Get ready for a culinary masterpiece with this flavor-packed Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala! This homemade vegan curry is pure comfort food and with this easy vegan tikka masala recipe, you'll be able to make your own vegan version at home!
Whether you're venturing into the vibrant world of Indian cuisine for the first time or you're a seasoned enthusiast, this vegan tikka masala recipe is a flavor-packed journey. Filled with aromatic spices and a creamy tomato sauce, this recipe will surely have you returning for seconds and thirds.
❤️ Why This Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala Rocks
- It's vegan & filled with rich flavors and aromatic spices!
- The addition of tofu adds delicious plant protein that perfectly absorbs the robust taste of this tikka masala.
- The recipe is easy to make from the comfort of your own kitchen and the simple step-by-step instructions and simple ingredients make it a breeze for any homecook.
- Perfect comfort feast - Whether for a cozy night in or a celebratory meal, this tikka masala's creamy richness and diverse textures create a feast for the senses.
🌱 Ingredients & Notes
For this great recipe you only need a few simple ingredients:
- Tofu - for best results, use extra firm tofu. I like to use a plain block of tofu, but you can also opt for store-bought marinated tofu. It's perfect for soaking up all those rich flavors. Drain and press it in a tofu press to remove any excess water if you desire a denser texture, and cut it into bite-size tofu cubes. You can also replace the tofu with vegan chicken pieces or use chicken-style soy curls.
- Cornflour - the secret weapon for achieving that golden, crispy exterior on the tofu. Coat it generously!
- Coconut oil - adds a subtle coconut note to the dish. Swap for vegan butter or canola oil if needed.
- Aromatics - onion, garlic and fresh ginger. For ease, I store my peeled ginger in the freezer and grate it with a microplane before adding it to the recipe. How to tell if ginger is bad
- Spices - garam masala, ground turmeric, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon
- Tomato paste - to add richness to the tikka masala sauce
- Chopped tomatoes - either fresh tomatoesor canned, they form the base of the curry sauce.
- Cashew Nuts - raw and unsalted, to add a creamy touch to the sauce and give it a thicker texture.
- Coconut Milk - make sure to use full-fat coconut milk for this dish to enhance the creamy richness of the tikka masala sauce
- Seasonings - salt and black pepper to taste
For some extra heat, you can also stir red chili powder into the curry sauce before simmering, and for an extra layer of flavor, mix fresh lemon juice into the curry sauce before serving.
- Basmati rice or jasmine rice - but you can also serve it alongside cauliflower rice for a low carb alternative!
- Homemade vegan garlic naan bread
- Coconut yogurt
- Fresh cilantro, to sprinkle
- Toasted cashew nuts, for garnish
For the full recipe and detailed measurements head to the recipe card at the bottom of the post.
🧑🍳 Step-by-Step Instructions
Step 1: Fry the Tofu
Heat coconut oil in a pan, coat tofu in cornflour, and pan-fry until golden. Set aside on paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Step 2: Cook the Aromatics
In the same pan, sauté onions, garlic, and cashews until fragrant. Let the kitchen embrace the aromatic symphony.
Step 3: Add Spices
Stir in garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Toast the spices for a minute, releasing their enchanting aromas.
Step 4: Add Tomatoes & Blend
Add tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, simmer for 5 minutes, then blend until smooth. Combine with coconut milk, reintroduce tofu, and season to perfection.
🍽️ How To Serve
To create a culinary masterpiece, serve this fragrant vegan tikka masala over fluffy basmati rice, jasmine rice or opt for a low-carb alternative like cauliflower rice. The rice acts as a perfect side for this tikka masala, soaking up the rich, creamy curry sauce.
Place a dollop of coconut yogurt on the side for a refreshing contrast and sprinkle with a handful of fresh cilantro to take each bite to the next level.
If you're feeling a bit extra, serve homemade vegan garlic naan bread on the side for a some soft, garlicky goodness - perfect for mopping up every last bit of that irresistible sauce.
Extra Tip: I like to add a few toasted cashews on top for extra texture and a delicious crunch!
❄️ How To Store Leftovers
Store any leftovers of this vegan tofu tikka masala in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
If you’ve tried and loved this recipe, I would love for you to leave a star rating and short review at the bottom of this recipe post ❤️
📝 Recipe Card
Here's a handy recipe card that you can print out and keep in your kitchen for easy reference:
📖 Recipe Card
Vegan Chicken Tikka Masala
- 1 large pan or skillet
- 1 blender or food processor
- 1 spoon or spatula for stirring
- 1 Knife and cutting board
- 7 oz extra firm tofu (200g) cut into bite-sized pieces
- 2 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 large onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced or grated
- 2 tsp minced ginger
- 1/3 cup raw cashews (50g)
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 14-oz tin chopped tomatoes (400g)
- 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
- salt & pepper to taste
- basmati rice
- coconut yogurt
- fresh cilantro
- garlic naan bread
- toasted cashew nuts
- Heat the coconut oil in a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss the bite-size tofu pieces in cornflour to evenly coat them. Transfer the pieces to the hot oil and pan-fry until the tofu is golden brown and crispy all around. Set the tofu aside and place the pieces onto paper towels to soak up any excess oil.
- In the same skillet, fry the chopped onion in the remaining oil until soft. Add garlic, ginger and cashew nuts and let the aroma fill the kitchen.
- Stir in the garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. Toast the spices for about a minute to release their aromas.
- Add tomato puree and chopped tomatoes and stir well. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, then transfer to a blender and process until smooth.
- Combine the smooth tikka masala sauce with coconut milk in the skillet, then add the tofu pieces back in. Season to taste with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Serve this flavourful curry with freshly cooked basmati rice, homemade vegan naan bread, a dollop of coconut yogurt and a sprinkle of fresh coriander. Add a few extra toasted cashews on top and you're ready to dig in!
- Tofu Texture: For a denser texture, press the extra firm tofu in a tofu press to remove excess water.
- Oil Alternatives: Swap coconut oil with vegan butter or canola oil for varied flavor notes.
- Ginger Hack: Freeze and grate ginger with a microplane for easy incorporation.
- Spice It Up: Adjust curry heat by adding red chili powder, and enhance flavor with fresh lemon juice before serving.
- Rice Choices: Serve with basmati, jasmine, or cauliflower rice for a low-carb twist.
- Try with homemade vegan garlic naan for an extra layer of indulgence.
- Storage: Store leftovers in an airtight container; it stays delicious for up to 3-4 days.
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