We may earn a commission for anything you purchase through links on this page.
Pricing and availability are accurate as of the piece’s initial publication.
Are you struggling to find easy, healthy recipes for your Instant Pot? If you want to add more plant-based meals to your rotation but don’t know where to start, we’ve got you covered. This vegetarian tofu tikka masala recipe is just what you need to break out of your dinnertime rut.
And if you’ve heard that tofu is boring or plain, this recipe from The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook by Jeffrey Eisner is sure to prove you wrong. With garlic, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, and more, this meal is bursting with flavor. But the best part might be that thanks to the Instant Pot, it cooks itself.
Once you’ve tried this recipe, check out The Lighter Step-By-Step Instant Pot Cookbook, out April 13, 2021, for more delicious comfort food recipes using an Instant Pot.
230 calories, 15.2 g fat, 165 mg sodium, 15.4 g carbs (3.4 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar), 10.4 g protein
1/4 cup refined coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
2 (14-16-ounce) packages extra-firm tofu (NOTE: it must be extra-firm to hold its form), drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 (13.5-ounce) can unsweetened light coconut milk (NOTE: Shake the can to make sure the coconut milk is thin like water, not thick and lumpy.)
1 cup no-salt-added canned crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp garam masala, divided
3 tsp seasoned salt, divided
2 tsp ground cumin, divided
1/2 tsp ground turmeric, divided
1/2 cup loosely packed chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for topping (optional)
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt (store-bought or homemade)
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce (not the same as pasta sauce)
1 Tbsp monk fruit sweetener or pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
How to Make It
- Add the oil to the Instant Pot, hit Sauté, and Adjust so it’s on the More or High setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add half of the tofu and gently sauté for 5–10 minutes, until the tofu is very lightly browned. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of the garam masala, 1 teaspoon of the seasoned salt, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1/4 teaspoon of the turmeric, and cilantro (if using). Mix until well combined, deglazing the bottom of the pot to make sure it’s free and clear of any browned bits. Top with the bay leaf.
- Secure the lid, move the valve to the sealing position, hit Keep Warm/Cancel, and then hit Manual or Pressure Cook on High Pressure for 2 minutes. Quick release when done and remove the bay leaf.
- Add the remaining tofu, yogurt, tomato sauce, sweetener or maple syrup, remaining 1 tablespoon of garam masala, remaining 2 teaspoons of seasoned salt, remaining 1 teaspoon of cumin, remaining 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, and cayenne (if using). Stir until well combined, then let rest for 5 minutes to thicken slightly.
- Serve topped with additional cilantro, if desired.
Jeff’s Tips: If you have the time (perhaps while prepping other ingredients), I suggest you press your tofu so it will stay firm and absorb even more of the delicious sauce. Before dicing the tofu, line a rimmed baking sheet with a few paper towels and place the tofu bricks on top. Then place a heavy wooden cutting board (or anything else with substantial weight, like a skillet plus a few cans of tomatoes) on top of it. Leave for 10–15 minutes, until most of the moisture is squeezed out of the tofu.
The reason we add some tofu before pressure cooking and some after is for texture—you get the best of both worlds with both softer and slightly chewier tofu.
RELATED: Easy, healthy, 350-calorie recipe ideas you can make at home.