This vegan curried tofu recipe is quick and easy to prepare and features crispy tofu in a creamy coconut curry sauce with a blend of fragrant spices.
About Tofu Curry
This easy tofu coconut curry is wonderfully creamy, flavourful and made with just a handful of wholesome ingredients.
The dish is easy to customize to suit your needs by adjusting the level of spice or adding additional veggies. It’s simple and quick to prepare too!
Curried tofu is an ideal choice for busy weeknight dinners or a healthy meal prep option. It’s family-friendly, satisfyingly creamy and made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand.
What You’ll Need
Please scroll down the page to find the full recipe with ingredient amounts. This section covers notes on specific ingredients used and any possible substitutions.
- Tofu: You can use firm or extra-firm tofu in this recipe.
- Spices: For the tofu you’ll need ground turmeric and paprika. For the curry you’ll need garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili flakes. In addition, salt and pepper is used to season the tofu and curry throughout the recipe.
- Garlic and Ginger: It’s best to use fresh/raw garlic and ginger rather than ground though you can substitute 1 tsp ground ginger for the fresh ginger if needed.
- Tomato: The recipe calls for fresh tomato. If you don’t have that available you could use a 15 oz can of diced tomato.
- Liquid: You can use water or vegetable broth. I suggest using broth to help add more depth of flavour.
- Coconut Milk: Full-fat coconut milk is suggested but you can substitute light coconut milk if the fat content is a concern. Use a good-quality, thick and creamy coconut milk and be sure to shake the can really well before opening.
- Sugar: You can use coconut sugar or brown sugar. Maple syrup would also work.
Step 1: Prepare the Tofu
Cut the tofu into small cubes and place them in a bowl with the turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper.
Gently toss to coat the tofu in the spices. You can use your hands or a spatula to mix.
Step 2: Fry the Tofu
Heat 1 tbsp neutral oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Once it’s hot, add the tofu cubes in an even layer.
Cook them for 6-8 minutes, flipping them every so often, until they’re golden and crisp on all sides. Transfer the pieces to a plate.
Step 3: Cook Aromatics
Using the same pan as the tofu, heat another 1 tbsp of oil then add the onion, tomato, ginger and garlic.
Season with a pinch of salt and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until the onions and tomato are softened.
Step 4: Toast the Spices
Add the garam masala, coriander, cumin, chili flakes and turmeric and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly until the spices are toasted and fragrant.
Quick Tip: This stage is important to bring out the flavour of the spices and so that they don’t taste raw.
Step 5: Finish the Curry
Add the water or broth, coconut milk and sugar. Season with another pinch of salt.
Bring the mixture to a simmer then add the tofu back to the pan and mix well. Cook for 6-8 minutes until the sauce reduces (thickens).
Serve your curried tofu with rice or naan, sprinkled with cilantro and with lime or lemon wedges on the side.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely! Tofu curry is versatile and works well with a range of vegetables. Some good choices are broccoli, carrot, bell pepper, bok choy and cauliflower.
If you’re adding extra vegetables, keep it simple by using up to 2 cups of 1-2 veggies and add them along with the onion and tomato.
The recipe is not spicy as written but can easily be adjusted to the level of heat you prefer.
If you’re sensitive to spice, omit the chili flakes. If you’d like more heat, increase the chili flakes to 1 tsp, or add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or 1-2 minced Thai chilis.
Yes, tofu curry is a healthy dish that’s a good source of plant-based protein, vitamins and minerals thanks nutrient-rich ingredients like onion, garlic, ginger, tomato and spices.
It is somewhat high in fat due to the coconut milk. To reduce the fat and calories in the recipe, you can substitute light coconut milk for the full-fat coconut milk.
Notes and Tips
- Toast the Spices: To bring out the flavour of the spices and avoid them tasting raw, be sure to “toast” them in the pan for 1-2 minutes as written in the recipe.
- Use broth for more flavour. It’s totally fine to use water, I often do if I don’t stock on hand but using a vegetable stock or broth will help add more flavour to the sauce.
How to Store
- Let curry cool before storing.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Reheat in a pan on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
- While you could safely freeze this recipe, it’s not really ideal for freezing because it will change the texture of the tofu, veggies and sauce . If you do want to freeze it, let it cool then freeze in an airtight container. Thaw in the fridge then reheat in a pan or in the microwave.
Did you try this recipe?
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An easy tofu coconut curry recipe featuring pan-fried tofu in a creamy curry sauce made with aromatics and a fragrant spice blend.
For the Tofu
- 1 454g block firm tofu, drained and patted dry
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ½ tsp paprika
- salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp oil
For the Curry
- 1 tbsp neutral oil, like avocado or coconut
- 1 onion, diced (110 g, about 1 cup diced)
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
- 2–3 plum tomatoes, chopped (195 g, 1 ½ cups chopped)
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chili flakes or more to taste
- ½ cup water or vegetable stock
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 tsp coconut or brown sugar
- salt and pepper
- lemon wedges
- steamed rice
- Prepare the Tofu: Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. In a medium bowl, add tofu, turmeric and paprika. Season with salt and pepper, then toss to coat.
- Fry the Tofu: In a large pan, heat 1 tbsp oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add tofu in an even layer. Cook for 6-8 min, flipping pieces occasionally, until golden on all sides. Transfer tofu to a plate. Set aside.
- Cook Aromatics: In the same pan, heat another 1 tbsp oil over medium heat. Add onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic. Season with a pinch of salt. Cook for 4-6 min, stirring often, until onions and tomatoes soften.
- Add Spices: Add garam masala, coriander, cumin, turmeric and chili flakes. Cook for 1-2 min, stirring frequently, until toasted and fragrant. Tip: this stage is very important so that spices don’t taste raw.
- Finish Curry: To the pan, add ½ cup water or broth, ½ cup coconut milk and the sugar. Season with salt. Bring to a simmer. Once simmering, add tofu back to the pan. Stir to coat. Cook for 6-8 min, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces. Season with salt to taste.
- Serve: Serve curried tofu with steamed rice or naan. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. Squeeze over a lemon wedge, to taste.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 281
- Sugar: 6 g
- Sodium: 600 mg
- Fat: 19 g
- Carbohydrates: 14 g
- Fiber: 4 g
- Protein: 14 g
Keywords: curried tofu, tofu coconut curry