Tofu Tikka Masala

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In this Tofu Tikka Masala, tofu chunks get marinated in a homemade spice blend and creamy yogurt, then broiled until charred and coated in a rich tomato-onion gravy. It's a plant-based spin on chicken tikka masala and one of the most delicious Indian dishes you'll ever taste!
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 35 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total 1 hour 20 minutes
5 from 257 votes

Max’s favorite takeout dish has always been chicken tikka masala. As a half-British kid who grew up in NYC (and whose mom craved exclusively Indian food while pregnant with him), this makes total sense. So, I finally developed a killer plant-based version of this recipe to please his insatiable appetite for Indian takeout.

The result is this tofu tikka masala, and I’m not joking when I say it’s almost too good to be true. Max agrees, and says it’s his new favorite Indian dish (which says a lot, because he’s obsessed with my red lentil curry).

I think you’ll love this dish just as much as we do, and here’s why:

  • Gourmet restaurant-quality: If you’ve ever cooked Indian food at home and felt disappointed that it didn’t taste as good as the restaurant stuff, this recipe will deliver that experience. Actually, Max (and I) think it’s better than any comparable meal we’ve eaten at an Indian restaurant.
  • Perfectly balanced: This tofu tikka masala is a party in your mouth but there’s no single flavor that stands out. Instead, it’s a pure harmony of flavors: tangy, spicy, slightly smoky, citrusy, and buttery.
  • Authentic Indian flavors: While tofu tikka masala is not an “authentic” Indian dish, the cooking techniques and flavor layering here give this dish authentic Indian flavors, the kind you’d expect from a really good Indian restaurant or an Indian auntie’s house.
  • Indulgent but wholesome: this plant-based spin on chicken tikka masala is vegan, gluten-free, and nut-free (it does contain coconut) but is simultaneously indulgent and oh-so-creamy.

PS: If you have my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook, the Tofu Cauliflower Tikka Masala in chapter 6 is a fan favorite (and a personal favorite).

tofu tikka masala in a saute pan, garnished with cilantro and green chili peppers

What is “tofu tikka masala”?

For starters, it’s an invented hybrid recipe that’s a plant-based spin on Chicken Tikka Masala. While you might not find chicken tikka masala in India, it’s extremely popular in the West. Chicken tikka masala is the UK’s national dish and is many Americans’ first introduction to Indian cuisine).

There’s some debate about where chicken tikka masala was invented and if it’s really an Indian dish. Since the flavors and cooking techniques are markedly Indian, I consider it Indian. But I also recognize most people in India don’t eat it (and it’s not a dish many Indian-Americans eat at home, though many certainly do at restaurants).

Traditionally, chicken tikka masala has two main components. (1) the chicken tikka, which are small pieces of chicken marinated in yogurt and spices, and then chargrilled in a tandoor oven; and (2) the masala, or the rich sauce made with onions, tomatoes, spices, and finished with cream and butter.

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I tried to stick to this formula as best as I could with, of course, using plant-based ingredients and a home kitchen that sadly does not include a tandoor oven.

My tofu tikka masala also contains these two components: (1) tofu tikka, which are small pieces of extra-firm tofu that get marinated in plant-based yogurt and spices, then broiled in a hot cast iron skillet until charred in some spots; (2) masala, a creamy, well-spiced tomato-onion sauce that’s finished with coconut milk and a pat of vegan butter.

The result is extraordinary and truly one of the most delicious meals I’ve made at home. The flavors are complex and keep you coming back for more; the texture is creamy and luxurious with bits of charred tofu that make for a delightful contrast.

I do want to mention that my recipe is not a weeknight, Westernized version of an Indian recipe. That’s because traditional Indian recipes are not quick. They layer so many different spices and flavors, and cooking them together takes time to meld into a harmonious dish that will delight your tastebuds.

That said, you can make this an easier weeknight friendly meal (read the FAQ section). It’s not as amazing but still pretty dang tasty.

Tip: This recipe pairs perfectly paired with rice, but is even more perfect with with my homemade vegan naan (it’s fluffy, chewy, and buttery!).

tofu tikka masala served over rice with naan in a bowl

How to make tofu tikka masala

Make the tofu tikka.

Press the tofu for 20ish minutes to drain excess water. Use your hands to tear apart into chunks (not too small).

