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looking down on a bowl of tikka masala in turquoise bowl with white rice
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5 from 26 votes

Vegan Tikka Masala

Vegan Tikka Masala is so easy to make at home and tastes 1000 times better than take-out. With "chicken-style" tofu and a perfectly spiced, creamy sauce, this popular dish just got the best vegan makeover!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Tofu pressing time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main
Cuisine: American, Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 393kcal
Author: Nora Taylor

Ingredients

For the tofu

  • 2 (16-ounce) blocks extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the masala sauce

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 14 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 (13.5 ounce) can full fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup water, as needed to thin the sauce

For serving

  • 4 cups cooked rice, white or brown
  • chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • Press the tofu: Wrap the blocks of tofu in paper towels. Place a plate or pan on top of the wrapped tofu, and put a couple of heavy books on top of that. Let the tofu press for 20 minutes. (You can skip this step if you get the super firm variety)
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Slice the tofu into about 6 slices (see photos in post above for reference). Now, rip each slice into medium-large pieces. You can also simply cut them into cubes, if you prefer, but ripping gives the tofu a great "chicken-style" texture for this dish.
  • Add the tofu pieces to a large ziplock bag, along with the olive oil, cornstarch and salt. Close the bag, and shake gently to coat. Arrange the tofu evenly on the prepared pan, and bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  • While the tofu bakes, prepare the sauce: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion for 3-4 minutes, then add the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the spices, salt, tomato sauce and coconut milk. Stir until smooth and combined, then simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • If the sauce is too thick, add the 1/4 cup of water to thin. When the tofu is done baking, add it to the sauce and stir to coat the pieces.
  • Serve hot with rice and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.

Notes

  1. Nutritional information is an estimate only and includes rice. 
  2. For a tofu-less option, try using 2 cans of drained/rinsed chickpeas instead. OR substitute soy curls or vegan chicken pieces. Roasted cauliflower would also be a great choice!
  3. Leftovers will keep in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. This dish freezes well.
  4. To make this recipe easier and faster: buy super firm tofu that doesn't need pressing, and use pre-grated ginger and chopped garlic from a jar. You can even buy pre-cooked frozen rice!

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 393kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 938mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 321IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 223mg | Iron: 3mg