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Tofu Makhani Curry

5 Mins read
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You’ve got a craving for Indian food, but you’re vegetarian. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! Dive into the world of Tofu Makhani Curry; a delicious, protein-packed dish that’ll satiate your taste buds.

We’ll guide you through its origins, the key ingredients, and the step-by-step process. By the end, you’ll be able to whip up this tasty curry in no time.

So let’s get started, shall we? Your kitchen awaits!

Origins of Tofu Makhani Curry

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You mightn’t know it, but Tofu Makhani Curry’s roots trace back to the fusion of Indian and Asian culinary traditions.

It’s a blend of the rich, creamy Makhani curry from India with the high-protein tofu from East Asia.

The Makhani curry, a staple in Punjab, is traditionally made with butter and cream, giving it a distinctive buttery flavor.

Conversely, tofu, a soybean product, hails from China and is known for its versatility and health benefits.

When tofu is immersed in Makhani curry, it absorbs the curry’s flavors, resulting in an intriguing mix of taste and texture.

This fusion dish represents a beautiful blend of cultures, offering a unique, wholesome spin on traditional curry dishes.

Understanding the Key Ingredients

Diving into the heart of Tofu Makhani Curry, it’s essential you grasp the significance of each key ingredient and how it contributes to the dish’s unique flavor profile.

Tofu, the star of this curry, provides a chewy texture and absorbs the rest of the flavors.

Tomato puree forms the sauce’s base, offering a tangy zing.

A medley of spices like garam masala, turmeric, and red chili powder brings heat and depth.

Fenugreek leaves impart a slightly sweet, nutty flavor, and cream gives the curry its signature velvety finish.

Finally, a garnish of fresh coriander adds a vibrant freshness.

Understanding these ingredients isn’t just about knowing what goes into the pot; it’s about appreciating the harmony they create.

Preparing Tofu for Curry

Before starting your curry, it’s essential to properly prepare your tofu to ensure it absorbs all the delicious flavors.

Begin by pressing the tofu; this step is critical for removing excess water and creating a firmer texture. Wrap the tofu in a clean, absorbent towel and place it under a heavy object, like a cast-iron skillet, for 15-20 minutes.

Once pressed, cut the tofu into bite-sized cubes. To enhance flavor absorption, marinate the tofu in a mixture of soy sauce and spices for at least 30 minutes.

Finally, lightly pan-fry the tofu until golden brown. This not only adds a layer of flavor but also helps the tofu hold its shape in the curry.

Now, you’re all set to add your tofu into the Makhani curry.

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Step-by-Step Cooking Process

Start by heating oil in a pan, then add your finely chopped onions and garlic, sautéing until they’re golden and fragrant.

Next, introduce the spices: turmeric, cumin, and garam masala. Toast them for a minute to release their aroma.

Now, it’s time for the tomatoes. Toss them in, giving everything a good stir. Let the mix simmer until the tomatoes are soft and mushy.

When your base is ready, add the tofu. Make sure it’s well-coated in the spice mix.

Pour in the coconut milk, stirring as you go. Let the curry bubble away gently for about ten minutes. You’re aiming for a rich, thick sauce.

Finish with a sprinkle of fresh coriander.

Your Tofu Makhani Curry is ready. Enjoy!

Serving and Pairing Suggestions

You’ll find that this Tofu Makhani Curry pairs wonderfully with steamed basmati rice or warm naan bread. The subtle, nutty flavor of the rice or the soft, pillowy naan truly complements the creamy, spicy curry.

A fresh salad or a cooling raita on the side can balance out the heat and add a refreshing crunch.

For a more traditional meal, you might consider pairing it with biryani or pulao. And if you’re in for a treat, a glass of robust red wine or a cold, crisp beer can do wonders to elevate your dining experience.

Of course, don’t forget a sweet dessert like Gulab Jamun or Kheer to end the meal on a sweet note.

Enjoy your culinary journey with Tofu Makhani Curry!

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Tofu Makhani Curry

You've got a craving for Indian food, but you're vegetarian. Don't worry, we've got you covered! Dive into the world of Tofu Makhani Curry; a delicious, protein-packed dish that'll satiate your taste-buds.
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 6 Servings


  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 heaping tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 14-ounce packages firm tofu
  • 8 tablespoons ghee or unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 2 yellow onions peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground chile powder such as cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • teaspoons fine sea salt
  • cups heavy cream or full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 scallions thinly sliced on the bias
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves and tender stems
  • Naan basmati rice, yogurt and quartered cucumbers, for serving


Step 1

  • In a large bowl, whisk the lemon juice, cumin and 1 heaping tablespoon turmeric with 1 tablespoon water to make a thin paste. Drain and pat the tofu dry then cut it into 1-inch cubes. Add it to the turmeric marinade, gently stirring to coat. Set aside at room temperature while you prepare the remaining ingredients, or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Step 2

  • In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and chile powder, and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, add the ginger and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

Step 3

  • Add the tomatoes and their juices, gently crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you go. Add the cinnamon stick, paprika and sea salt along with the remaining 1 teaspoon turmeric. Cook until the tomatoes and onions break down and the sauce is the consistency of a thick ragù, about 10 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender, or transfer to a blender and purée until smooth. Return to the pot.

Step 4

  • Gently stir in the cream and the tofu and its marinade. Simmer over low heat, uncovered, until the tofu has taken on the color of the sauce and is flavored all the way through, about 5 minutes. Stir occasionally but gently, so the tofu doesn’t fall apart. Transfer the tofu and sauce to a deep platter or large shallow serving bowl and sprinkle with scallions and cilantro. Serve with warm naan, rice, yogurt and cucumbers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tofu Makhani Curry Suitable for Vegans?

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You’re asking if a certain dish is suitable for vegans. Absolutely, it’s vegan-friendly! It’s made with tofu, a plant-based protein, and other vegan ingredients. Just ensure no dairy is used in its preparation.

Can I Freeze Leftover Tofu Makhani Curry and Reheat It Later?

Yes, you can freeze leftovers and reheat them later. Just ensure they’re cooled before freezing. When reheating, thaw completely and heat thoroughly to maintain flavor and safety. It’s a great way to reduce waste!

What Are Some Potential Substitutes for Ingredients if I Have Dietary Restrictions or Allergies?

You can easily substitute ingredients to fit your dietary needs. Use coconut milk for dairy allergies, swap tofu for meat if you’re vegan, or choose gluten-free alternatives if you’ve got a gluten intolerance.

Is Tofu Makhani Curry a Low-Calorie Dish?

You’re asking if a certain dish is low-calorie. While it can vary, generally, meals made with tofu are lower in calories. However, it also depends on the other ingredients and the preparation method.

Can I Use Other Types of Protein Instead of Tofu in the Makhani Curry?

Absolutely, you can substitute other proteins for tofu. Try using chicken, paneer, or even chickpeas. It’s your curry, so feel free to experiment with different ingredients to suit your dietary preferences or needs.


So, you’ve journeyed through the origins of Tofu Makhani Curry, discovered its key ingredients, mastered tofu preparation, and ventured into the cooking process.

Now, it’s time to serve up your dish and savor the flavors. Remember, the beauty of this curry lies in its versatility. Pair it with your favorite sides and transform your dinner into a delectable adventure. After all, isn’t that the true essence of culinary art?

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About author
Meet Sue Perera, the culinary aficionado behind our captivating recipe hub. An imaginative and talented young woman, Sue has an unwavering passion for all things food – especially those aromatic wonders, cinnamon and thyme. Her deep-seated love for these two unique spices inspired the birth of this website, but don't be fooled – her culinary repertoire extends far beyond these two ingredients.
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