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vegan tikka masala with crispy tofu in a bowl with basmati rice

Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Verna
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 Servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Crispy tofu is slathered in a spiced tomato sauce to make this comforting Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala. This Indian-inspired meal is so easy to throw together, completely versatile, and incredibly delicious!



For Tofu:

  • 1 and 1/2 packages extra firm tofu*
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Pinch of pepper

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch 

  • 1 tablespoon oil, plus more for frying

Tikka Masala Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, diced

  • 2 tablespoons vegan butter or oil

  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped (approx 3 tablespoons)

  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated

  • 1 and 3/4 cups tomato sauce (400 ml)

  • 4 tablespoons canned diced green chilies

  • 1 can coconut milk, full fat

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon coriander

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric

  • 1/8 -1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar (optional)


  1. First prep/chop all ingredients for sauce. Mix spices and salt in a bowl and set aside.

  2. For tofu: Slice tofu lengthwise into 2-3 slabs depending on thickness. Wrap in layers of paper towel and gently squeeze out excess moisture with your hands. Slice into cubes and place into a large ziplock bag. Add the oil, seal the bag and gently shake to mix. Add the cornstarch salt and pepper, reseal and shake again to combine.(Can also be mixed in a bowl).

  3. In a large non-stick pan, heat a drizzle of oil over medium heat, spread tofu in an even layer and fry undisturbed for a few minutes to develop a nice crispy crust. Flip and repeat. (fry in 2 batches if necessary) Remove from the pan and set aside. 

  4. To make the sauce: In the same pan over medium-high heat add vegan butter or oil, diced onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and browning. Stir in garlic and ginger until fragrant, 30 seconds or so. Remove onion mixture from pan and add to your Nutribullet or blender with tomato sauce and green chilies. Blend until smooth. 

  5. Return tomato-onion sauce to pan and stir in spices, cilantro, sugar and coconut milk. Simmer uncovered on low heat for 10 minutes until thickened. Add a splash of water to thin if needed. Season with salt and pepper if necessary. Add tofu and warm through. For cauliflower or chickpea tikka masala see notes section* 

  6. Serve with rice, garlic naan or roti, little chopped cilantro. Enjoy! Step by step photos in above post.


  • Can use more or less tofu if you like, might have to fry in 2 batches to achieve crispy exterior
  • For more of a chewy ‘chicken’ like texture use pre frozen tofu
  • For cauliflower tikka masala: in a bowl combine bite size florets from a medium head of cauliflower. Toss with a drizzle of oil, then 1/2 teaspoon each garam masala, salt, and curry powder . Spread on a parchment lined sheet and bake at 425° for 25-30 minutes Add to sauce and serve 
  • For chickpea tikka masala: add 1 can of drained and rinsed chickpeas to sauce. Heat through and serve
  • This sauce is also wonderful with homemade or store-bought chopped vegan chicken!!
  • To store and freeze: will keep covered in fridge for up to 4 days and sauce freezes well with or without tofu

Inspired by Cafe Delights Chicken Tikka Masala


  • Prep Time: 15 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 Minutes
  • Category: Mains, Gluten free
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian