tofu curry

Tofu Curry Recipe (Indian Restaurant Style)

Updated: November 16, 2023, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Tofu Curry, a perfect vegan & gluten-free dish that’s brimming with flavors, deliciousness and nutrition. This Tofu Curry is the ultimate restaurant treat that your whole family/friends will love. Serve it over steamed fluffy Basmati rice, Coconut rice, quinoa or with Naan, Chapati or any flatbreads. In this post I share all about choosing, preparing and cooking tofu in a spicy and aromatic curry sauce.

tofu curry



If you love creamy & rich Indian foods with bursting flavors, you will turn back to this time and again. You can also make the sauce ahead and freeze it.

About Tofu Curry

Like most other Indian curry recipes, this Tofu Curry too uses pantry ingredients like onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic, whole and ground spices & herbs. To make the dish creamy ingredients like cashews, almonds or coconut can be used according to your preference.

Apart from tofu, veggies like peas, cauliflower, potatoes, sweet potatoes or bell peppers can be used to perk up the nutrition & make it a complete meal.

To begin with, first you will get rid of the excess moisture from the tofu and marinate it with spices and herbs for a short time until the curry is ready. It is then pan-fried and then added to the delicious curry sauce.

So the Tofu in the Curry is full-flavored with a excellent texture!

I use fresh tomatoes & homemade cashew cream (shared below) for this recipe. To save time you may use store bought canned tomato puree and coconut milk. I share more details in the recipe card notes.

Choosing Tofu

For this recipe you will use extra firm tofu / Tau kwa. If you want your tofu taste like meat, simply freeze it. This step makes the tofu more compact and in turns helps to release the excess moisture if any. Freezing also helps tofu absorb more flavors when you marinate and cook it in a curry.

Similar Recipes
Red Lentil Curry
Tofu Tikka Masala
Vegetable Curry
Cauliflower Stir Fry
Indian Tofu Kadai
Vegetable Jalfrezi
Chickpea Curry
Bombay Potatoes

How to make Tofu Curry (Stepwise Photos)

Prepare Tofu

1. Place extra firm tofu on a few kitchen paper/tissues or clean cloth. I prefer to rinse & pat dry mine before using. For this recipe you can use 7 to 14 oz (200 to 400 grams) tofu or use use only 7 oz (200 grams) & some veggies like peas/ cauliflower/potatoes etc. Here I’m using only 7 oz and green peas.

organic extra firm tofu

2. Wrap the tofu in kitchen towels and gently press down to remove any excess moisture.

tofu wrapped in kitchen tissues

3. Dice them to 1 inch cubes.

cubes of extra firm tofu

4. Add 1 teaspoon red chilli powder, ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala, ¼ teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to a bowl. Mix them up well.

ground spices to marinate tofu

5. Coat each piece of tofu in the masala. Keep aside. If your spices are not enough, add more in the same proportions.

marinated tofu

Prepare other ingredients

6. To make the tofu curry, you will need

  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or grated ginger garlic, half tbsp each)
  • 1 green chilli pepper, deseeded and chopped (optional)
  • 1 pound (450 grams) tomatoes (about 2½ cups fresh tomato puree or 1 cup bottled puree like passata)
  • ¼ cup (1 small) onion (fine chopped, use more if you want)
tomatoes and aromatic prepared to make tofu curry

7. If you want optionally you may use 1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon and 2 green cardamoms. All these whole spices are optional. You can use 1 cup canned coconut milk or my homemade nut cream/milk here. To make the nut cream/milk, simply grind 18 to 20 cashew nuts to a fine powder in a small grinder. Pour ¼ cup water & grind to a smooth puree. Repeat with ¼ cup water. You can alternately use nut butter or 4 tablespoons almond flour in place of cashews.

vegan milk and whole spices for tofu curry

8. Here are the spices you need for the curry

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • 1½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
ground spices to make the curry

Make Tofu Curry

9. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a pan and add the whole spices if using – bay leaf, cinnamon and cardamoms. When they begin to sizzle in oil, add the onions and stir fry on a medium heat until deep golden.

frying onions in oil

10. Add the ginger garlic paste and green chili. Saute on a low heat for a minute.

frying ginger garlic

11. Stir in the ground spices and salt. Be careful as the spices can easily burn.

toasting spices

12. Make sure you don’t burn them.

toasted spices to make tofu curry

13. Immediately stir in the tomato puree. Be careful as the puree can splash. Rise the heat to medium and cook partially covered, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes loose their raw flavor.

tomato puree being cooked in the pan

14. When the tomatoes are cooked down, you will see the mixture is darker in color and specks of oil are visible on the sauce. Reduce the heat and pour the cashew/almond cream/milk Or coconut milk. Give a good stir.

