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Meatless Monday: Tofu tikka masala, no takeout menu required

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

Make a takeout fake-out version of your favorite Indian dish with a tofu twist

Colorful, spicy and amazingly delicious, tikka masala is a traditional Indian dish made with spices and yogurt. It's typically served with chicken, but since we're going meatless, I turned to tofu for a little substance. You'll love this as much as anything you'll get at your favorite Indian restaurant.

I’m just going to say up front that I love this dish, and I think you will too. That is, if you like the aromas of fragrant spices in the air along with a final product that tastes as amazing as it smells. On a Meatless Monday, you can’t beat this recipe for tofu tikka masala. And it can be ready in about an hour.

Make a takeout fake-out version of your favorite Indian dish with a tofu twist
Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

I could have eaten the marinated and pan-fried tofu on its own, but I resisted. After a few minutes in the skillet, it’s coated with spices and crispy and is definitely delicious. I added the tofu to the creamy red sauce that held bright green peas and spices. Serve this traditional-with-a-twist Indian dish to make your next meatless meal amazing.

Make a takeout fake-out version of your favorite Indian dish with a tofu twist
Image: Patricia Conte/SheKnows

Tofu tikka masala

Serves 4 – 6

Prep time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 30 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 1 hour


For the marinade

  • 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced garlic

For the main dish

  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed of excess liquid and cut into small cubes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced white onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 ounces plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • Cooked white rice to serve on the side


For the marinade

  1. To a bowl, add all the ingredients, and whisk to combine. Transfer to a large, sealable plastic bag.
  2. Add the tofu cubes to the bag. Use your hands to gently massage the mixture to cover the tofu cubes. Refrigerate for approximately 30 minutes.

For the main dish

  1. To a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Transfer the tofu cubes to the skillet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Remove from the heat, and transfer the tofu to a plate. Set aside.
  2. To a large, clean skillet over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions, and cook for 3 – 4 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the garlic, and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juice to the skillet. Add the cumin, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, salt, black pepper and sugar. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the yogurt to the skillet, and whisk to combine. Cook the mixture until it thickens slightly, 6 – 8 minutes.
  5. Add the peas to the mixture, and mix to combine. Cook for a few minutes, then add the tofu. Cook for an additional few minutes until heated through.
  6. Serve in individual bowls with cooked white rice.
meatless monday
Image: SheKnows

More Meatless Monday recipes

Grilled sweet potato and asparagus brown rice bowls with spicy cashew cream
Ramen noodles with tempeh and spicy peanut sauce
Avocado and black bean enchiladas

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