Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala
Published Feb 12, 2018, Updated May 14, 2021
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Vegan tempeh tikka masala made with coconut yogurt and coconut milk that will leave you with all the comfort feels minus all the heavy feels. You’ll love this healthy spin on traditional Indian food.
If you’ve been following EBF for a minute, you know that I’m obsessed with tempeh and that I LOVE Indian food, so it was only a matter of time before I created a vegan version of one of my favorite Indian dishes.
Healthy Indian Food at Home
Indian food is one of our go-to takeout options, so when I created my own version of tikka masala with tempeh we had a little celebration. Now we can enjoy this Indian dish any night we please (and don’t have to wait 45 minutes for delivery!). The longest part of the recipe is when the tempeh is marinating; besides that, this is ready in no time.
What is Tempeh?
It’s a plant-based protein made of cooked soybeans that have been fermented. It’s a great plant-based protein option that’s a great source of fiber and is high in vitamins and minerals.
Tempeh is similar to tofu, however there are some differences – tempeh is less processed, fermented, has a stronger flavor and a bit more texture. The flavor is usually described as nutty or earthy, but there are different varieties with subtle taste differences.
My biggest tip when it comes to tempeh is to marinate or pair it with a flavorful, robust sauce so it can take on the flavors of the dish it’s a part of. This tempeh tikka masala is a great example of both! Not only are you marinating the tempeh in advance, but you’re also coating it in a well-rounded sauce with tons of flavor.
I’ve tried a ton of different tempeh varieties and Lightlife is definitely my favorite for a few reasons: it’s organic, GMO-free and easy to find at mainstream stores.
Tempeh Tikka Masala Ingredients
- unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
- apple cider vinegar
- coconut oil
- fresh ginger
- tomato sauce
- full-fat coconut milk
- frozen peas
- spices and seasonings: ground cumin, ground ginger, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and sea salt
- rice or cauliflower rice (for serving)
- hot sauce of choice or cayenne pepper (optional)
How to Serve Tempeh Tikka Masala
Make this dish your own by pairing it with sides of your choice and adjusting the spice level to your taste. I highly recommend serving it over rice or cauliflower rice with a few pieces of naan to soak up the delicious sauce. And of course we like things spicy over here, so we added a little sriracha on top. There’s no shame in my hot sauce game. I add it to everything… even salads!
More Indian Cuisine Inspired Recipes to Try:
- Mattar Tofu
- Dairy-Free Butter Chicken
- Coconut Curried Eggplant
- Channa Masala
- Naan Pizza
- Coconut Curry Soup
More Tempeh Recipes to Try:
- Tempeh Tacos with Tempeh Taco “Meat”
- Curried Tempeh Salad
- Maple Mustard Tempeh Meal Prep Bowls
- Vegan Sweet and Sour Tempeh
- Blackened Tempeh Salad
- Tempeh Butternut Squash Bake
Be sure to let me know if you try this vegan tempeh tikka masala recipe by leaving a comment and rating the recipe below. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.
Tempeh Tikka Masala
- 8 oz package Lightlife Original Tempeh chopped into cubes
- 1/2 cup unsweetened plain coconut yogurt
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Tikka Masala Sauce:
- 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1- inch knob of ginger grated
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1 cup canned full-fat coconut milk
- 2 cups frozen peas
- fresh cilantro chopped
- rice or cauliflower rice for serving
- hot sauce of choice or cayenne pepper optional
- Make tempeh marinade by combining all ingredients (yogurt, apple cider vinegar, cumin, ginger, garam masala and sea salt) in a bowl. Add chopped tempeh and stir until well coated. Place bowl in the fridge to allow the tempeh to marinate for at least 1 hour.
- Once tempeh is done marinating, start preparing the sauce. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with coconut oil. Add onion, garlic and ginger and sauté until fragrant, about 5-7 minutes. Add spices and toss to combine, then add in tomato sauce, coconut milk, frozen peas and marinated tempeh.
- Turn heat down to medium-low and let mixture simmer for 15-20 minutes or until sauce has thickened and everything is heated throughout.
- Remove from heat and serve tempeh tikka masala over a bed of rice (regular or cauliflower) with fresh cilantro on top.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
This is my family’s go-to tempeh recipe! It’s the best!
Woo!! So glad you and your family love this recipe, Sarah. I so appreciate you coming back to leave a review. It means the world for me!
great work thank you
Thank you so much!
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