How to press tofu: If you have a tofu press, use that. If not, wrap the tofu in a thin dish towel and weigh it down with a heavy book or a plate weighted down by several cans. Remove the towel after 10 minutes, replace it with a fresh one, and repeat.

Make the tofu tikka marinade while the tofu is pressing. Add your whole spices to a warm skillet over medium heat. Toast until fragrant, shaking the pan frequently. Allow to cool, then grind using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle.

Combine the freshly ground spices with ground turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, Indian red chili powder, and ginger for the tikka spice blend.

Combine the tikka spice blend with the plant-based yogurt, lemon juice, freshly grated ginger and garlic, oil and salt. Mix well.

Add the marinade on top of the tofu. Use your hands to very gently toss the tofu in the marinade until well-coated. Marinate in the fridge for 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.

Broil the tofu. Preheat a large cast iron skillet in the oven at 500ºF/260ºC for 10 minutes. Add the marinated tofu chunks to the hot pan.

Place the pan underneath the broiler (on the second rack, not directly underneath the flame) and broil for 10-12 minutes, or until the tofu is charred in spots on top.

Note: I like to cook the tofu while finishing the masala.

Make the masala.

Note: you can make the masala 1-3 days in advance.

Gather your ingredients for the masala, aka the sauce/gravy.

labeled ingredients for tikka masala sauce

In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, toast the cumin seeds in oil for 1 minute, shaking the pan frequently. Add the dried red chili peppers, and toast for 30 seconds.

Saute the finely diced onions with a pinch of salt for 6-8 minutes, or until golden brown.

Toss in the ginger, garlic, green chili pepper, and turmeric. Cook for 1 minute, until very aromatic.

Add the Indian chili powder, coriander, and tomato paste and stir vigorously for 30-60 seconds. Next, pop in the diced tomatoes. Cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.

Add the cilantro stems, salt, and a few tablespoons of water. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer.

Simmer the masala for 15 minutes until the liquid has mostly evaporated and it’s almost jammy.

Pour in the coconut milk, garam masala, fenugreek leaves (crush with your hands before adding), and vegan butter. Stir until melted and combined.

Add broiled tofu to the masala plus lemon juice and thinly sliced serrano peppers (only add if you want a spicy spicy version). Toss to coat and simmer for 2 minutes.

Garnish with cilantro, and serve!

Ingredient Notes and Tips


Extra firm tofu is required for this recipe (anything softer will fall apart). If you have access to super-firm or high-protein tofu, that works even better (but is not necessary).

You need to press the tofu for 20-30 minutes to enable the tofu to absorb the marinade and to get charred. I recently started using a tofu press, and I highly recommend it (affiliate link).

Be as gentle as possible when tossing the tofu with the marinade to prevent it from crumbling.

Unsweetened Plant-Based Yogurt

I recommend a thick and creamy variety for two reasons. First, chicken tikka is typically marinated in high-fat whole milk yogurt. Second, a thinner variety of yogurt will add more liquid and make the marinade (and thus the tofu) watery.

I like using Kite Hill’s Greek-style almond yogurt a thick coconut yogurt like Culina, CocoJune, or GT’s CocoYo. If you don’t have access to a yogurt like this, try canned coconut cream (but add a squeeze or two more lemon juice).

Whole Spices

One of the reasons this dish has SO much flavor is the tikka marinade uses whole spices that are toasted and freshly ground. Spices start to lose some potency as soon as they’re ground, but whole spices have protective seed coatings, so when you grind them, they’re incredibly fresh and flavorful.

Tip: Using a mixture of freshly ground whole spices with a few pre-ground spices lends this dish an incredible complexity and depth of flavor. You can find whole spices at your local South Asian grocer (or online, e.g., Amazon). If you don’t have whole spices, check out the Recipe Card Note below on how to substitute ground spices.

A couple spice-specific notes.

  • For the whole green cardamom, split open the pods and use only the black seeds inside (discard the pods).
  • Kasoori methi, AKA fenugreek leaves, adds a bold, savory flavor to the marinade and the masala that can’t be replicated with anything else. I’ve listed it as optional, but if you visit an Indian grocery store, I’d consider it a must-buy!
  • An electric spice grinder makes this a breeze (this one grinds everything super finely; affiliate link). If you are using a mortar and pestle, it’ll take more time and be a bit more difficult; also be sure break the cinnamon sticks into a few pieces (before or after toasting) to make it easier to grind.

Aromatics and Chili Peppers

Finely dice the onions. You want them to blend into the background, not have distinct pieces.

