Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

The Instant Pot version of one of the most popular recipe on my blog! This Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala is a quick vegan meal which is flavored with spices like coriander, garam masala and curry powder. The sauce is made with onions, tomatoes and coconut milk and pairs well with bread or rice. Vegan & gluten-free.

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would share/feature vegetarian instant pot recipes and ideas from all around the web!

instant pot tofu tikka masala served in a blue bowl and garnished with cilantro

Remember I told you guys that hubby won’t eat tofu but the only way he eats it is when I make him Tofu Tikka Masala. Well since that’s the only way he eats it without complaining, I make it often. These days, I cook exclusively in my Instant Pot and so I had to make this dish in the IP too. Actually the regular stove top tofu tikka masala which I shared on the blog in 2016 is one of the most popular recipes on the blog and you guys clearly love it. And so I thought it would be nice to share an IP version of the same with you all and this time I also made it vegan!

The basic recipe is almost the same but I tried to make it more easier for you guys. You first start off with marinating the tofu pieces for 30 minutes. While the tofu is marinating do all the prep work for the curry like chopping the onion, garlic, ginger and pureeing the tomatoes. In the stove top version, we puree everything to a smooth paste however in this Instant Pot version, I just fine chopped onion, garlic and ginger so that I could skip the addition step of pureeing the sauce. It didn’t really make much of a difference!

tofu tikka masala served over rice in a small blue plate

For marinating the tikka with spices, traditionally you use thick yogurt. In this vegan instant pot tofu tikka masala, I used coconut milk. You have to make sure that you use thick coconut milk here for marinating the tofu. Place the can of coconut milk in your refrigerator overnight and in the morning, scoop out the thickened top portion from the can and use that in the recipe. Honestly during winters here, I don’t even need to refrigerate the can, the coconut milk on top is always solid! But of course if its hot where you live, don’t forget to refrigerate. You can also use coconut cream if you have it on hands.

How to make Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

marinate the tofu with spices and coconut milk

make the curry with onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and coconut milk

stir in the marinated tofu, cook on high pressure

finish with cilantro!

overhead shot of tofu tikka masala served in a blue bowl with a grey napkin on the side

If you want, you can do the extra step of pan roasting the tofu before adding to the curry but its completely optional. I did not do it as I was trying to keep this recipe of tofu tikka masala as simple as possible. I hope you guys give this recipe a try. It’s really flavorful, plant based and also gluten-free. The only wait time is when you marinate the tofu. If you don’t want to wait while making this dish, you can simply do this step of marinating the tofu in the night. Keep it refrigerated overnight (flavors would be even better!) and make the curry in the morning.

Method

Optional – press tofu with some heavy object for 15 minutes. This will drain the excess moisture. Now cut the tofu into small cubes and set aside.

In a large bowl whisk together thickened coconut milk with coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, smoked paprika and salt until smooth.

Stir in the tofu cubes and mix until all tofu pieces are coated with the marinade.

Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile do all the prep work – chop the onion, garlic, ginger and puree the tomatoes.

Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil and then add the cinnamon stick. Saute for few seconds until fragrant.

Add the onion along with ginger and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes until the onions are soft and light brown in color.

Then add in the tomato puree and mix.

Cover the pot with a glass lid and let the puree cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

Then add the curry powder, cumin powder, kashmiri red chili powder, salt and sugar. Mix to combine and cook the spices for one minute.

Add the coconut milk and water and mix.

Stir in the marinated tofu. You may do the extra step of pan roasting the tofu on stove top before adding to the instant pot. This step is completely optional and I did not do it.

Close the Instant Pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.

Do a quick pressure quick release. Open the pot, add chopped cilantro and mix.

