Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala

Tikka masala is a popular North Indian entrée that is usually served with naan and basmati rice. The most popular of tikka masalas is chicken tikka masala, so much so it has been declared the national dish of the United Kingdom. Vegans, you don’t have to feel left behind, here’s an equally tasty, healthy and authentic tofu tikka masala for you, I promise you won’t miss the chicken or even the paneer.  Paneer is Indian cottage cheese which doesn’t melt at high temperature and extra firm tofu replaces paneer beautifully in this vegan recipe.

paneer tikka masala

Don’t get intimidated by the list of spices, the beauty of Indian food is in the variety of spices. Also here’s a tip for beginners, buy the spices from the bulk section of your local grocery stores. Some of them even carry organic spices in bulk, it’s cheaper, fresher and not going to clutter your pantry. Enjoy this Tofu tikka masala with a side of naan and fragrant basmati rice.

paneer tikka masala


1 package extra firm tofu, cubed

3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped

½ red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 one inch piece ginger, minced

1 tablespoon oil

1 cup water

1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro for garnish

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek (kasoori methi)


1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground fenugreek

1 teaspoon red chili powder

1 1″ piece of cinnamon

2 cloves

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

2 green Cardamom pods

For the marinade 

¼ cup plain soy yogurt

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1.5 teaspoons ground coriander

1 teaspoon garam masala

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground clove

½ teaspoon red chili powder

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon lemon juice


  1. Combine all the ingredients listed under marinade in a bowl and whisk until smooth.

2. Add cubed tofu and green bell peppers and coat well with the marinade. Leave this at room temperature for about an hour. You can also make this ahead and refrigerate it for up to 8 hours.

3. Place the marinated tofu and green bell peppers on a foil lined baking tray and broil for 5minutes or until the edges start turning a little black. The yogurt will keep the tofu moist.

4. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and when oil is hot, add all the whole spices and powdered spices and cook for 5minutes or until a nice aroma fills the kitchen. The spices may burn easily, so keep a close watch.

5. Add onions and cook till they turn soft.

6. Add ginger and garlic, cook for a minute.

7. Add red bell peppers and cook till they turn soft.

8. Add chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and cook till tomatoes turn mushy.

9. Blend the contents of the pan until smooth and transfer it back to the pan.

10. Add a cup of water and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Add more water depending on your preferred consistency.

11. Add salt and broiled tofu/green pepper cubes and mix well.

12. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves.


7 thoughts on “Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala

  1. Pingback: Paneer and Green Peas Curry/ Mattar Paneer | Eat,live,burp

  2. Pingback: Tofu Tikka Masala! | Vata Vegan

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