There’s a lot of heat in this dish from different sources: Indian red chile powder in the tofu marinade, along with dried red chili peppers, fresh serrano peppers, and Indian red chile powder in the masala. I even add a serrano pepper at the end for a fresh herbal crunch (we love spicy food, in case you didn’t know it!).

To reduce the spiciness, you have several options: (1) omit the serrano pepper at the end of the recipe (this makes it spicy spicy!); (2) remove the membranes and seeds from the serrano pepper for the masala, or use a milder jalapeño pepper; (3) scale down the amount of Indian red chile powder used in the masala; (4) omit the dried red chili peppers in the masala.

tofu tikka masala in a saute pan, garnished with cilantro and green chili peppers

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make this recipe quicker / more weeknight-friendly?

While I think the marinated and charred tofu tikka makes for an incredible dish (and is similar to how chicken tikka masala is traditionally prepared), if you want something quicker, skip the tofu tikka and just simmer plain tofu in the masala.

Press the tofu, tear it into chunks, and then add it to the masala (after the coconut milk, etc. has been added). Allow to simmer in the masala for 5-10 minutes, gently stirring occasionally.

Note: you can make the masala 1-3 days in advance. That will save you time on the day you’re serving it and allow you to make the original version in less time.

Is Indian red chile powder the same thing as chili powder?

Nope! Chili powder, the kind found in all grocery stores and used in Mexican and Tex-Mex chili recipes, is usually a spice blend of powdered chilies and spices like oregano and paprika.

Indian red chile powder is made of pure ground dried chile peppers (no additives) and is spicier than standard chili powder. There are a few types of Indian chile powder: standard red chili powders like this are quite spicy (and often just called “red chili powder” or mirchi, Hindi for chili) and the Kashmiri chili powder is more milder (and more beautifully red).

If you don’t eat a lot of spicy food, Kashmiri chili powder is a good option. You can also substitute cayenne pepper for the standard chili powder, but I usually use about 50-75% less cayenne.

How long do leftovers last? Can I freeze leftovers?

Store covered leftovers in the fridge for 5 to 6 days. Reheat on the stove or in the microwave.

This dish also freezes beautifully. In our tests, you couldn’t really even detect any difference after this dish was frozen and defrosted. I recommend freezing it in smaller containers instead of one big container (it will defrost more quickly). Defrost in the fridge and reheat on the stove or the microwave.

Can I substitute the coconut milk for something else?

Tikka masala is typically made with cream, and you need something rich to balance the spices and the tanginess of the tomatoes. Coconut milk works great here, and is the easiest plant-based option (the spices do a great job of masking any coconut flavor).

But if you’re allergic to coconut, a homemade cashew cream would be delicious here. Simply blend all the below ingredients in a high-powered blender until smooth, thick, and creamy.

• 3/4 cup (100g) raw cashews (soaked overnight, or boiled in water on the stove for 15 minutes)
• 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon water (135 mL), more as needed
• 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
• 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

More gourmet vegan Indian recipes

  • Dal Makhani: an incredibly creamy and complex dal that’s perfect for special occasions.
  • Vegan Palak Paneer: an easy but gourmet plant-based take on palak paneer that’s indulgent but really nourishing.
  • Malai Kofta: Crispy dumplings in a creamy, spiced curry. Perfect celebratory dish!
  • Dal Tadka: an everyday dal that doesn’t skimp on flavor and will become a regular in your rotation.

That’s all you need to know about this Tofu Tikka Masala! If you give it a try and love it, please leave a rating and review below. It helps the blog and our business continue to grow :)

Watch: How to make Tofu Tikka Masala!

This dish made my boyfriend breakup with Indian takeout
This dish made my boyfriend breakup with Indian takeout

Tofu Tikka Masala

5 from 257 votes
In this Tofu Tikka Masala, tofu chunks get marinated in a homemade spice blend and creamy yogurt, then broiled until charred and coated in a rich tomato-onion gravy. It's a plant-based spin on chicken tikka masala and one of the most delicious Indian dishes you'll ever taste!
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Marinating Time 2 hours
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Diet Vegan
Serving size: 6



  • 2 (14-ounce/400g) blocks of extra firm tofu
  • 1 cup (227g) unsweetened thick, creamy vegan yogurt*
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed with a press or grated
  • ½- inch piece fresh ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other high-heat oil, plus more for cooking the tofu
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Tikka Spice Blend*

