Amazing Vegan Tikka Masala! It’s an Indian-spiced masala sauce stewed with marinated soy curls and served over cilantro rice for a delicious vegan and gluten-free meal. Serve it with homemade naan and salad.
If you know anything about me, then you know I LOVE LOVE LOVE curry. Give me all the curries and I am one happy gal. Perhaps, that’s why you’ll find so many vegan curry recipes on my blog.
I’m also REALLY digging soy curls recently. They are the perfect low-processed chicken replacement for Chicken Caesar Salad and Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas. And since those recipes have been such a huge hit at my home and yours, I decided to give it another go with this vegan chicken tikka masala.
I think you’re going to love this vegan Tikka Masala as much as I do. Its:
- rich and creamy
- packed with protein
- hearty and wholesome
- spiced to PERFECTION
Ready to take a closer look? Let’s dive in!
What is Tikka Masala?
Traditionally served with chicken, Tikka Masala is an Indian dish made with roasted and marinated chicken stewed together in a rich curry sauce that is spiced with garam masala, coriander, cumin, and turmeric. It is served over rice or with flatbread.
Since this dish is traditionally made with chicken, the first step is figuring out the best plant-based chicken replacement. Of course, I turn to my go-to chicken substitute: soy curls.
What are Soy Curls?
Soy curls are a dehydrated soy product made by soaking the beans in fresh water and then constantly stirring them while they cook. They get dried at low temperatures which hold in the nutrients making soy curls a fiber and omega-3 rich food. They are chewy, sponges for flavor, and perfect for vegan chicken Tikka Masala.
You can find soy curls in the bulk section at most grocery stores or online.
How to Cook with Soy Curls?
To make soy curls, we first have to rehydrate them. To do this, place your soy curls in a shallow dish and add enough warm water to cover. Place a lid on top to keep in the heat and let them sit for 10 minutes until they have absorbed the water and become soft.
Once they are rehydrated, you can sauté or bake them until they are cooked and chewy.
How to Make Tikka Masala
As I said, this recipe is very straight forward. It’s a matter of cooking your rice, sautéing your soy curls chicken, and cooking it all together in a rich and creamy Masala sauce.
Step One- Make the Cashew Cream
Begin by making the cashew cream. When it comes to cashew cream, you really should use a high-powered blender. I recommend a Vitamix, which is what I use. These blenders can be pricy, but my Vitamix is, by far, the most used gadget in my kitchen. Most other blenders are simply not powerful enough to create a cream out of cashews and you’ll end up with gritty cashew cream.
With a Vitamix, you can just throw your ingredients into the blender and blend for about 30 seconds until you have a smooth, delicious cream. So easy!
Step Two – Marinate the Soy Curls
Whisk together the vegetable broth and spices for the marinade. Transfer to a shallow baking dish and add the soy curls. Make sure the soy curls are fully submerged so that they can properly rehydrate. Marinate for at least 10 minutes.
Step Three – Make the Sauce
Strain the soy curls, reserving the marinade, and sauté them in a heavy-bottomed pot. Sauté for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown on all sides. Add the marinade and bring to a heavy simmer. Simmer until all the marinade has evaporated. Transfer the soy curls to a plate and return the pot to the stovetop.
In the same pot sauté the onions, garlic, and ginger until the onions are translucent and fragrant. Add the spices, tomato sauce, and water, stirring to combine. Return the soy curls to the pot along with the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes, until everything is cooked all the way through. Stir in the cashew cream and cilantro and remove from heat.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this recipe gluten-free
Yes, it is!
Do I have to use soy curls?
No. You can also use cauliflower as a chicken substitute for this recipe. If you are doing that, I recommend using this recipe.
How should I store this dish?
For best results, this Tikka Masala should be eaten shortly after it’s made. However, if you have leftovers you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To eat leftovers, gently reheat the stir fry over the stove or in the microwave.
Serve this curry dish over rice or, for a low-carb option, cauliflower rice.
More Vegan Curry Recipes
Do you love coconut curry as much as I do? Then you should check out these recipes below:
- Red Lentil Cauliflower Curry
- Eggplant and Chickpea Curry
- Thai Sweet Potato Curry
- Thai Green Curry
- Pumpkin Peanut Curry with Tofu
But before you go, let’s take another look at this coconut curry recipe.
Amazing Vegan Tikka Masala! It's an Indian-spiced masala sauce stewed with marinated soy curls and served over cilantro rice for a delicious vegan and gluten-free meal. Serve it with homemade naan and salad.
Keyword: Vegan Tikka Masala
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 487 kcal
Author: Sarah McMinn
- 1 tbsp. cooking oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 tsp. Garam Masala
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder
- 1 tsp. coriander
- 1 (14oz) can tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup cashew cream
- salt, to taste
- 4 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 cup (uncooked) Jasmine rice,
- 1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
Begin by making the cashew cream. In a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, combine all the ingredients for the cashew cream, placing the water at the bottom. Blend on high until completely smooth. Set aside.
Combine the ingredients for the Masala Soy Curls except for the cooking oil- you will use that to sauté the soy curls later. Marinate the soy curls for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make rice. Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add rice, cover, and reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes until all the water has evaporated and the rice is fully cooked. When the rice is done, stir in 1 tablespoon minced cilantro and set aside.
Add two tablespoons of cooking oil to a large soup pot over medium heat. Strain the soy curls, reserving the marinade, and add them to the pot to sauté. Sauté for about 5 minutes until they begin to brown on all sides. Add the marinade and bring to a heavy simmer. Simmer until all the marinade has evaporated. Transfer the soy curls to a plate and return the pot to the stovetop.
Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of cooking oil to the pot. Sauté the onions for 4-5 minutes, until they are translucent. Add the garlic and ginger and sauté for an additional 60 seconds. Once fragrant, add the spices, tomato sauce, and water, stirring to combine. Return the soy curls to the pot along with the tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes, until everything is cooked all the way through. Stir in the cashew cream and cilantro and remove from heat.
Serve over cilantro rice with fresh naan.
- If you can't find soy curls, you can also use cauliflower as a chicken substitute. If you are doing that, I recommend using this recipe.
- Stor leftover curry in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To eat leftovers, gently reheat the stir fry over the stove or in the microwave.
- For a low-carb option, serve over cauliflower rice.