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

    • 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.

  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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