Tofu Tikka Masala

tofu Feb 05, 2024
Tofu Tikka Masala

Tofu Tikka Masala
Serves: 6 • Total Time: 65 minutes (not including marinating time) • FODMAP rating: high

This traditional and popular Indian dish is easily made plant-based by using tofu as the main protein and vegan yogurt to make it creamy. The spices and aromatics used in this dish offer not only a nutritional palette of antioxidants and polyphenols but are a sensory treat to partake! The key to a delicious tofu tikka masala is making sure the tofu is baked as crispy as possible. Using an air fryer is a great way to make this possible and making sure the tofu is pressed and dry before using. This can be served over traditional basmati rice or another grain of your choice alongside some spring greens.


2 blocks of extra firm tofu
⅔ cup plant-based yogurt, unsweetened and plain
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons water

Masala or Sauce
2 tablespoons oil
4 cups or 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon or 3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
1 diced serrano pepper or cayenne pepper for spice, optional
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups or 1 (14 oz) can of vegetable broth
1 package peas, frozen
½ cup plant-based yogurt, unsweetened and plain
¼ cup cilantro, roughly chopped

Garam Masala Spice Blend
1 tablespoon cumin
1 ½ teaspoon ground coriander
1 ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
1 ½ teaspoon ground pepper
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon allspice


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 with a few cans. Press the tofu for 20 to 30 minutes.
Then drain and tear the tofu into even-sized chunks with your hands and transfer tofu changs into a large bowl.
Use a baking dish to make the marinade for the tofu by mixing together the yogurt, lemon juice, ginger, coriander, garam masala, cumin, salt and water and then pour the marinade over the tofu chunks, using your hands to very gently coat all the sides of the tofu, taking care not to mash it.
Cover and refrigerate between 2 to 8 hours.
Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. If using oil, lightly spray the parchment paper with oil and arrange tofu pieces on the baking sheets so that they are not touching one another and discard any leftover marinade.
Bake for 15 minutes, then flip pieces, switching racks if not using a convection oven (has fan) and bake for an additional 15 minutes until tofu is deeply golden. You may need to increase the temperature to get it crisp and brown, with a bit of charring is okay. Set aside.

Using a deep pot or Dutch oven (use medium low heat), cook cauliflower, onion, ginger, garlic, salt and black pepper for 1 minute then increase the heat to medium or medium high and continue cooking for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender and the onion is translucent.
Do not let the onion brown, otherwise, reduce the heat, add splashes of water and continue cooking until softened.
Add tomato paste, garam masala, turmeric and cayenne pepper or serrano pepper for spice.
Cook and stir constantly for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes and broth and bring it all to a boil.
Reduce heat to low and let simmer, stirring occasionally and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon or spatula to prevent the sauce from sticking.
Continue for 15 minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Remove the pan from heat and let cool for a few minutes then stir in peas and yogurt.
Gently add in baked tofu and add salt and pepper to taste. Add a ½ teaspoon of sugar if the sauce tastes too acidic.
Serve with cilantro, naan, roti or rice.

*Don’t forget to preload on vegetables before you eat!
*For serving: roti, naan or rice
*Store leftovers in an airtight storage container in the refrigerator for up to five days.
*Make ahead: Chop cauliflower in advance and prepare yogurt mixture and coat tofu up to 12 hours in advance.
*FODMAP Swaps: Swaps: Start with under ¾ cup serving portions of cauliflower and increase as tolerated; use appropriate garlic and onion substitutions or start with 1 teaspoon total of garlic and onion powder (per serving) and increase as tolerated noting that vegetable broth may also have some as well; keep pea servings to under ⅛ cup or swap out for green beans (not more than 15 whole beans per serving); keep tofu servings to no more than 1 cup and increase as tolerated

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