So, yes, I know. I don’t have a tandoor oven, but the way this vegan tandoori tofu is cooked gives it a very similar effect. After being marinated in vegan yogurt and spices, this tofu is baked. First baked on a rack, then broiled to give it those amazing charred pieces. It’s so easy and I love to serve it with a lemony couscous. Maybe some flatbread or naan and some extra herbs and yogurt! This tandoori tofu takes very little effort, and the only thing that takes a significant amount of time is marinating the tofu.
I like to just marinate the tofu overnight, but you can just marinate for a few hours. A traditional tandoori chicken is marinated in a thick plain yogurt. I used Kite Hill which is nice and thick. If you can’t find a nice thick vegan yogurt, you can use the thick part of canned coconut cream. Then you add lemon juice and some beautiful spices and the whole thing smells amazing.
One of the most important things in the marinade is the Garam Masala. It is a spice blend that has cumin, coriander, cinnamon, nutmeg, and some other wonderful spices. So, if you can find Garam Masala, that is the easiest way to do things. You should be able to find it at most stores, or in Indian markets. If you can’t find it, you can make your own. I like to make a batch of my own and keep it in the cabinet. Here is a great recipe for Garam Masala.
I know this tandoori tofu seems like it might not be kid friendly, but my kid loves it! She will walk back and forth in front of the tofu when I pull it out of the oven. Popping the tofu in her mouth while she thinks I’m not looking. She loves the couscous as well, and will never turn down a piece of naan to go with it!
Tofu marinated in vegan yogurt and spices. Then baked and broiled.
- 1 Block(15oz.) Extra firm tofu, cubed and pressed
- 1 Cup Plain vegan yogurt, I used Kite Hill
- 2 Tablespoons Lemon juice
- 2 Cloves Garlic, finely grated
- 1 teaspoon Fresh ginger, finely grated
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala *
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Salt
- a Pinch of Cayenne pepper
- Water to thin out as needed
- 1 Cup Pearl couscous
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
- 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh mint, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
After you press and cube the tofu, make the marinade. Whisk together the vegan yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, salt and cayenne. If your yogurt is pretty thin, then you don't need to add water. If your yogurt is thick, add a splash of water to thin out slightly so it is easy to stir the tofu into the marinade.
Now add the cubes of tofu to the marinade. Marinate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours.
When ready to make the tofu, preheat the oven to 400 degrees(F).
Then place a baking rack(like a cookie cooling rack) on a baking sheet. Place all the tofu on the rack over the baking sheet, making sure each piece of tofu is well coated in the marinade.
Bake the tofu for 25-30 minutes or until nice and brown and crispy. Then turn the oven to broil on low and broil for 3-5 minutes or until it has a nice char.
While the tofu is baking, make the couscous. Bring the water to a boil, then add the couscous and reduce heat to low, cover and cook according to package directions.
Once the couscous is done, add the olive oil, lemon juice, mint, parsley and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Stir, then taste and adjust seasonings.
Once the tofu and couscous are done, serve with naan and extra yogurt and herbs.
*If you can't find garam masala,HERE is a good, easy recipe for one.
If you marinate the tofu for just 2 hours, you can leave it on the counter. If you marinate for longer, I recommend putting it in the fridge.