Tofu Tikka Masala – Vegan and Gluten Free!

Tikka masala is my absolute favourite sauce in the history of ever. It rare that I’ll go to an Indian restaurant and get anything else… I know. SO LAME. BUT IT’S SO GOOD!

The sauce can be made ahead of time and you can add any form of protein you please! Don’t be afraid to try tofu, either. If you prepare it correctly, it’s so tasty and such a great way to mix up your protein routine.


You can substitute the coconut milk with heavy cream if you are not vegan; it’s what I had available! Serving it with rice is traditional, but I decided to use quinoa and broccoli rice instead. I did not however, skimp on the naan.

You Will Need:

  • 1 – 16oz package of extra firm tofu; drained and squeezed of excess tofu. If you don’t know how to do this, here’s quick video that will help!
  • 2t turmeric; divided
  • 3T garam masala; divided adjust to taste
  • 3T arrowroot powder; you can use cornstarch, but this is what I grabbed first
  • 2T+ oil for frying; I used coconut oil
  • 1 small red onion; diced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger; minced
  • 4 garlic cloves; minced
  • 1 Serrano pepper; minced with or without seeds to taste
  • 8 roma tomatoes; you can use all of them before pureeing the sauce or reserve two diced tomatoes to add at the end of the cooking process
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas optional, but highly recommended!
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup coconut milk if not vegan, half and half or heavy cream is fine


  1.  Heat a skillet with 1T of oil; add red onion, ginger, and garlic, Serrano pepper stirring often until onion starts to brown; about 5 minutes.
  2. Add 2T garam masala, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder; cook for a minute or two to release the spice’s aromas and then add the diced tomatoes to the skillet.
  3. Stir to combine and let simmer for 8-10 minutes; until tomatoes start to release their juices. You can add 1T of water at a time if needed if the tomatoes don’t release enough liquid
  4. Remove from heat and puree in a blender of food processor until smooth and return to skillet.
  5. Add frozen peas return to a simmer for 1-2 minutes, remove from heat and set aside for later.
  6. THIS PART MAY BE SCARY. DON’T STOP NOW. Cut tofu into cubes and toss in remaining 1T garam masala, and arrowroot to coat tofu pieces evenly.
  7. Heat another skillet with 1-2T of oil; Pan fry tofu 3-4 minutes on each side until it is evenly browned on all sides. Once cooked, place on a plate with paper towels to absorb excess oil
  8. Getting back to your tasty sauce, put it back on low heat, add coconut milk or heavy cream; stirring to combine.
  9. Add tofu and reserved diced tomatoes if desired, stirring again to coat and cook for another 3-5 minutes to heat through.
  10. Service with rice or quinoa, and your favourite naan!


So, what’s your method of draining tofu? I put mine between two baking sheets with books on top!


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