Vegan Tikka Masala


Vegan tikka masala leaps over two hurdles: dairy and meat. Tikka masala is typically a chicken dish, but in this version from Registered Dietitian Ashley Koff, tofu is used to make it vegetarian. For the dairy, everyday dairy-free alternatives are used and the cheese is skipped. Trust me, it really isn’t needed with all of these delicious spices!

Vegan Tikka Masala Recipe

Special Diet Notes: Vegan Tikka Masala

This recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, vegan, plant-based, and vegetarian.

If you’re concerned about soy for general health reasons, consider sourcing non-GMO organic tofu made with whole soy (not isolated soy proteins). Wildwood Foods offers a great line-up of organic, sprouted, whole soy tofu products.

4.0 from 2 reviews
Tofu Tikka Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 4 servings
  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 gram jalapeno chile, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped and divided
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ pound organic sprouted firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or other neutral-tasting oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped in 1-inch long thin slices
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons plain or unsweetened dairy-free yogurt
  • 1 cup plain unsweetened soymilk or coconut milk beverage
  • Chopped cilantro, for garnish
  1. In a bowl, mix the lemon juice, ginger, garlic, jalapeno, half of the cilantro, and chili powder. Season to taste with salt, and stir in the tofu until well-coated. Let marinate for 1 hour.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and stir in the onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Slowly add the turmeric, yogurt, milk alternative and remaining cilantro to the pain. Stir and cook for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
  4. Add the tofu mixture into sauce and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately with dairy-free Indian Naan bread or heated rice.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. HI ALISA, Thank you for the recipe Vegan Tikka Masala – appreciate your effort Unfortunately I am unable to eat tofu
    Is there anything else I can include as a substitute? I would definitely appreciate your input here
    PS once I have the substitute, I’ll leave the money on the ‘fridge. Hope that’s OK

  2. This was nice, pretty subtle flavor, but that could have been due to my coconut-based yogurt or my lack of ginger. Would it also work to add some canned tomatoes?

    • Yes, the ginger and salting (enough) to taste will matter quite a bit with this recipe! If you don’t have fresh ginger, substitute a little bit of ginger powder to at least give it some oomph (about 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon, to taste), and don’t under-salt (unless required for your diet). If you opt to add canned tomatoes, I would use salted ones, and drain them first to avoid making it too soupy.

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