nut or coconut milk to make the curry

15. Pour 1 to 1½ cups water and give a good stir. If using coconut milk, start with lesser amount of water.

pour hot water

16. Cover partially and let the curry cook until you see traces of fats visible on the curry.

traces of oil over the curry

17. Add ¾ cup frozen or boiled fresh green peas. This is optional and you may simply leave out or use any other grilled vegetable of choice. Cover and let cook until the curry turns thick and peas are cooked.

cooking peas or veggies

18. Meanwhile on another burner, heat a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon oil & spread it well. When the oil is hot, place the tofu cubes.

frying marinated tofu

19. Fry them on a medium to low heat for 2 minutes, turn them to the other sides & fry. If you fry them on a high heat, the spices will burn and taste bitter. Take the pan off the heat.

pan-fried tofu

20. When the curry is thick, optionally add 1 teaspoon sugar or maple syrup to balance the flavors. Taste test and adjust salt as well. Add the fried tofu and give a gentle stir.

tofu curry simmering in a pan

21. If you want sprinkle a pinch of garam masala and kasuri methi. Cover and turn off the heat. Let tofu curry rest for at least 15 mins before serving.

garnish Indian tofu curry

Garnish tofu curry with coriander leaves. I didn’t have them so I used little kasuri methi and little leftover cashew cream. Serve with this fluffy Basmati rice, Turmeric rice or Coconut rice.

tofu curry recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

tofu curry recipe

Tofu Curry Recipe (Restaurant Style)

5 from 81 votes
This gluten-free and vegan tofu curry is creamy & delicious with bursting flavors. Serve it over rice or with naan, chapati or any flatbreads.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Jump to Comments

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings4
AuthorSwasthi
Diet : Gluten Free, Vegan

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

Marinade

  • 200 grams (7 oz) organic extra firm tofu (read notes)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri Chili powder (or paprika, adjust to taste)
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi (optional, dried fenugreek leaves)

For Curry

  • ¼ cup (1 small) onion (fine chopped)
  • 450 grams (1 lb.) fresh tomatoes pureed (or 1 cup passata/bottled tomato puree)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste (or ½ tablespoon each grated/minced)
  • 1 green chilli (serrano pepper, deseeded & slit, optional)
  • ¾ cup green peas (frozen or boiled) (replace with more tofu or grilled vegetables)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons oil (divided 2 +1, butter or ghee)
  • 20 (¼ cup) cashew nuts (or almond flour or coconut milk or nut butter – read notes)
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika, adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ cup water to blend cashews or almond flour
  • 1 cup hot water to cook curry (cut down or omit to use coconut milk)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sugar, to adjust the flavors)
  • 1 bay leaf, 2 inch cinnamon, 2 cardamoms – optional whole spices


Instructions

Preparation

  • Wrap the tofu in a few kitchen towels to pat dry and dice them to 1 inch cubes. To a mixing bowl, add the spices to marinate – red chilli powder, salt, garam masala and kasuri methi.
  • Mix up the spices and coat each piece of tofu with the dry spices. Keep aside until used.
  • To use coconut milk, read notes below & leave out this step. If using cashews (or almond flour), add them to a small grinder and powder first. Pour half of the water and grind to a smooth puree. Add the rest and grind once more. Keep this aside.

How to make Tofu Curry

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the whole spices if using. When they begin to sizzle, add the onions and saute on a medium high heat until deep golden.
  • Reduce the heat to low . Add the ginger garlic and green chili. Saute for a minute, until aromatic.
  • Quickly stir in salt and all the ground spices – red chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder and coriander powder. Take care not to burn.
  • Stir in the tomato puree and cook partially covered on a medium high heat until the tomatoes cook down and lose the raw flavor.
  • Pour the cashew/ almond along with hot water. To use coconut milk, omit/cut down the water. Mix well and bring to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cover partially. Cook until traces of oil are visible over the curry.
  • Add the peas or any other grilled veggies and cook until soft and tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat a pan with 1 tablespoon oil. Spread the oil. When the oil is hot, reduce the heat to medium and place the tofu pieces. Fry them for 2 minutes, turn them gently to the other sides and fry. Turn off. Over frying can burn the spices.
  • When the curry turns thick, add maple syrup/sugar and taste test. Adjust salt if required and add the fried tofu.
  • Mix well and turn off the heat. Let rest for at least 15 mins before serving. Garnish tofu curry with some coriander leaves & a teaspoon of cashew cream or coconut milk.


