Tofu Tikka Masala


This recipe is from Purple Carrot, so it is copied below in its entirety, in case the link goes dead.You’ll notice in my otherwise awesome picture there are no peas. This was a mistake quickly rectified as we sat down to eat. I’d been thinking as I served it, this could use some green. If I’d had cilantro I would have added it then. [Note, if I had cilantro, I still would add it]. Then I sat down and remembered peas. They didn’t need to cook, I tossed them in frozen and stirred. The resulting mess was much better tasting for remembering, but not photogenic.

Here’s what else I did differently:

Almonds, I toasted maybe more like 1/4c in the toaster oven.

The Indian Spice Blend was a Purple Carrot ‘black box’. You could probably use a pre-mixed curry powder in its stead, but I use that for too many things. To get a new flavor suite, I made a spice mix from scratch, based loosely on this Epicurious Tikka Masala recipe:

  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • heaped 1/8th tsp cayenne pepper
  • heaped 1/8th tsp cardamom
  • heaped 1/8th tsp nutmeg

This made a bit more than the 1 tbsp that the Purple carrot recipe called for, but I rolled with it. A lot of Indian recipes I see are underpowered in spice. Except that one. Don’t do it. At least not in winter.

Also the recipe does not call out the true amount of everything – it’s what you get in a box, I suppose.

I went with 1c Brown Rice. I rinsed and then toasted the rice in oil, before cooking.

The tofu I had was 16oz, so I used a bit more than 4oz cauliflower. About half a small head.

In the pictures it looked like there was about twice the ginger as one clove of garlic, so I went with about 1 inch of fresh ginger root.

Also a note on the masala, or the onion/garlic/ginger mix you will be frying 7-8 minutes. This is a big part of the dish’s flavor. I do not hurry this part. I dice the onion as fine as i can to match the garlic and ginger, and I usually will add a bit of water after ~5 minutes or so. My goal is to reach a golden-brown color without burning anything. Here’s what this one looked like when I got impatient and called it done: IMG_20170402_191403

Tofu Tikka Masala with Spring Vegetables & Brown Basmati Rice

  1. ¾ cup brown basmati rice
  2. 2 tbsp almonds
  3. 1 package firm tofu
  4. 1 tbsp Indian spice blend
  5. 1 onion
  6. Fresh ginger
  7. 1 garlic clove
  8. 4 oz cauliflower
  9. 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
  10. 1 can coconut milk
  11. ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  12. ½ cup green peas
  13. 2 tbsp + 2 tsp vegetable oil*
  14. Salt and pepper*
  15. *Not Included
  • Prep time: 40 minutes
  • Servings: 2
  • Calories: 800
  • Fat: 42
  • Carbohydrates: 90
  • Protein: 28

If Tikka Masala is your go-to when it comes to Indian food, you’re in for a refreshing update on a classic recipe. The origins of this dish are unclear, but it is thought to have been created in Great Britain by a Bangladeshi chef. The sauce is what brings the distinctive tangy flavor, and can either be blended after simmering or left as is. Either way, bright tomato and creamy coconut milk deliver a rich base for a seriously satisfying dinner!



Preheat oven to 350°F. To a small saucepan add rice,1¼ cups water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered, until all water is absorbed and rice is tender, about 30 to 35 minutes. Turn off heat, leave covered for 5 minutes, and then fluff with a fork.



Place almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until fragrant and golden brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Drain the tofu and press between paper towels to remove excess moisture. Cut tofu into 1 inch cubes. In a large bowl, toss tofu with ½ of the Indian spice blend. Peel and dice the onion and ginger. Mince the garlic.



Place a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, add the tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until all sides are browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. While the tofu is cooking, rinse and dry the cauliflower. Cut into smaller florets. Once tofu is cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside.



Return the same skillet to medium-high heat and add 1 tbsp oil. Once hot, add the onions, ginger, and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 7 to 8 minutes. Add the remaining spice mixture and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juice, coconut milk, and lower the heat to medium. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 7 to 8 minutes.



Pour the sauce into a blender and blend on high until smooth. Return the skillet to medium heat and add 2 tsp oil. Add the cauliflower florets and as much or as little of the red pepper flakes as you’d like and cook until cauliflower is slightly softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add masala sauce and tofu to the skillet, and simmer until cauliflower is tender, about 3 to 5 more minutes.



Stir the peas into the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Divide brown basmati rice between large plates and top with the tofu tikka masala. Garnish with toasted almonds. Enjoy!


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