Tempeh Tikka Masala | Dinner

Tikka masala, butter masala, and makhani sauces are often used interchangeably

in restaurants. The origins of the tikka masala stem from the butter

masala/makhani versions made in Punjab, North India and in Pakistan. Makhani

and butter masala sauce are usually creamier with more butter and cream or

cashew paste, tikka masala is made tangier with more tomatoes.


8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2-inch dice and steamed with spices

3 teaspoons safflower or other neutral oil, divided

1 medium red onion, chopped (3/4 cup)

1 teaspoon Garam Masala (here)

1/2 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri red chile powder

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Generous pinch of asafetida (omit to make glutenfree)

2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 medium tomatoes, chopped (3 cups)

1 (1-inch) knob of ginger, chopped

6 cloves garlic

1 hot green chile, chopped (remove seeds to adjust heat)

1/2 teaspoon raw sugar (omit if yoghurt is sweetened)

3/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1/2 cup plain nondairy yoghurt (unsweetened or lightly sweetened)

1/4 cup water or nondairy milk

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, for garnish


1. Add the steamed tempeh and 1 teaspoon oil to a small skillet over medium

heat. Cook until some edges are golden, 3 minutes. Set aside.

2. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add

the onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally 7 minutes. Add the garam

masala, paprika, ground coriander, asafetida, fenugreek leaves, and turmeric and

mix well. Cook for 2 minutes to infuse the oil.

3. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, ginger, garlic, and chile and blend into a

smooth puree. Add the puree to the skillet and cook over medium heat until the

mixture thickens, and leaves oil on the sides, 17 to 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

4. Add the tempeh, sugar, salt, yoghurt, and water. Mix well. Stir in the vinegar,

cover, and bring to a boil, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the salt, tang, and

spices, if needed. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the sauce reaches the

desired consistency, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and serve hot,

garnished with cilantro.

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