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 6 whole cloves
  • ~30 black peppercorns
  • 6 green cardamom pods, (black seeds only; discard pods)
  • 2 (2-to-3inch) cinnamon sticks***
  • ½ tablespoon fenugreek leaves, AKA kasoori methi (optional but recommended)****
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Indian red chile powder***** (use half the amount for a milder heat)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, freshly grated (or pre-ground)

2) MASALA******

  • 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil or other high-heat oil
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 6 whole dried red chilies (if not available, you can sub with ½ tsp red pepper flakes, or omit for less heat)
  • 1 large red onion or 2 small red onions, finely diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2- inch piece ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (plus 1 thinly sliced serrano pepper for garnish – only for spicy spicy version)*******
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Indian red chile powder** (use half the amount for a milder heat)
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste (optional)
  • 1 pound (454g) tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup (14g) cilantro, stems finely chopped and leaves chopped (save leaves for garnish)
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek leaves AKA kasoori methi (optional but recommended)***
  • 1 (13.5 ounce/400 mL) can full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more to taste

For serving

  • 3 cups cooked white rice or flatbread, such as naan or roti
  • Vegan yogurt to dollop on top (optional, but adds a nice cooling balance)


  • Prepare the tofu. Use a tofu press. Or, wrap the tofu in a clean dish towel or several layers of paper towels, weigh it down with a heavy cookbook or a large plate weighed down by a few cans of beans. Press the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes. Tear the tofu into chunks with your hands and transfer the tofu chunks to a large bowl.
    NOTE: the tofu chunks shouldn’t be too large or too small (see photos in blog post for reference), but it’s totally fine if they’re not all the same size.
  • Make the tikka spice blend. Heat a small or medium frying pan over medium heat. Once warm, add the whole spices (cumin and coriander seeds, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom seeds, cinnamon sticks, and fenugreek leaves).
    Toast, shaking the pan frequently, until they are very fragrant and toasty, and the lighter seeds have browned, 2 ½ to 3 ½ minutes. Transfer the seeds out of the pan and allow to cool.
    Once cool, add to a spice grinder or a mortar & pestle and crush until finely ground. Pour into a bowl, add the ground spices (Indian red chile powder, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, and ginger), and toss all the spices to combine.
  • Make the Tikka marinade. In a medium bowl, mix together the spice blend with the yogurt, garlic, ginger, lemon juice, oil, and salt. Pour the marinade over the tofu chunks and use your hands to very gently coat all the crevices of the tofu, taking care to not mash it.
    Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or up to 8 hours.
  • When ready to bake the tofu, arrange an oven rack 6 inches from the heat source (usually, the second rack). Add a 12-inch cast iron skillet to the rack and preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC.
    Once the skillet is smoking hot, transfer it to the stove or a pot holder. Turn the broiler to high.
  • Add enough oil to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. Add the marinated tofu to the pan, leaving excess marinade behind. It will be pretty tightly packed into the pan.
    Return the pan to the second oven rack and broil until the tofu is cooked through and charred in some spots on top, 10 to 12 minutes.
    NOTE: after the 5-minute mark, I recommend checking every 1-2 minutes to prevent burning since every oven is different.
  • MAKE THE MASALA. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep 12-inch sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the cumin seeds and cook for 1 minute, swirling the pan frequently. Add the dried chilies and cook for another 30 seconds, swirling frequently to prevent burning.
  • Add the onions with a couple pinches of salt and cook until golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes (if the onions start browning too quickly, lower the heat to medium).
  • Add in a few splashes of water to stop the onions from browning too much, then add the garlic, ginger, diced serrano pepper, and turmeric, and cook for 1 minute, tossing frequently. Add the red chili powder, coriander, and tomato paste. Stir frequently for 30 to 60 seconds.
  • Add the tomatoes and their juices, and cook until broken down and softened, 2 to 3 minutes.
    Add the cilantro stems (save the leaves for the garnish), 3 tablespoons of water, and 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, and stir. Cover the pan and bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer the masala for 15 minutes, opening the pot to stir occasionally, until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Scoop out the dried red chilies and discard.
  • Add in the coconut milk, garam masala, and vegan butter. Crush the fenugreek leaves in your hand to release the aroma and add to the masala. Increase the heat slightly and stir until everything is combined and the butter is melted.
    If you prefer a smoother texture, feel free to run an immersion blender through the masala.
  • Add the baked tofu, the thinly sliced serrano pepper (if using for spicy spicy!), and lemon juice. Simmer for 2 minutes and coat the tofu in the sauce. Taste, and if it’s a bit too acidic, add a tiny bit of sugar (¼ to ½ teaspoon).
  • Garnish the masala with the cilantro leaves and season to taste with salt. Serve tofu tikka masala over rice and/or with Indian flatbread.


