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Vegan Tikka Masala with Tofu & Chickpeas

Updated: Apr 7

vegan tikka masala with naan bread

Hey Veginners, it’s time to spice up your meal routine with my latest creation: Vegan Tikka Masala! 🌱🍲 This dish is not just delicious, it’s full of nutrition and flavor. I’ve put a twist on the classic by adding air-fried tofu and chickpeas for an extra crunch, and used dairy-free coconut yogurt for a creamy, tangy sauce. 🥥 And of course I made sure it’s quick and easy, true Veginner-style. 😉

Whether you serve it over quinoa for a whole grain boost or keep it classic with rice or naan, this dish is a heart-healthy, protein-packed winner that’s sure to impress. Let’s cook up a storm and enjoy the power of plants! 🧡 Love, Cheryl

Using dairy-free coconut yogurt or coconut milk in your Vegan Tikka Masala is a delicious and healthier alternative to cream. Here are a few tips for using coconut yogurt in this recipe:

1. Amount: Use a similar amount of coconut yogurt as you would coconut milk, so about one can’s worth (around 14 oz or 400 ml).

2. Consistency: Coconut yogurt tends to be thicker than coconut milk. If the sauce seems too thick, you can thin it out with a little bit of water or vegetable broth to get your desired consistency.

3. Adding to the Dish: Add the coconut yogurt towards the end of the cooking process to prevent it from curdling. Let it warm up gently in the sauce but avoid bringing it to a boil.

This substitution will give a nice creamy richness to your Tikka Masala.

crispy tofu in air fryer

Draining and air frying the tofu and chickpeas before adding it to your Tikka Masala can really enhance the texture. Tofu tends to absorb flavors better when it’s drained and has a firmer texture, which is great for a dish like this. If you're up for it, here’s what to do while your sauce is cooking:

  1. Drain the Tofu: Press the tofu for at least 15-30 minutes to remove excess water. You can do this by wrapping the tofu in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and placing a heavy object, like a book or a skillet, on top.

  2. Optionally Air Fry the Tofu: Once drained, cut the tofu into cubes. Lightly toss them with a bit of oil and your choice of spices (a little salt and maybe some of the same spices used in the Tikka Masala like paprika or garam masala). Air fry at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden.

vegan tikka masala recipe

Chickpeas are not only nutritious but also add a lovely texture and extra protein to the dish. They pair beautifully with tofu, creating a more substantial and satisfying meal.

Optionally, air frying them will give them a nice, slightly crispy texture and a roasted flavor. Personally, I love to eat crispy chickpeas on their own as a snack. Here’s how to make them:

  1. After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, toss them with a bit of olive oil and your choice of spices (you could use some garam masala, paprika, or just salt, to tie in with the flavors of the dish).

  2. Air fry them at 400°F (200°C) for about 15 minutes, or until they are crispy to your liking.

  3. Then, add these crispy chickpeas to the Tikka Masala along with the tofu (recipe step 5). Save a few chickpeas to sprinkle on top for decor when serving.

These additions will give your Tikka Masala more variety in texture and make it even heartier. Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and adjusting to your taste preferences. Enjoy your culinary creation Veginners! 😊🌱

Easy Vegan Tikka Masala Recipe

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Servings: 4-6


  • 1 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1-inch piece of ginger, minced

  • 1 can (14 oz) of diced tomatoes

  • 14 oz dairy-free coconut yogurt

  • 2 cups of firm tofu, pressed and cubed

  • 1 can (15 oz) of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2 tbsp tomato paste

  • 1 tbsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • Optional: cooked rice or naan, for serving


1. Optional: Air fry your tofu and chickpeas. Toss them separately in a bit of oil and spices, then air fry each at 400°F (200°C) for 15-20 minutes. This can be done while making your sauce.

2. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Sauté onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion is translucent.

3. Add the tomato paste and spices, cooking for 1 minute.

4. Stir in the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.

5. Add the tofu and chickpeas (air-fried or not) to the sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

6. Turn off the heat and gently mix in the dairy-free coconut yogurt. Warm it through without boiling.

7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

8. Serve over cooked rice, quinoa, or with naan bread.

Estimated nutritional info, per serving:

1. Calories: 300 calories. The main contributors are tofu, chickpeas, and coconut yogurt, providing a hearty and satisfying meal without too many calories.

2. Protein: 20 grams. Both tofu and chickpeas are excellent sources of plant-based protein, making this dish great for maintaining muscle health and overall energy.

3. Fat: 10 grams. This comes mainly from the olive oil and coconut yogurt. These are mostly healthy fats, which are important for brain health and satiety.

4. Carbohydrates: 35 grams. The primary sources are chickpeas and the sauce ingredients. Carbs are essential for energy, and chickpeas also offer dietary fiber, aiding in digestion.

5. Fiber: 10 grams. Chickpeas and veggies like onions and tomatoes contribute to this, promoting good digestive health.

6. Sugar: 5 grams, mostly natural sugars from tomatoes and onions.

7. Sodium: 50 mg. If using canned tomatoes and chickpeas, it's always a good idea to check labels and opt for no or low-sodium versions when possible.

8. Vitamins and Minerals: Rich in vitamins C and K from tomatoes and herbs, as well as iron and calcium from tofu and chickpeas.

Remember, these are rough estimates and can vary based on specific brands and portion sizes. This dish is a balanced and nutritious option for a plant-based meal, providing a good mix of protein, healthy fats, and carbs.

Note, the nutritional facts do not include the rice or naan. Rice or naan would be additional, and their nutritional content varies depending on the type and amount you serve.

For example, a typical serving of cooked white rice (about 1 cup) adds around 200 calories and 45 grams of carbohydrates, with minimal fat and protein. Naan bread, depending on its size and ingredients, can add a similar calorie count and carbohydrates.

If you’re watching your carb intake or aiming for a lighter meal, you might consider serving smaller portions of rice or naan, or opt for whole grain alternatives like brown rice or quinoa.

vegan blogger making Indian food

I’m super excited to hear how you make your own Vegan Tikka Masala magic! 🌟 Did you try air frying the tofu and chickpeas for that irresistible crunch? Or maybe you went for the classic simmered approach? I’m all about personalizing recipes, so whether you’re an air fryer aficionado or a simmering superstar, share your culinary creations with me! 📸

Snap a pic of your masterpiece and tag @VeginnerCooking on social. Let’s inspire each other with our plant-based adventures and keep learning and growing in our Veginner Community! Can’t wait to see your delicious dishes! 👀 Enjoy your Vegan Tikka Masala, Veginners! 🌱🥘


Here's $5 CASH to spend at my shop! Code: VEGINNER5 (proceeds support animal sanctuaries)

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