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Vegan Tikka Masala

Vegan Tikka Masala is a delightful plant-based twist on the traditional Indian dish, featuring tender pieces of tofu or vegetables simmered in a rich, spiced tomato and coconut milk sauce. This comforting dish is full of aromatic spices and creamy textures, making it a satisfying meal for vegans and non-vegans alike.

Vegan Tikka Masala

Ingredients:

Tofu or Vegetables:

Tofu: Extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into cubes.
Vegetables: A mix of bell peppers, cauliflower, and peas can also be used as the main ingredients.

Marinade:

1 cup coconut yogurt or plain vegan yogurt
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional, for heat)
Salt to taste

Masala Sauce:

1 large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or coconut oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Fresh Cilantro: Chopped, for garnish
Lemon Wedges: For serving

Instructions:

Marinate the Tofu or Vegetables:
In a large bowl, combine the vegan yogurt, lemon juice, ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt.
Add the tofu cubes or vegetables to the marinade, tossing to coat evenly. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes or up to a few hours for best results.

Cook the Marinated Tofu or Vegetables:
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Spread the marinated tofu or vegetables on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and slightly crispy, turning halfway through.

Prepare the Masala Sauce:
In a large skillet or pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and sauté until translucent.
Add the minced garlic and ginger, and sauté for another minute until fragrant.
Stir in the ground cumin, ground coriander, turmeric, garam masala, paprika, and cayenne pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the spices.
Add the tomato paste and diced tomatoes, cooking until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens.
Stir in the coconut milk, bringing the sauce to a gentle simmer. Let it cook for about 10 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld together.

Combine and Serve:
Add the baked tofu or vegetables to the masala sauce, stirring to coat evenly.
Simmer for another 5-10 minutes until everything is heated through and well combined.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish and Serve:
Serve the Vegan Tikka Masala hot, garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon wedges.
Pair with steamed basmati rice, naan bread, or your favorite grain.

Serving Suggestions:

Vegan Tikka Masala is a versatile and hearty dish that pairs wonderfully with basmati rice, quinoa, or naan bread. For a complete meal, serve it with a side of pickled vegetables, a simple green salad, or Indian-style flatbreads. The rich and creamy sauce, combined with the aromatic spices and tender tofu or vegetables, makes this dish a delightful experience for the taste buds.

Tips:

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