Tofu Tikka Masala

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Tofu Tikka Masala is a delicious vegetarian curry which is so good with rice, naan or any bread of your choice! Gluten-free!

tofu-tikka-masala

[Thanks all for your good wishes for my mom, I really appreciate it. 🙂]

Are you a tofu fan? I have already told you guys that I am definitely not one. I mean it’s fine, I don’t mind it but I don’t love it. I think this is the problem with most Indians. We are so used to the taste and flavor of paneer and tofu is similar to it and when there comes a choice, we obviously always pick paneer. I mean why would you eat tofu when you have the option of eating paneer?! Okay, that might be the Indian in me talking but seriously paneer is tastier or maybe I am just biased. Either way, I know most Indian would agree with me! 😉

But fan or not, this recipe will make you fall in love with tofu and that’s my guarantee. Big claim to make right? But you guys have to trust me. Honestly this tofu tikka masala is so delicious that you would want second servings even if don’t love tofu. My husband doesn’t like tofu, he eats it only at an Asian restaurant here, he loves the way they make their kung pao tofu and this tofu tikka masala was the 2nd tofu recipe that he loved. He said, if I wouldn’t have told him, he wouldn’t have guessed that it’s tofu. Ha! I guess that’s why he liked it! 😉

indian-tofu-tikka-masala

I love using extra-firm tofu in my recipes. It’s a personal preference but I think it works well in Indian recipes. Just make sure to press the block of tofu with something heavy for few minutes before using in the recipe. This tofu tikka masala is totally inspired from my paneer tikka masala, which by the way is quite a popular recipe on the blog. Many of you have made it and love it and I am sure you would love this tofu tikka masala just as much.

tofu-tikka-masala-recipe

This curry gets it’s gorgeous orangish-red color from kashmiri red chili powder. You can find it easily at any Indian grocery store. It adds color and flavor to the dish without adding much heat. Of course if you don’t add it, the curry will still be very delicious but you may not get similar color. Using food color is another option but why to use one when you have a natural alternative, right? This tofu tikka masala is great with rice or naan or just about any flatbread of your choice. Hope you guys give this super flavorful tofu tikka masala a try! Enjoy!

Looking for more tofu recipes? Check these out!

Palak Tofu – Tofu Spinach Curry

Kung Pao Tofu

 

Method

Press tofu with some heavy object for 20 minutes. This will drain the excess moisture. Now cut the tofu into small cubes. Next add in the chopped ginger and chopped garlic and then add coriander powder, garam masala powder, paprika powder, salt and red chilli powder.

Add in the yogurt and mix till all the tofu pieces are well coated with the spices and yogurt. Cover and keep this marinated tofu in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can keep it overnight as well but minimum of 30 minutes is must. Use thick yogurt here, tie regular yogurt in a muslin cloth and let it hang for few hours. Once all the water has drained and yogurt is dry and thick, it’s ready to be used in the recipe.

While the tofu is in the refrigerator, prepare the curry. Heat oil and butter in a pan on medium heat. Once hot, add cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds. Wait till cumin seeds crackle.

tofu-tikka-masala-recipe-step-1

Add roughly chopped onions and cook till the onions start turning light golden brown in color.

Then add ginger, garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or till raw smell goes away.

Add chopped tomatoes, curry powder, sugar, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Give a good mix.

tofu-tikka-masala-recipe-step-2

Cook the tomatoes with spices for around 10-12 minutes or till tomatoes are completely done and oil leaves the side of the spice mix. This is very important, the masala should be nicely cooked on medium heat, don’t rush this.

Remove pan from heat, let it cool down a little and puree the mixture to a smooth paste. (wow what difference lighting makes, the color of the curry was definitely not like what it looks in 2nd pic!!]

Put pan back on heat again. Add the pureed onion-tomato paste back to it. Add water (adjust the amount of water as per your preference, I added around 1.5 cups] and heavy cream and mix. Let the curry simmer on low for 3-4 minutes as you prepare the tofu.

tofu-tikka-masala-recipe-step-3

Remove the marinated tofu from the refrigerator. Spray a pan with little oil and add tofu to it.

Roast/cook the marinated tofu cubes till they becomes brown in color.

Add the roasted tofu to the curry and let it all simmer for additional 2-3 minutes on low heat.

tofu-tikka-masala-recipe-step-4

Garnish with cilantro and serve tofu tikka masala with any bread of your choice. I enjoyed it with some plain rice.

vegetarian-tofu-tikka-masala

* Vegan version: To make this tofu tikka masala vegan, simply skip the cream and butter and use a non-dairy yogurt to marinate the tofu pieces.

