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Tofu Makhani, a vegan version of this rich tasting, orange curry so popular in Indian restaurants - holycowvegan.net
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5 from 62 votes

Tofu Makhani

Makhani, with its deeply colored and flavorful gravy, is perhaps one of the most fabled and beloved dishes of Indian restaurant cuisine. You can serve this vegan Tofu Makhani with naan or some rice for a delicious, healthy meal.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Curry
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Tofu Makhani
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 251kcal


For the Marinated Tofu:

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil (any other vegetable oil will work too)
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu (Swaddle the block of tofu in a paper napkin or cheesecloth, place it in a sieve, and place a heavy weight, like a pan, on top. Let the tofu stand for an hour at least so most of the water has drained out of it. Then cut it in half down the middle, and halve again crosswise so you have four slices.)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (or paprika for less heat, or another red chilli powder)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt to taste

For the Makhani Curry:

  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil (any other vegetable oil would work too)
  • 3 pods green cardamom
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 1-inch piece cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • ½ tablespoon grated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne (can sub with paprika for more color and less heat, or any red chili powder)
  • 2 heaping tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves), optional
  • 2 teaspoon sugar (grated jaggery or maple syrup will do)
  • 2 cups or more vegetable stock (Can sub water but stock will add even more flavor)
  • ¼ cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon vegan "butter"
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro for garnish


  • Prepare the tofu:
  • Mix all the ingredients except the tofu. Now slather the marinade on the slices of tofu you've prepared and set aside for about half an hour.
  • Smear the oil evenly in a nonstick or cast-iron griddle. When it's hot, place the slices of tofu in the pan without crowding them. Cook until golden-brown on each side, about four minutes per side. Remove to a plate and, when cool, cut into ¾-inch cubes. Set aside.
  • Make the Makhani curry:
  • Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the cumin seeds, and when they sputter add cardamom, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Saute for a minute over medium-high heat.
  • Add the onions and a little salt and saute until the onions start to brown, about five minutes. Add ginger and garlic pastes, kasoori methi, and cashew nuts and saute for another minute.
  • Add the tomatoes and tomato paste, powdered coriander, turmeric, and chilli powder.
  • Saute the mixture until the tomatoes turn really soft and melt into the saucepan. If the mixture starts to get too dry before the tomatoes are done, add some water or vegetable stock and continue cooking.
  • Once the tomatoes are really soft, turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Pour into a blender and add a cup of vegetable stock. Blend to a smooth paste. (Don't blend the mixture while it's still hot because it can be dangerous. If you have a hand blender, this is the time to use it.)
  • Pour the blended paste back into the saucepan, turn on the heat, add the remaining vegetable stock if the mixture is thick, and bring to a simmer. Now add the tofu cubes and stir them in. Add salt to taste. Let the mixture simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the vegan butter and turn off the heat. Stir to melt the butter into the sauce.
  • Add the lemon juice and maple syrup, mix well, garnish with coriander leaves, and serve hot with some boiled rice or naan.


Calories: 251kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.1g | Protein: 14.7g | Sugar: 5.4g