*For plant-based yogurts, a thick and creamy variety is necessary because a thinner variety will add too much liquid to the marinade. I like using Kite Hill’s Greek-style almond yogurt a thick coconut yogurt like Culina, CocoJune, or GT’s CocoYo
**While whole spices take this dish over the top, you can sub with ground spices if needed (can’t guarantee the same results though). 
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds = 1 tsp ground
  • 4 tsp coriander seeds = 3 tsp ground
  • 6 whole cloves = 1/2 tsp ground
  • ~30 black peppercorns = 1/2 to 1 tsp ground
  • 2 (2-to-3inch) cinnamon sticks = or 1/2 tsp ground
  • 6 cardamom pods = 1/4 tsp ground
***If you don’t have an electric spice grinder / are using a mortar and pestle, break the cinnamon sticks up into a few pieces to make grinding easier. 
****Kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves) brings a really unique flavor to Indian dishes; it tastes like a hybrid between fennel and celery. You can find it at South Asian grocery stores or online (affiliate link). 
*****If you can’t get Indian red chile powder, use about half the amount of cayenne pepper. 
****** You can make the masala 1-3 days in advance and store in an airtight container in the fridge. On the day of serving, reheat it on the stove, add proceed with step 12.  
*******If you love spicy spicy food, consider adding 1 thinly sliced serrano pepper at the end when you add the tofu. It adds a fresh, vegetal crunch (but a lot of spice). To moderate the heat in this recipe, please read the “Ingredient Notes” section.

Calories: 367kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 574mg | Potassium: 593mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1105IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 166mg | Iron: 4mg

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406 comments on Tofu Tikka Masala

  1. Stacey

    5 stars
    My first recipe from this Rainbow Plant Life bevy of recipes, and I’m sold! Purchased the Instapot Cookbook immediately following. Our local Indian food place changed hands a few years ago, and it’s just not been the same. Found this site and recipe, purchased the spices, and a few days later was delivered to some serious deliciousness. While I was eating this, my daughter said, “Mom, do you realize that you are moaning?” Yes, it’s that delicious. Absolutely, positively divine. The depth of flavor and the underlying heat along with the tang of the tofu in its marinade were the hallmarks of this dish. I’m excited to try and play with more of these recipes. Thanks for leaving law and laying down the law here with a tome of recipes that I can’t wait to make!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Stacey, we’re beyond happy you loved this recipe! :) Thank you for the sweet words, we can’t wait for you to try more of the RPL recipes!

  2. Stephanie

    5 stars
    I loved this! We added more sugar and creaminess to the dish than stated in the recipe because it was kinda bitter (I may have burned some of the spices 😅). My hubby thought it was too spice-y but the little kids (4,2,1) and I devoured it! Great recipe!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Stephanie, I agree the bitterness could definitely be due to burning the spices.

      We’re so glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  3. Khiloni

    5 stars
    Totally loved it. The flavours were incredible. Wondering if the tofu might be even better in the air fryer rather than the oven.

  4. Janet

    5 stars
    This recipe is phenomenal and the YouTube video is so helpful! It is bursting with perfectly balanced layers of flavor and is sumptuous, wholesome, clean and deeply satisfying. My Indian husband kept saying “Wow!”, and my meat-loving kids said “This is so good!!” We ate it with quinoa and roti. I followed the recipe exactly except I omitted the chilies and chili powder for my family of baby mouths (myself included). I used cashew cream instead of coconut milk as you explained in the FAQ. I don’t have a cast iron skillet, so I broiled the marinated tofu on a sheet tray, which worked well (next time I will omit parchment paper, which burned). Also, I’m going to buy a spice grinder now that you have helped demystify Indian spices for me. The cinnamon sticks didn’t crush well in my mortar and pestle. (I wish I had seen earlier the tip in your malai kofta recipe to use ground cinnamon in case of no spice grinder.) I’m learning so much from your content. Thank you for this great service you are providing! This is a delicious, impressive dish and a truly wonderful site you have built!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for the lovely lengthy review, Janet! I agree a spice grinder is a game changer! It makes us so happy to hear RPL is teaching you more about Indian cooking.