* Prep time includes the minimum 30 minutes for which you have to keep the marinated tofu pieces inside the refrigerator.

* Use more red chili powder to make it spicier. You guys know I don’t eat very spicy food so feel free to adjust to taste.

Tofu Tikka Masala

Prep time: 

Cook time: 

Total time: 

Serves: 4

Delicious Tofu Tikka Masala is a vegetarian curry which is best enjoyed with naan, rice or any flatbread of your choice! Gluten-free!
Ingredients
Tofu Tikka
  • 250 grams tofu, cut into small cubes, I used extra-firm tofu
  • 2.5 tablespoons yogurt, use thick yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
Curry
  • 1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • ½ inch ginger, cut into small pieces
  • 1.5 teaspoons curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1-1.5 cups water, adjust as required
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, and more to garnish
  • salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Press tofu with some heavy object for 20 minutes. This will drain the excess moisture. Now cut the tofu into small cubes.
  2. Next add in the chopped ginger and chopped garlic and then add coriander powder, garam masala powder, paprika powder, salt and red chilli powder.
  3. Add in the yogurt and mix till all the tofu pieces are well coated with the spices and yogurt.
  4. Cover and keep this marinated tofu in the refrigerator for 1 hour. You can keep it overnight as well but minimum of 30 minutes is must. Use thick yogurt here, tie regular yogurt in a muslin cloth and let it hang for few hours. Once all the water has drained and yogurt is dry and thick, it's ready to be used in the recipe.
  5. While the tofu is in the refrigerator, prepare the curry. Heat oil and butter in a pan on medium heat.
  6. Once hot, add cinnamon sticks and cumin seeds. Wait till cumin seeds crackle.
  7. Add roughly chopped onions and cook till the onions start turning light golden brown in color.
  8. Then add ginger, garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes or till raw smell goes away.
  9. Add chopped tomatoes, curry powder, sugar, kashmiri red chili powder and salt. Give a good mix.
  10. Cook the tomatoes with spices for around 10-12 minutes or till tomatoes are completely done and oil leaves the side of the spice mix. This is very important, the masala should be nicely cooked on medium heat, don't rush this.
  11. Remove pan from heat, let it cool down a little and puree the mixture to a smooth paste.
  12. Put pan back on heat again. Add the pureed onion-tomato paste back to it.
  13. Add water (adjust the amount of water as per your preference, I added around 1.5 cups] and heavy cream and mix. Let the curry simmer on low for 3-4 minutes as you prepare the tofu.
  14. Remove the marinated tofu from the refrigerator. Spray a pan with little oil and add tofu to it.
  15. Roast/cook the marinated tofu cubes till they becomes brown in color.
  16. Add the roasted tofu to the curry and let it all simmer for additional 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  17. Garnish with cilantro and serve tofu tikka masala with any bread of your choice.

Tofu Tikka Masala

tofu-tikka-masala-collage

18 thoughts on “Tofu Tikka Masala

  1. I must admit that I’m not much of a tofu fan either, Manali. But this dish looks incredible! I love the presentation of the curried tofu against the white rice…I might just have to go for it and take a bite! 🙂

  2. I’m totally a tofu fan if it’s prepared well. I’m not so good at doing that, so I rely on friends with more skill or Whole Foods. Or you! This looks so amazing!

  3. I think paneer tastes better than tofu, too, Manali – I’m not Indian so I cannot be biased – even though I’m technically your neighbor 🙂
    I so love your tofu tikka masala – those spices work so well to taking tofu from plain to EPIC!

  4. I made this Monday evening and it was yummy! Took the leftovers to work for lunch the next day and my coworkers were begging for the recipe.

  5. I was initially intimidated by this because of the amount of ingredients. But after much procrastination I made this and the husband loves it! Which is my ultimate success.

  6. My daughter loves Chicken Tikka Masala, but has recently gone vegetarian and I am going to give this recipe go, but before I do, I was wondering if I could add coconut milk instead of heavy cream?

    Alice

    1. Hi Alice, you may use coconut milk but don’t use a lot of it else it will make the flavor very coconut-y, if you get what I mean? If you daughter like the coconut flavor, then please go ahead , hope she enjoys it 🙂

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