Tofu Tikka Masala


Tofu Tikka Masala

This creamy, plant-based, quick, and easy tikka masala sauce is loved by kids and adults alike. It actually freezes really well so it’s a good one to batch cook over the weekend and freeze in small portion containers when you want to use it just take the container out of the freezer and defrost it in your fridge overnight or for 6 hours. I like serving it with tofu and sometimes baked cauliflower, plus naan and/or basmati rice, of course!    

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Allergens: Soy
  • Servings: 6


Sauce & Tofu

  • 14 oz. extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 inch ginger (peeled, minced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (diced)
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 6 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek leaves (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar (optional but recommended)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice (for garnish)
  • Fresh cilantro (chopped, for garnish)

Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 3/4 strands saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. Drain excess liquid from the tofu package. 

  2. Wrap tofu in several clean towels and place heavy objects on top, pressing for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Mix all of the spices and set aside. 

  4. In a skillet, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add diced onion with a pinch of salt. 

  5. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until translucent and starting to lightly brown (about 4-6 minutes).

  6. Add cumin seeds and cook for 60 seconds. 

  7. Add garlic and ginger, then stir in the spice mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 45 seconds).

  8. Add bell pepper, nutritional yeast, and tomato paste, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. 

  9. Add tomatoes and stir well, scraping around the bottom of the pan, then cook for 3-4 minutes. 

  10. Cut pressed tofu into small cubes and add to sauce. 

  11. Add coconut milk, fenugreek leaves (if using), white wine vinegar, and coconut sugar, stirring to combine.  

  12. Bring mixture to a boil and lower heat to simmer. 

  13. Cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.  

  14. Remove from heat and season to taste with additional salt and fresh lemon juice.

  15. Serve with steamed basmati rice or naan and garnish with chopped cilantro.


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Comments? Questions? Please share!

  • Juile

    I’m excited to make this recipe! What can I use instead of white wine vinegar? Will rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar work?

  • Shikha Bhakoo

    Hi Julie, I have not tried it but I bet apple cider vinegar will work well. You can also add some lime juice. I would love to hear back on how it comes out. Happy cooking! This is one of my family’s favorites.

  • Priya

    Hi. Do we have to use yeast for this recipe? I don’t have any. 🙁

    • veggiecurean

      Dear Priya, thanks for reaching out. The recipe does not call for regular yeast. It calls for nutritional yeast. If you do not have nutritional yeast, it is ok to leave it out. Your sauce will not have that cheesy taste but it will still be creamy. I have made the tikka masala sauce without nutritional yeast and it comes out really good. Enjoy! And do let us know how the recipe comes out for you.

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