Not only are we massive fans of burgers, we are fans of a proper Indian curry so this Vegan Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala is right up our street. Plus, it contains another of our absolute favourite ingredients; tofu ‘pillows’ which are deep-fried tofu pieces that you can buy from most Chinese supermarkets – they’re kind of like pillows, hence our name of tofu pillows! They are really called Tofu Puffs or Deep Fried Bean Curd.
This recipe does take quite lot of ingredients and a little bit of time, but I can promise you that it is totally worth it! The flavours are deep and layered and you get a real hit of every spice added. To grind and blend the spices, you can use a pestle and mortar (which will take a long time), a coffee grinder (perfect but will stain) or a spice grinder. I use my coffee grinder as I’m waiting for Christmas to get my wet and dry spice grinder (that is unless anyone fancies treating me to one now… anyone?!)
Considering how complicated it looks, this meal does come together pretty quickly. It takes a bit of work getting your spices together, but once you have that done you’re on a roll. We had this on Saturday night as a bit of a fake-away and it was easy to cook (with a glass of wine in hand) and tasted perfect! (If I might say so myself!)
For the Tandoori Tofu
Tofu Puffs / Deep Fried Bean Curd
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 inches of cinnamon bark or a cinnamon stick
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 star anise
6 cardamom pods
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp tomato puree
1 small tin of coconut cream
For the Masala
1 tbsp olive oil
2 inches of fresh ginger finely grated
4 garlic cloves, finely grated
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 2 tbsp tomato puree
400 ml tin chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
6 cardamom pods, ground
2 tbsp ground coriander
2 tbsp garam masala
2 tbsp ground almonds
400 ml coconut milk
2 tbsp golden caster sugar
Grind the tandoori spices and add to a hot frying pan along with the tomato puree
Stir over the heat until they become nicely golden and aromatic
Combine the cooked spices with the coconut cream in a large bowl
Mix through the tofu pillows, making sure to coat them all over with the marinating mixture
Leave to build flavour while you heat the oven and get started on the rest of the ingredients
Line a baking sheet and heat the oven to 200 C
For the masala sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium-sized pan over a medium heat
Add the spices, ginger and garlic and stir over the heat for a few moments, then add the tomato puree
Cook, stirring all the time, for about 4 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and coconut milk
Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer,
Whisk at this point to make sure that the mixture is well blended and any spice lumps broken up (they are killer if you get a big lump!!)
Cook on low for 25 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it sticking
While your masala is cooking, pop your tofu puffs onto kebab skewers (If you’re using wood, soak for a minute or so before using) making sure to coat with the remaining marinade
Pop the kebabs into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, turning once or twice to make sure they colour evenly
When both are ready spoon the Tikka Masala into small dishes and serve alongside the kebabs, some rice, sprinkled coriander and some Paratha
Even as I type this up, I can smell the delicious Indian spice aromas that were wafting through the kitchen while I cooked! Yum!
This masala is of a medium heat (for us, anyway!) so it you prefer it hotter, you can add some fresh chillies to the paste or another teaspoon of chilli flakes. I personally think that this is the right balance of heat between the tandoori tikka and the masala as there is enough for you to feel the warmth, but not too much that it masks the other flavours – which if you have ever eaten curry out can easily happen!
Also, confession time! I didn’t make the Parathas! I bought them from Tesco as I was having an easier night and fancies just bunging them in the pan rather than getting down and dirty making them. I will in the future and add the recipe, of course! No judging! 😉
If you love curries too, then your really need to get my Vegan Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala into your meal plan . With it being vegan, you can cater for all of your friends too – I know that your meat-eating pals will enjoy it too, once they get over the tofu bit!
Please don’t let the spices put you off making this – you can often get them pre-ground in some stores, so it is worth looking if you don’t have something at home to help. When you start making curries at home with fresh spices, you won’t want to go back to bought ones!
I have so many ideas for using the tofu puss in different ways – they will come soon, once perfected! – that you need to get down to your local Chinese supermarket for a browse. I couldn’t imagine living too far away from Chinese stores these days as so many of my ingredients are from them as they do bulk spices which makes them a whole lot cheaper too!
I’m going back to imagining some amazing tofu pillow dinners!
Have a fab week!
Do you love a good curry? Which is your favourite? How hot can you go?
Let me know in the comments below?