Notes

  • Use up to 400 grams (14 oz) tofu in this recipe. Also increase the amount of spices to marinate.
  • Use 1 cup organic coconut milk to substitute cashews & cut down or omit the water. If you use a lot of coconut milk, you need to adjust the spices.
  • The amount of water to use depends on your green peas. If they are not tender, you will need more water. I use about 1¼ to 1½ cups.
  • Whole spices are optional but they impart deeper flavors to the curry.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

Watch Tofu Curry Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Tofu Curry Recipe (Restaurant Style)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 232 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Trans Fat 0.03g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Sodium 573mg25%
Potassium 798mg23%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 11g12%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 1169IU23%
Vitamin C 28mg34%
Calcium 69mg7%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Tofu Curry Recipe (Indian Restaurant Style)

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Popular Recipes

Comments

Recipe Rating




69 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
Excellent tofu curry. So easy to make and it taste delicious. Followed the recipe exactly. Replaced cashew cream with coconut. I also used 2 cups of frozen vegetables and 4 oz spinach. Turned out perfect and was much loved even by my fussy kid.

5 stars
I coated the frozen pressed tofu in the spices and grated ginger garlic. Rested for 2 days in the refrigerator and air fried before adding to the sauce. I think there is no better curry than this! So good. The flavors are complex and well-balanced. I am on a vegan diet and have been using a lot of your vegetarian recipes. Thank you

My husband thought I ordered this from a restaurant. He couldn’t believe I made Indian food that tastes better than any restaurant. I have made many tofu curries before but all I could taste was only coconut milk. Your website is a revelation and going to dip deeper. Thank you for the recipes.

5 stars
This was yummy and we love all things spicy. I learnt using cashews to make creamy curry. Thanks for teaching us to make amazing tofu recipe. I used 14 oz tofu and still used frozen peas, didn’t have to change a thing and my family loved it.

5 stars
Excellent ,easy and delicious

You have not mentioned how much nut butter to use in the recipe. Despite adding 2.5 tbsps of almond butter the sauce had a lot of tomatoey flavor because I used tomato paste. So I had to use coconut milk. The end result was very creamy and delicious. I don’t own a blender yet I think I need one to try this with cashew cream.

5 stars
Delicious recipe. If you have a good blender, you can grind the cashews with tomatoes. I made tried it and it was great!

5 stars
Fabulous recipe! I used canned whole peeled tomatoes for fresh and half a can of coconut milk. The curry sauce is amazing and flavor-packed. However I did not toss my tofu in spices but boiled them in spiced water. It had a mild flavor and great texture. Next time I would double the spices for boiling.

This recipe looks solid and delicious. Do you have a conversion for fresh tomatoes to canned? How much canned tomatoes should I be using?

5 stars
I am so excited to have discovered your website. This month we had the chance to make your chickpea curry, gobi manchurian, eggplant bharta and kadhi recipes. Everything we have tried turned out so lovely. I write this while cooking this tofu curry and my house already smells amazing. Thank you and keep up the great work.

5 stars
This is a family favorite tofu recipe! Love the flavour profile and its perfection. I use coconut milk and omit water. Turns out perfect!

5 stars
I never need to go to a restaurant for a delicious curry! I’m not a vegan but I love tofu. I also used a can of chickpeas bec there was enough sauce for that. I always check if you have a version for anything Indian because I love your recipes. This is a delicious tofu curry!

Am I missing out something here. I see kasuri methi being added in the photo instructions. Is it the author has forgotten to list in the recipe card. This tofu curry looks awesome and I look forward to make it soon. But someone please clarify

5 stars
Never had a tofu curry this delicious! A lot of fabulous flavors go into this and the spice level is so good because we love spicy/not hot food. I can’t use nuts so used sunflower seed butter, little tahini and a bit of coconut milk. Turned out fantastic!

5 stars
Another fantastic recipe from Swasthi. I made your aloo gobi and this tofu curry for a family dinner. I have had rave reviews about both the dishes and everyone said this was tasting more like a 5 star Indian restaurant meal.

5 stars
I loved this soooo much. Thanks for such thorough instructions. My tofu curry up to this point has been so bland in comparison. Using this recipe for life!

5 stars
One of the nicest curries I have tried with my friends and this was delicious.

5 stars
This is my favorite tofu recipe from Swasthi’s. I have made this recipe twice. Both the times marinated frozen & defrosted tofu overnight and baked it in the oven. OMG can’t compare this with the recipes I followed earlier. Day-night difference!!! Looking forward for your authentic version of tofu tikka masala.

5 stars
Your tofu curry recipe is amazing. Left out kasuri and whole spices but still i t tasted delicious. I also subbed cashews with almond butter and not sure if it would taste any different with the cashews. Next time going to make it with all the ingredients. Thank you.

5 stars
Great taste, and easy to follow for a beginner. Much appreciated!

5 stars
Amazing recipe, I really thought cashew cream was a great idea!