My Oven Blackened Tandoori Tofu will become your favorite way to eat tofu. The tangy, spicy, brilliantly red tandoori sauce infuses the tofu with gorgeous flavor, and the blackened, charred bits add even more deliciousness. A vegan, gluten-free recipe.
A tandoori marinade might be synonymous with the food it is usually slathered on and cooked with — tandoori chicken — but there are delicious, and vegan, ways to have your tandoori dish and eat it too. And I can’t think of any dish more delicious than this Oven Blackened Tandoori Tofu.
There’s something so flavorful about this brilliantly orange-red, tangy, salty and spicy sauce, it’s a shame, really, to waste it on a poor chicken who, after six miserable weeks on earth spent inside a crowded cage never knowing what it is like to be a bird, was then shackled, hung upside down, and beheaded in an assembly line before she was dunked in boiling water and feathered and skinned — all by someone else — so you could waltz into the supermarket, buy her breasts and her thighs in neat packages, and eat her.
(Sorry, carnivores reading this, but the truth needs to be slipped in sometimes so we don’t stay in the habit of ignoring it.)
Getting back to the vegan stuff, while no one in Punjab, I am pretty sure, has slapped tofu into a tandoor, I am sure they would want to if they had a taste of this recipe.
I don’t have a tandoor, but in my oven the tofu bakes up wonderfully firm and yet tender and juicy , with the bright flavors of the marinade complementing it beautifully. I love turning up the broiler at the end of baking for just a little bit to make the tofu blacken up in parts, making it even more crispy, smoky, and amazing. Just like you would with chicken, only better.
More north Indian restaurant foods to enjoy at home:
The Oven Baked Tandoori Tofu is amazingly simple to make. All you need to do is press the tofu, slice it, marinate it once, marinate it once more, and then bake it. And no, the marinades are not complicated at all, they are in fact super simple. So simple that they’ll make you go, wow!
Tandoori foods are usually served with tandoori breads, like naans and kulchas and rotis, or you could serve this along with some pilaf rice with a raita on the side. Or go wild — cube this tofu, nestle it in a bed of greens, put it in a taco or a pita bread, and drizzle on some vegan yogurt. You can even layer it onto a pizza. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s the recipe for my Oven Blackened Tandoori Tofu. Eat up!
Oven Blackened Tandoori Tofu
- 1 14 oz block of extra firm tofu, pressed and drained for an hour at least, then cut into six slices
For the first marinade:
For the second marinade:
- 1/2 tsp paprika or Kashmiri chili powder (for brighter color add more paprika. Paprika doesn't have much heat, so you won't end up making your tofu too spicy. In India, food colors are often used to give tandoori chicken its bright color, but we're staying natural here)
- 1/2 cup cashew yogurt (you want very thick yogurt with a Greek yogurt-like consistency. See directions for my cashew yogurt -- link in recipe notes below)
- 1/2 tsp ginger paste
- 1/2 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- Salt to taste
- Place the tofu in a baking dish or a dish large enough to hold all six slices, then slather on the first marinade, spreading it evenly. Let the tofu stand for an hour in the marinade.
- Make the second marinade by mixing all the ingredients together. Slather the second marinade on to the tofu slices, again making sure you spread it evenly. Let the tofu stand for at least 15 more minutes.
- While the tofu is marinating for the second time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the tofu on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper or tinfoil and bake 40 minutes, turning over once halfway through baking.
- Once the tofu has baked 40 minutes, turn the broiler on to 500 degrees. Broil the tofu for another 3-5 minutes or until some black spots appear on it.
- Remove from the oven, let the tofu stand for five minutes, then serve.