  5. Marta

    5 stars
    Hi believe this is my 2nd review regarding this dish. I’ve been wanting to make it as I hadn’t done it for a few months. And I also wanted a spice grinder for at least a year I did something I had never done before: I knew you were using one in this video’s recipe, zoomed in, got the brand and got one just like. It is the first time I use something just because a blogger has it 😳🙈. Most importantly, I did the Tikka Masala, used my grinder fo the first time, and it was so wonderful. Each time I eat it, I feel like I’m eating the best curry ever 🤩

    1. Marta

      Nor use something, actually buy!

    2. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Marta, we’re honored we influenced you to buy your first spice grinder! It really is a game changer :)

      Thank you for such a sweet review, it makes us happy to know you love the tikka masala!

  6. Baiba

    5 stars
    Dear Nisha,
    This is the best dish I have tasted in all my life. I always await new guests as they give me a reason to make this tikka masala yet again.
    Thank you so much for the inspiring and fun content! (:

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Baiba, it’s so lovely you’re such a fan of the recipe! I am pretty obsessed with this one as well :)

  7. Nouran lkd

    5 stars
    Honestly, how good can tofu really taste?
    Pretty freaking great! Nisha you have figured out how to make me crave tofu.
    Everything about this recipe is amazing. The complexity of flavours, the different textures and the creaminess.
    I just want to eat it all day long!
    Thank you for another outstanding dish!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Aw, thanks for the kind words, Nouran! I agree- tofu isn’t nearly as exciting until you learn how to prepare it like this! Have you had the opportunity to try the eggy tofu scramble yet? That one’s another game changer!

  8. Sumeya

    Wow! this recipe looks really good, and I want to try making it, but I don’t have a cast iron skillet. Can I just bake the tofu on a sheet pan instead? Thanks

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sumeya, yes you can do that with slightly different results in the texture. For easy cleanup, line the sheet pan with parchment paper, or grease it with oil to prevent sticking. Try to spread the tofu out as much as possible for even browning.

  9. Diane

    5 stars
    Oh my goodness this is soooo good. The recipe looked a bit intimidating but wasn’t really difficult just need to move step by step. Perfect flavor and texture. You really are a recipe genius. Everyone loved this dish.
    5 stars are not enough.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re so happy that the tofu tikka masala turned out well for you, Diane. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment and for trying out the recipe!

  10. oolong

    I made an extra spicy version with broccoli.

    I subbed half the tofu for some broccoli, added extra dried peppers, and a couple habeneros. Absolutely delicious. If you want it extra extra spicy though, more habeneros or add some dried ghost pepper flakes.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      It’s so great to hear you enjoyed the Tikka Masala! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  11. Sophie Gibbons

    I made this last night and it was amazing! My youngest daughter ate loads and even helped to cook it. I reduced the spice because of the kids but it still had heat. My husband has taken leftovers for lunch today. Now I’ve got all the right spices in I can’t wait to make it again.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sophie, we’re thrilled to hear you enjoyed this recipe! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating alongside your review? Star ratings are big help to readers who are thinking of making the recipe. Thanks!

  12. Raiesa

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s the only one my (non-vegan) Bangladeshi parents have truly enjoyed. I’ve made several of your recipes and this is my absolute fave.
    It’s so adaptable when I don’t have all the ingredients and just so damn tasty every time. Love from London!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      It makes us incredibly happy to hear the Tikka Masala is family-approved! Thanks for sharing, Raiesa :)

  13. Rayleen

    5 stars
    I love this recipe! I’ve made it before several times, but I was wondering if I could marinade the tofu for longer. Ideally, I would like to put it on to marinade the night before.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Rayleen, we recommend marinating the tofu for 2-8 hours for the best texture. You can always try to marinate for longer and see if you notice any differences in texture!

  14. Joan Lachar

    5 stars
    I made just the Masala sauce from this recipe and added chickpeas. It was very delicious!
    I would like to try making it again using red lentils instead of the chickpeas.
    I would add the red lentils with the tomatoes and add about 3 cups of water.
    Do you think that would work?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Joan, we haven’t tried this at RPL kitchen so we’re not entirely sure. We think you should start with 2 cups of water for 1 cup of red lentils, and monitor it to see if it needs more water (adding 3 cups of water for 1 cup of lentils, if that’s the amount of lentils you’re using, seems like it water down the dish too much). You’ll also want to taste for salt, and add more as needed since 1 cup of lentils will swell up to quite a bit.