- For the Tandoori Tofu
- Tofu Puffs / Deep Fried Bean Curd
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 inches of cinnamon bark or a cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 star anise
- 6 cardamom pods
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 1 small tin of coconut cream
- For the Masala
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 inches of fresh ginger finely grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 400 ml tin chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground fennel seeds
- 6 cardamom pods, ground
- 2 tbsp ground coriander
- 2 tbsp garam masala
- 2 tbsp ground almonds
- 400 ml coconut milk
- 2 tbsp golden caster sugar
- Grind the tandoori spices and add to a hot frying pan along with the tomato puree
- Stir over the heat until they become nicely golden and aromatic
- Combine the cooked spices with the coconut cream in a large bowl
- Mix through the tofu pillows, making sure to coat them all over with the marinading mixture
- Leave to build flavour while you heat the oven and get started on the rest of the ingredients
- Line a baking sheet and heat the oven to 200 C
- For the masala sauce, heat the olive oil in a medium sized pan over a medium heat
- Add the spices, ginger and garlic and stir over the heat for a few moments, then add the tomato puree
- Cook, stirring all the time, for about 4 minutes then add the tinned tomatoes, sugar and coconut milk
- Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer,
- Whisk at this point to make sure that the mixture is well blended and any spice lumps broken up (they are killer if you get a big lump!!)
- Cook on low for 25 minutes, stirring regularly to prevent it sticking
- While your masala is cooking, pop your tofu puffs onto kebab skewers (If you’re using wood, soak for a minute or so before using) making sure to coat with the remaining marinade
- Pop the kebabs into the oven and cook for 10 minutes, turning once or twice to make sure they colour evenly
- When both are ready spoon the Tikka Masala into small dishes and serve alongside the kebabs, some
- , sprinkled corriander and some Paratha
I have to bookmark this, I’m trying to find more vegan meals so I’m so happy to see this today. It looks delicious and stomach warming x
Excellent, I’m pleased it came at the right time for you! I have a vegan section in the menu that you can check out for more inspiration! You’ll have to let me know how you get on 🙂 x
I love curry I normally go for a chicken tikka Masala its good to see a recipe that gives an alternative for vegans.
Tikka Masala seems to be the favourite curry it seems – even though it is technically not an Indian dish! 🙂 Great to meet another curry fan too
Oh my god please make me some immediately this looks incredible. I would love nothing more than this delicious masala!
Haha! Thanks Ana! I could be busy with this recipe, it seems 🙂
That masala sounds absolutely scrumptious – what a gorgeous meal.
Thanks, Claire! It really is super tasty!
Ohh you don’t fancy cooking some of this for me do you? It sounds absolutely delicious! x
Haha! Thanks, Sarah! Maybe I need to open a cafe that sells it 😀 x
I am sitting here reading your post thinking I now want a curry, not the porridge I was about to go and make x
Oh no, sorry Rachel! I hope that your porridge was delicious and you can look forward to having a curry soon! x
This is one masala with a difference that’s for sure. I can not believe it’s vegan tandoori tofu, it looks absolutely delicious
Thanks, Anosa. I’m really pleased how it looks as well 😀
I’m not a huge fan of curries but this really shows that you can make anything vegan friendly x
What do you enjoy instead of curries, Rhian? It really is amazing how much can be made into a vegan dish without losing any flavour too. x
I bet this is an excellent way to impart flavour on Tofu. Love your use of great Indian spices
Oh gosh, it really is, Melissa! The marinade gets right into the tofu so it tastes AMAZING! I think my kitchen has the largest collection of Indian spices ever – we LOVE them!
This is so impressive! I would totally love to make this a surprise date night meal. We both love those spices!
Yay! I love that you want to do it for a surprise date too, Liz! Let me know how you get on and what your other half thinks too 🙂 Enjoy your date! x
This looks delicious! I do love a good curry.
Glad to meet another curry fan, Jemma! Which is your favourite?
Tikka Masala is my all time favourite curry so I’ll have to make this soon – thanks for sharing x
Excellent, Stephanie! I hope you enjoy your tikka masala! x
We made a masala the other day too, as its our favourite curry. I never thought to make it with tofu though – such a good idea!
seems like it is masala time of year, Dannii! Let me know how you get on if you try a tofu version 🙂
I need to try more curries, I’ve only had it once! Might try this one next x
I love chicken tikka masala, but am not a huge fan of tofu, I always find it chewy and a little bland.
I can promise you that the tofu in this recipe is not bland! 😀 Which kinds of tofu have you tried? THe silken is a lot smoother, the puffs care lighter as they have been deep fried and you can make the firm tofu less chewy by cooking them for a shorter time 🙂
Bookmarking this to try later. I love spicy food.
This looks absolutely amazing – no way could you doubt that this is a must for any vegan! H x
This looks so amazing! Will have to make this soon. I need to try tofu more often
I’m not a huge fan of Indian food, but have to admit this looks pretty amazing. I’d definitely add extra chilli flakes though – I like spicy dishes that literally blow my head off!
Wow this looks like a great recipe with a great deal of flavour, bet my hubby would be quite pleased if we had it for dinner one evening x
I love the tandoori flavour so I’m sure I’d love these, would love to give them a go 🙂
This looks like a great family dinner. Thanks for sharing and the amazing photos too!
Question: for the masala.. is it 12 tbs tomato puree or 2 tbs?
I have just noticed your question, sorry! Yes, it is 12 tbsp, which is around a tube of puree. I put it that way because people have said that they use jars or tins, so it was for ease.
Thanks for stopping by!