAD: Chop the cauliflower florets a day prematurely, and retailer within the fridge. Prepare the yogurt combination. Remove water from the tofu, lower into cubes, and coat with the yogurt combination. Store the tofu within the fridge as much as 12 hours prematurely. 
  • *Do not use nonfat yogurt (Greek or common), as it’s prone to curdle. Whole milk yogurt is okay. If you should not have Greek yogurt, it’s also possible to substitute common yogurt.
  • **Garam masala is an Indian spice mix that may be present in most grocery shops. You may buy it on-line right here.

Course: Main Course

Cuisine: Indian

Keyword: wholesome indian recipe, fast tofu tikka masala, tandoori tofu, vegetarian indian recipe, Vegetarian Tikka Masala

Nutrition Information

Amount per serving (1 (of 6); about 2 cups) — Calories: 236, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 2mg, Potassium: 1075mg, Carbohydrates: 31g, Fiber: 9g, Sugar: 14g, Protein: 16g, Vitamin A: 939%, Vitamin C: 82%, Calcium: 164%, Iron: 5%

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