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!
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.
- 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
- 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.
- Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and stir in the onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until translucent.
- Slowly add the turmeric, yogurt, milk alternative and remaining cilantro to the pain. Stir and cook for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
- Add the tofu mixture into sauce and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately with dairy-free Indian Naan bread or heated rice.
Can I marinate the tofu over night?
I haven’t tried it, but a don’t see a problem with letting it marinate overnight.
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
I am going to try Gardiene chicken strips. They come with a teriyaki sauce in a packet that I just toss. It’s the most plain vegan chicken product they have. Its a fairly good if pricey vegan chicken. My local Safeway carries it, believe it or not.
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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I’m always looking for new and creative ways to use tofu and I love Indian food, so this looks fab to me.
Ohh Ive made a vegan korma before but never tikka masala- Need to try this out!