  15. Sphinxy

    5 stars
    Thank you, Nisha.

    I make this at least once a week along with the red lentil curry. It is really satisfying and makes me feel good after eating. The two dishes go really well together and would make a great burrito with rice if using naan. You gave me permission to attempt a new chapter in my life that extends beyond cooking and is a way to reclaim a part of my happiness.

    Thank you for enriching my life by teaching me these classics in a way that I may eat them as a vegetarian/wannabe vegan. It has given me confidence in my abilities in the kitchen and the strength to research my Indian history without my family — all of my family members have died or are estranged.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Sphinxy, it warms our hearts to hear how much you enjoy the recipes and have used them to connect with your heritage, despite your family situation. We are so happy to have you as a part of the Rainbow Plant Life community, thank you so much for leaving this comment. We hope you continue to love all the recipes you make in the future :)

  16. Rachel

    5 stars
    I have never before made such a restaurant quality Indian dish at home

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      We’re happy to hear you loved the Tikka Masala, Rachel!

  17. Kaylee

    5 stars
    I originally made this back in February and decided to double the recipe because I had faith it was going to be quite good and for the amount of work that goes into it, I figured I’d only have to do it once. I froze the second half of the batch and sort of forgot about it until a week ago and WOW. It sure does freeze wonderfully. The flavors are just as vibrant if not more. But I am so glad I decided to double and freeze this recipe. It was great when I first had it too but I forgot just how great!

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Kaylee. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  18. Karen Hammat

    5 stars
    Totally delicious! Worth the effort.

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Awesome, Karen. Thanks for your comment and for taking the time to review!

  19. Mona

    4 stars
    I tried this recipe before and thought it was really good, save for one glaring thing… I felt that the tofu was very much overspiced. The base gravy was perfect and tasted like it was from a restaurant.
    I want to make it again because it has potential to be excellent, with the tofu issue corrected. The first time around I made the masala mix as directed, and then used the entirety of it in the 1 cup of yogurt. But how much of the masala are we actually supposed to use? Once everything is ground up it yields a lot of powder, so I just wanted to check if perhaps only a couple tablespoons are supposed to mixed in with the cup of yogurt for the marinade. And to clarify, it’s not that it was hot for my tastebuds, but that it seemed like there was just too much spice.

    1. Mona

      Sorry, just to clarify my review when I said masala mix I meant the spice blend. How much of the ground up spice blend goes into the yogurt for the marinade?

      1. Hannah @ Rainbow Plant Life

        Hi Mona,

        You use ALL of the spice blend. Once the ground spices are cool, add to a spice grinder (or a mortar & pestle) and crush until finely ground. Pour into a bowl, add the ground spices (Indian red chile powder, turmeric, paprika, nutmeg, and ginger), and toss all the spices to combine. Be sure to marinade it so the flavors meld together. If it’s too much for you still, feel free to add a bit less. We hope you enjoy this super flavorful recipe!

  20. Bhakti

    Hi, I am absolutely in love with the cauliflower tofu Tikka masala recipe from the Instant Pot cookbook – I want to make enough for a big party but cannot do so in a small instant pot and was hoping to do so in my big stovetop pot; I searched on this site for maybe alternate directions but this is the closest I’ve gotten. Although this recipe looks amazing, I’m really attached to the one in the cookbook at this time. Any suggestions for converting to stovetop?

    1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Bhakti, thank you for your kind words, we’re glad to hear you loved it! The main differences between cooking on the stovetop versus in an instant pot are the cooking time and the liquid amount. Though we haven’t tried this method ourselves, based on similar recipes, here’s what we think would work :
      Follow the instructions up to step 5, but saute in your stovetop pot instead. Then, bring everything to a simmer with the lid on.. From there, simmer the dish on low heat with the lid on, stirring at the 5 minute mark and checking to see if the cauliflower is tender.

      PS: We’re so happy you love the cookbook recipe, but we have to admit…this newer recipe on the blog is *even better* if you decide to try it one day!

      1. Bhakti

        Thank you SO much for your response!! So helpful! And I’d love to try this particular recipe soon, too, you got me curious :)

        1. Kaitlin @ Rainbow Plant Life

          You’re very welcome, Bhakti! :)

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