Serve instant pot tofu tikka masala with rice or bread of choice!

tofu tikka masala served in a blue bowl and garnished with cilantro

Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

Easy Tofu Tikka Masala made in the Instant Pot! Spicy marinated cubes of tofu are tossed in a creamy curry! Vegan & gluten-free.

instant pot tofu tikka masala served in a blue bowl and garnished with cilantro
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 22 minutes
Total Time: 52 minutes
Servings: 3
Calories: 231 kcal
5 from 9 votes
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Ingredients

Tofu Tikka

  • 3 tablespoons thick coconut milk, use thickened milk from top of a can
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 250 grams extra-firm tofu

Curry

  • 2 tablespoons oil, 30 ml, use oil of choice
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 medium red onion, 140 grams, finely chopped
  • 6-7 large garlic cloves, 13 grams, finely chopped
  • 1 inch ginger, 13 grams, finely chopped
  • 3 large tomatoes, 450 grams, pureed
  • 1.5 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 2.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1 cup water, 8 oz
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Optional - press tofu with some heavy object for 15 minutes. This will drain the excess moisture. Now cut the tofu into small cubes and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together thickened coconut milk with coriander powder, garam masala, red chili powder, smoked paprika and salt until smooth. Stir in the tofu cubes and mix until all tofu pieces are coated with the marinade.

  3. Cover and keep in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile do all the prep work - chop the onion, garlic, ginger and puree the tomatoes.

  4. Press the saute button on your Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil and then add the cinnamon stick. Saute for few seconds until fragrant.

  5. Add the onion along with ginger and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes until the onions are soft and light brown in color. Then add in the tomato puree and mix.

  6. Cover the pot with a glass lid and let the puree cook for 4 to 5 minutes.

  7. Then add the curry powder, cumin powder, kashmiri red chili powder, salt and sugar. Mix to combine and cook the spices for one minute. Add the coconut milk and water and mix.

  8. Stir in the marinated tofu. You may do the extra step of pan roasting the tofu on stove top before adding to the instant pot. This step is completely optional and I did not do it.

  9. Close the Instant Pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 5 minutes. The pressure valve should be in the sealing position.

  10. Do a quick pressure quick release. Open the pot, add chopped cilantro and mix.

  11. Serve instant pot tofu tikka masala with rice or bread of choice!

     

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 231 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 28%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Sodium 848mg 35%
Potassium 288mg 8%
Total Carbohydrates 10g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g 14%
Vitamin A 11.1%
Vitamin C 5.8%
Calcium 3.8%
Iron 14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

 

24 thoughts on “Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

    1. I am not sure if it would work Paul but there’s no harm in giving it a shot. You can also buy tikka masala sauce from store if you are pressed for time. Just marinade the tofu, add the store bought sauce and pressure cook. hope this helps!

  1. Have cooked this several times now and it’s a big hit with my husband and myself. Really great recipe, thanks very much!!

  2. Not sure what I did wrong but mine came out a bit bland. The flavor of the spices came through but it was pretty undersalted. I wonder if my tomatoes were too watery? When I puréed them, they were a very liquid consistency. Not sure if that makes a difference.

    1. Hmm I am not sure what went wrong Esther..this is such a flavorful recipe..the non-IP version of this recipe is one of the most popular recipes on my blog (https://www.cookwithmanali.com/tofu-tikka-masala/)..people love it..bland would be the last thing I would associate with this recipe…watery tomatoes should be okay, provided you cooked them well for 4-5 minutes and that shouldn’t make the dish bland anyway. Sorry it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to be..

  3. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. It came out absolutely perfect and I did not pan roast the tofu but it still came out absolutely delicious.

  4. If I want to add raw broccoli & cauliflower to this, any idea as to time change in the pressure cooker? Thanks in advance…excited to try!
    Amanda

    1. hmm I would definitely not cook these along, they will turn into mush. Add broccoli after releasing the pressure (press saute), and cover with a glass lid. Let it simmer for 2 minutes so that it remains crunchy and it will be fine. Cauliflower again would be mush in 5 minutes. You can cut large cauliflower florets and cook on low pressure for 3 minutes, that might be okay..hope this helps

    1. Susan I would not double the water..maybe do it 1.5 times but not double..I will also be careful about doubling the spices like garam masala and chili powder. do them 1.5 times and not double.. you can always add more if you like so it’s good to keep them slightly low in the beginning!

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