For my own take on this classic curry I am ditching the chicken and replacing it with tofu, for a totally plant based and out-of-this-world tasty dish. Exploding with big, bold and sexy flavours, this Tofu Tikka <asala is oh-so creamy, and packed with veggie goodness. You’ll have everyone coming back for seconds (and thirds).
First things first, let’s talk about tofu. Now you guys already know by now how nuts I am about tofu. It’s super versatile, packed with protein, and in my eyes is the best whole food meat alternative going.
But as much as I adore tofu, I’m aware that some might be a little unsure. For the tofu skeptics out there, I’m here to totally change your mind! One of the fabulous things about tofu is it can act a little bit like a flavour sponge. When it’s combined with the bold and spicy flavours of this tikka masala, it’s a match made in heaven. I promise you won’t even miss the meat.
You’ll want to pick a good quality extra firm tofu for best results. I’m using Cauldron’s authentic tofu, which works perfectly in this curry.
One of the key elements of this dish is the tarka spiced oil. It’s a simple step, but it adds so much depth and complexity to the flavour profile. For those of you who are new to Indian inspired cooking, tarka is basically the process of tempering spices in hot oil to release their full flavour. Normally on a Dahl but I love it so much to add the best flavour to this Tikka Masala that I’m including it here. In this case, I’ve gone with a simple but punchy blend of brown mustard and cumin seeds, to give the oil a smoky and earthy aroma.
You definitely don’t want to be skipping this step guys, it’s what takes this tofu tikka masala to the next level.
Let’s not forget the star of the show – the Tofu Tikka Masala sauce. Traditionally, this sauce is made with heavy cream, but for my version I’m using coconut milk instead to keep things healthy, vegan-friendly and nourishing. Trust me, you won’t notice any difference. In fact, i’m willing to bet you like the flavour even more. The subtle coconut flavour and velvety smooth texture just adds a little something extra. Call that the Modern Food Stories magic!
The best part about this recipe is that it’s easy to make and customisable to your liking. You can use any veggies you have on hand, like extra peppers and tomatoes to add some extra nutrients and reduce your food waste. I’m all about saving the planet guys, one curry at a time.
Easy to make, healthy, and packed with flavour. You’re totally going to want to add this recipe into your rotation. Pair with some basmati rice and fresh coriander for the ultimate Indian inspired feast. Happy cooking!
Tofu Tikka Masala
- 1 block extra firm tofu, drained + rinsed
- 1 tbsp light olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1/4 red pepper, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp ginger, grated
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp fenugreek leaves, crushed
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 1.5 cups coconut milk
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp coconut aminos (or sup with 1 extra tbsp of soy)
- 3/4 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp light olive oil
- 1/2 tsp brown mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- Cooked Rice
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, finely chopped
- Pinch of garam masala
- Preheat the oven to 200C / 180 fan and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
- Press the tofu between a few sheets of strong kitchen roll to remove the water and cut into 2cm cubes. Place on the baking tray and bake for 35 - 40 mins, turning once until golden and crisp to your liking.
- Meanwhile, make the curry. heat 1 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan. Sauté the onions and pepper for 3 - 4 mins until golden. Add the garlic + ginger for 1 min until fragrant. add the spices (cumin, coriander, paprika, fenugreek and black pepper) and tomato puree and cook for 30 secs. Add the coconut milk and soy / coconut aminos and simmer for about 15 mins or until thick.
- Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a clean pan. Add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook on a low heat for 1 -2 mins until they sizzle.
- Stir through the cooked tofu and lime juice. Serve with rice and top with tarka oil, fresh coriander and garam masala.