January 31, 2012

Tofu Tikka Masala

I am getting into the swing of introducing new & healthy recipes to my family and yay, I am loving every bit of it!! Now, its tofu's turn to be masqueraded in the name of paneer - "Tofu Tikka Masala" - marinated tofu in spicy tomato gravy. Do you think that the recipe sounds yummy? you bet!! It tasted absolutely delicious just the way it sounds.

My mom always criticizes me, "you 'll never learn to appreciate good things". She was indeed right and I realized that only during my pregnancy. I had to follow a strict diet during pregnancy (because of GD) and for any healthy item that my dietician wanted me to try, my reply would be negative. Eggs ?!?! "No", Regular Cheese ?!?! "I don't like it", Brown rice ?!?! "I have never tried it", Protein drinks ?!?! "Not my type", Cottage Cheese ?!?! "How is it different from regular cheese?", Tofu ?!?! "No way". Poor dietician kind of lost hope on me. To cut the long story short - I was forced to add cottage cheese & tofu to my diet and towards the end of my pregnancy, I actually started to hate them.

I remember trying a couple of tricks to disguise tofu in my food - use grated tofu instead of coconut in veg curries, use tofu in place of paneer. Every time I take my first bite (with masqueraded tofu), my tongue & brain will work against it and I always used to wrap up my meal just like finishing a medicine. I used to dread about food and more so, the disguised tofu in it - Oh! those terrible times!!!

Are you one of those with similar feelings towards tofu but is forced to eat them, then "Tofu Tikka Masala" is the recipe you have to try. I guarantee that you will love this recipe and wouldn't mind to see tofu in a dish (finally !!!!!). Tofu Tikka Masala tastes great with rotis/parathas & rice too!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 1.5 hrs (includes marination time)
Cook time - 30 mins
Serves - 4

For the Marinade
Tofu - 10 oz. approx (Extra firm)
Yogurt - 1/4 cup (replace with greek yogurt)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Garlic - 2 pods (minced)
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp (approx)

For the Tikka
Bell pepper, medium sized - 1 no (cut into 1/2 inch squares)
Onion, medium sized - 1 no (chopped finely)
Tomato, medium sized - 1 no (chopped finely)

For the Gravy
Tomatoes, medium sized - 3 nos (blend it into fine paste)
Milk - 1 cup (or use 1/2 cup of fresh cream, I used whole milk)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Kasoori Methi - 1 tsp
Cilantro - 1 tbsp (chopped)
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - 2 tsp (approx)

Drain tofu
- Place tofu block in the centre of 2 layers of absorbant kitchen towels and wrap it from all the four sides firmly into a parcel.
- Place something heavy (for about 3-4 lbs) on top of the parcel (balancing the weight evenly) and leave it undisturbed for 15 mins.
- Carefully open the parcel and squeeze excess water out of the kitchen towels.
- Repeat the above 3 steps for 4-5 times.

At the end of this process, you should have a dense tofu block with all the water pressed out. Cut tofu into small cubes of approx one inch each. You should be having about 25 - 28 pieces of tofu from a 10 oz. block.

Note: This step is really important for if you don't press out the old water you can't get any of the new flavors in.

Marinate Tofu
Mix all the ingredients listed under 'For the Marinade' and make sure that each tofu is coated well with yogurt & spices. Refrigerate for atleast an hour.

Pan-fry Tofu
Heat about a tbsp of oil in a wide pan, toast all the pieces of tofu to dark brown on all sides. Drain excess oil in a kitchen towel and set aside to cool completely.

Make gravy
Add rest of the oil to a pan, and when hot add cumin seeds and let them crackle. Add onion, ginger, bell pepper and saute until onion is translucent & bell pepper is soft.

To this, add tomato puree, chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, salt and mix well. Let it cook until the raw smell of tomatoes is gone. Once the oil starts to ooze out from the sides and the gravy becomes thick, reduce heat and add milk (or fresh cream if you are using). Let it cool completely.

Blend gravy into a smooth paste. To this, add kasoori methi, pan-fried tofu and adjust the consistency of the gravy to your preference. Let it simmer for couple of mins on medium heat. Finally, add cilantro, stir well and remove from heat.

Serve it hot with rotis/parathas and enjoy!

- Don't miss to check-out the recipe for Paneer Tikka Masala here.


  1. extremely delicious looking dish..never tried tikka masala using tofu..will try this recipe soon..thanks!!

  2. Super tempting and healthy tofu tikka masala..