Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala

You will love this creamy Indian dish.

Vegan paneer tikka masala, or tofu tikka masala, is one of our family’s favorite dishes. We love Indian cuisine because of the many spices that are used. Also, there are many non-meat dishes. This recipe is relatively simple to make and bursting with flavor. In an earlier recipe we made chana masala, with chickpeas as the main ingredient. In this recipe, we will use tofu.

Tikka masala is a spiced curry recipe with origins in the Indian subcontinent, although chicken tikka masala is hugely popular in the United Kingdom. A friend once said it’s the national dish of the UK! Paneer tikka masala is a meatless version that uses cheese instead of chicken. Paneer is similar to firm ricotta cheese or Russian farmer’s cheese, called “tvorog”. Paneer is similar in taste and consistency to firm tofu, which we will be using in this recipe.

The tofu used in this recipe is placed in a freezer before use. This changes the structure of the tofu and makes it more firm, similar to paneer. Other ingredients should be available in your local supermarket. Like garlic powder , onion powder, and curry spice. You should be able to find garam masala as well. If you cannot find this ingredient, here is a link to a well-priced package of of garam masala. Garnish the dish with your choice of vegetables, such as sliced red onion and cilantro, as well as papadum (Indian flatbread).

Even our non-vegan friends also love this tasty curry dish. I recommend you try it and I am sure you will love it as well!

Vegan paneer tikka masala close up
Vegan paneer tikka masala on dish with papadum

Vegan Paneer Tikka Masala

Indian tofu recipe with masala sauce
Prep Time 6 hours
Cook Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 8 oz tofu 1 pack
  • 1 medium onion cubed
  • 1 medium carrot cubed
  • 1 piece ginger (1 inch) pressed in garlic press
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed in garlic press
  • 8 oz coconut milk
  • 15 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered onion
  • 1 tsp curry spice
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp chili pepper


  • A few hours before cooking drain tofu and place in freezer for 4 hours
  • Unfreeze tofu for 2 hours, draining liquid, then cut into cubes and remove excess liquid with towel
  • Bake tofu in an oven at 375°F (190°C) until golden brown
  • In a saucepan simmer onions, carrots, garlic and all spices until brown
  • Add coconut milk, tomato sauce, and tofu
  • Cook for 30 minutes on low heat
  • Serve with your choice of rice
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and papadum
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!