Tofu Tikka Masala


For my husband and myself, North Indian cuisine is the ultimate comfort food. Whether it’s after a long week of travel and eating out or the morning after a terrible hangover, nothing quite warms our souls like a good chicken tikka masala or butter chicken. I’ve always struggled to figure out the difference between tikka masala and makhani sauce because they both taste quite similar. I think tikka masala is spicier and less creamy, whereas butter chicken (or chicken makhani) is creamier, sweeter, and you guessed it right, has a higher butter content. Either way, both are so delicious and for me to choose one or the other would be blasphemous on so many levels 🙂 

Lately, I’ve been making an active effort to choose more vegetarian options. I find myself not enjoying meat as much as I used to. Of course I love my chicken and pork dumplings, and I don’t see myself giving those up anytime soon. But overall, I am striving to maintain an 80% vegetarian diet. That’s why, this time, I substituted chicken tikka masala for tofu tikka masala and I have to say, it was just as good and didn’t make me feel super heavy afterwards. It was light, flavorful, and heart warming. I didn’t add any coconut milk (or regular milk/cream) to mine, but I recommend that you add a splash of it just so that the spices are toned down a little. It’s not super spicy by any means, but I think a creamy element to the dish will really tie together the spices.

Either way, I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Thank you for the love and if you do end up trying it, please feel free to share your pictures with me on Instagram @kavitaarjungi. 

Happy Eating!

What You’ll Need:

For the Marinade:

  • 1/2 of a 14 oz. container of firm tofu (drained and cubed)
  • 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
  • 3/4 Cup yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon ginger (minced or grated)
  • 3 Cloves of garlic (minced or finely chopped)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of garam masala
  • 2 Teaspoons cumin powder
  • 2 Teaspoons of red chili powder
  • 1 Teaspoon salt

For the Gravy:

  • 2 Tablespoons ghee
  • 2 Teaspoons Cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 2 Teaspoons Coriander powder
  • 2 Teaspoons red chili powder
  • 1 Onion (Small-Medium)
  • 2-3 Green Chilis
  • 1 Teaspoon Ginger paste
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Medium tomatoes diced (or 2/3 can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1 Tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves 


  • Dried fenugreek leaves
  • Chopped fresh Cilantro
  • Splash of coconut milk (optional)

How to put it together:

  1. Combine all marinade ingredients in a bowl and refrigerate for 20 minutes
  2. In a pot, heat ghee and add cumin seeds. Allow to crackle. Add onion,  garlic, ginger, and green chili and cook until onions are translucent and soft.
  3. Add fenugreek leaves, turmeric, coriander powder, and red chili powder and cook for another 1-2 minutes or until mixture is fully combined and fragrant. 
  4. Add diced tomatoes and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  5. Preheat oven to 350°
  6. Remove marinating tofu from the refrigerator and start assembling marinated tofu cubes on skewers. Add tofu to preheated oven and bake for 15-20 mins.   
  7. Pour cooled tomato gravy mixture into a blender and pulse for 30-40 seconds until the mixture is smooth and gravy-like. Pour the smooth mixture back into the same pot and cook on medium heat for 3-4 mins
  8. Remove baked tofu from the oven and add to simmering tikka masala gravy
  9. Plate and garnish with additional dried fenugreek leaves, a splash of coconut milk, and fresh chopped cilantro. Serve with brown or white rice, and enjoy!




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