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overhead view of vegan tofu tikka masala in a bowl with white rice.

Tofu Tikka Masala

  • Author: Lexi
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala with a rich, creamy tomato and coconut milk sauce, pan-fried crispy tofu and tangy vegan yogurt. Serve with rice or naan for an insanely flavorful meat-free dinner!




  • 1 16 oz. package extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp neutral high heat oil (vegetable, sunflower, etc)

Tikka Masala:

  • 2 tbsp neutral high heat oil (vegetable, sunflower, etc)
  • 1 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1 tsp coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 13.5 oz. can full fat coconut milk
  • 1 1/2-2 cups strained tomatoes*
  • 1/2 cup plain vegan yogurt
  • Optional: 1/4 cup each of golden raisins and chopped raw cashews**


  1. Remove tofu from packaging and drain well. Pat dry with a clean dish towel. Wrap in a clean dish towel or several sheets of paper towel. Set something heavy on top of the block of tofu, like a cast iron pan, and let sit for at least 30 minutes (or up to 2 hours). 
  2. Dice tofu into 1" cubes and add to a bowl. Toss with cornstarch and salt until evenly coated.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once shimmering, add tofu and cook until crispy on all sides (about 15 minutes total). Transfer tofu to a plate and set aside. 
  4. In the same skillet, heat another 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat. Add whole cumin seeds and toast for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
  5. Add onions, garlic and ginger and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until onions start to brown. 
  6. Add tomato paste, garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, cardamom, sugar and salt and stir well to coat onion mixture, cooking for 1-2 minutes.
  7. Add broth to deglaze pan and let simmer for a minute. Add coconut milk and tomato sauce and stir well. Add tofu back into pan. If using golden raisins and cashews, add to pan and stir. Let simmer over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning on bottom of pan. 
  8. Remove from heat and stir in yogurt. Serve warm over rice or with naan. 


*Strained tomatoes are different from tomato sauce, which often contains other vegetable ingredients. For this recipe, you'll want a sauce that's 100% tomato. Strained tomatoes are often found in a can, next to other canned tomato products. 

**Golden raisins and cashews are not traditional to tikka masala, but we always add them. The raisins add the perfect pop of sweetness and the cashews add both crunch and nuttiness. So good! 

  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 308
  • Sugar: 4.6 g
  • Sodium: 693.5 mg
  • Fat: 25.3 g
  • Saturated Fat: 13.7 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13.4 g
  • Fiber: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 9.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: tofu tikka masala