Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

4.75 from 35 votes

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

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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

4.75 from 35 votes
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 22 minutes
Resting time: 30 minutes
Total: 52 minutes
Servings: 3
Easy Tofu Tikka Masala made in the Instant Pot! Spicy marinated cubes of tofu are tossed in a creamy curry! Vegan & gluten-free.

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 

  • 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!
     

Nutrition

Calories: 231kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Sodium: 848mg, Potassium: 288mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 555IU, Vitamin C: 4.8mg, Calcium: 38mg, Iron: 2.5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Cuisine: Indian
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Instant Pot Tofu Tikka Masala

 


Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


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Recipe Rating




77 Comments

  1. 4 stars
    I always like the final taste but I am never happy when preparing it. When taking the lid off before stirring in the marinated tofu, it splashes hot sauce all over, including on me. It also always burns on the bottom of the pot. I double the recipe.

    1. burn issue is with the newer IP models especially the 8 qt. I have a 6qt old IP and have never had a burn problem.

  2. 5 stars
    This is delicious!!
    I served it over… you’ll never guess…rutabaga! Haha
    And it’s actually delicious together!
    Surprisingly really complimentary 😀

  3. 5 stars
    This was absolutely delicious! I wish I’d done the pan roasting step on the tofu, maybe next time. I used tomato paste rather than fresh tomatoes (which make me sick to smell) and it wasn’t quite thin enough, so a bit stuck to the instapot, but that was my fault and is easily adjusted for. Thank you for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Follows the recipe are listed , though added a touch of chipotle pepper instead of peppers on the recipe. Yes sauce came out thin , But really enjoyed it because of that . I added Asparagus
    And used the remanded of coconut milk in the Rice . Great meal
    Thanks very much

    1. 5 stars
      This was absolutely delicious! Tiny adjustment was that I changed the tomatoes from 3 pureed tomatoes to a 28oz drained can of diced tomatoes pureed and left out the cup of water completely. I served it over coconut milk basmati rice. My husband and I both went back for seconds!

  5. 5 stars
    This recipe is very good. But it was lacking a dimension giving it boom & zest. Then I sprinkled crumbled feta cheese on top.

    BOOM & ZEST!!!

  6. 3 stars
    This had a nice flavor, but the consistency was not our favorite (too runny, like a soup). I would excluded some of the added water, and added at the end if needed.

    1. This thickens a lot as it cools down. This is how we ate at my home in India, always on the thinner side. It can always be adjusted, glad you like the flavor. thanks for trying.

  7. Question, rather than review – Do you throw the marinade in the instant pot with the tofu? Or does it get disgarded?
    I’ll be back with the review once I figure this part out and make it! 🙂 Thank you!

  8. 5 stars
    I made this tonight! As I didn’t have fresh tomatoes, I used canned crushed tomatoes, and it turned out delicious. Definitely on the make again list 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    That was AMAZING and easy to make! Husband and I loved it. Excited to explore your other instant pot recipes!

  10. 5 stars
    double instant pot Wednesday !! made your veg biryani recipe this morning, can’t seem to get enough of that and followed it with tofu tikka masala this afternoon – perfect for a rainy Seattle day !!

  11. If I want to cook Basmati rice at the same time using pot in pot method, how would I adjust the time?

  12. 5 stars
    Another big hit! Easy and delicious! We added some eggplant chopped small and peas right before pressure cooking, and it turned out perfectly!! So far literally every recipe we’ve tried from this blog has been a keeper! YUM! Thank you!!!

  13. 5 stars
    Tofu Tika Masala

    High again Manali. I did not get the recipe for Tufu Tikka Masala, Stove Top. Also, How does one marinade the tofu for this recipe?

    Thanks again.

    Ki Jung

  14. Hi! Planning to try this tonight. May I use thick home made yogurt for marinating instead of coconut cream or milk please..

  15. 4 stars
    Hi Manali. Thanks for your generous sharing of recipes. I made this one and it was quite thin as well, although I admit I used yogurt plus half and half in place of the heavy cream/coconut cream. Any suggestion for doing your other (dairy) recipe but in an IP? Tastes were good but I really had to fortify it with yogurt to get the tikka consistency I know from other recipes.

    Your chana dal recipe is heaven. Heaven, I tell you.

  16. I have just tried using your recipe. Flavours are great but I keep getting a burn message on the IP and it won’t let it go to pressure cook mode. I tried adding more water incase my sauce is too thick but it won’t work. I don’t want to try again incase I overcook it! Any tips for burn message?

    1. 5 stars
      I just had the same problem with the IP giving the ‘burn’ message. I think that happens when the sautéed veggies brown on the bottom of the IP insert. So I opened it up, scraped up all that goodness and restarted the IP. Worked fine at that point, and the family loved it. Thank you Manali!

    1. 2 stars
      I tried this with pureed tomatoes and I think that was a decent substitute, but the recipe itself didn’t work for me. It made flavorful tomato and onion soup, basically. I’ve made some amazing recipes in my IP but Indian food hasn’t worked at all.

  17. 5 stars
    This was delicious! I have wanted to find a way to cook tofu where I actually liked it. This is the one! This dish will be a regular.

    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!

      1. 5 stars
        For some reason the number of servings slider wasn’t working so I just doubled everything (couldn’t quite double the packaged tofu though). It did come out a bit soupy. I wish I’d have read this comment first. Still it was delicious. Thank you for creating the Instant Pot recipe.

  18. 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

  19. 5 stars
    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.

  20. 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..

    2. Any chance your spices were old? I’ve made recipes with old spices that have lost their flavor and it changes the recipe entirely! I only ask because I LOVE a lot of flavor and just made this and can’t imagine it being described as bland–and, again, I’m someone who loves flavor and is more likely than most to call a recipe bland!

    3. Probably from not pressing the water out of the tofu. If it’s full of water it can’t absorb the marinade.

  21. 5 stars
    Have cooked this several times now and it’s a big hit with my husband and myself. Really great recipe, thanks very much!!

    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!

  22. I love chicken tikka masala, so I might have to take a page from your husband’s book and try this tofu version. And it was made in an instant-pot! Looks delicious, Manali!

  23. I’ve been loving my instant pot lately and I need more recipes to try…this looks delicious! Love that you made an instant pot version of your most popular recipe!

      1. 5 stars
        Hi Manali,

        I missed your recipe for stove top Tofu Tikka Masala. I would appreciate receiving the complete recipe for that. I am curious to know why you do so many vegetarian recipes. I am vegetarian and do not eat eggs, fish, meat of any type.

        Thank you.

        Ki Jung