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Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala: Tandoori Spiced, Dairy-free, Healthy

by Sophie
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Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala:

I am not sure if the tikka masala is Indian or Indo-British. But, I love this dish despite of its origin. Now that I am trying many new vegan dishes, I tried to recreate this dish in its vegan form. Hence, I have the vegan seitan tikka masala for you.vegan seitan tikka masala

Jump to the recipe

Tandoori Spiced Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala:

Creamy and spicy gravy with soft, semi-chewy and succulent tandoori seitan or seitan tikka, for me it’s a roadway to heaven. I love this creamy curry more than anything. What makes this dish so delicious is its unique combination of flavors, which includes many layers of flavor profiles. Talk spice, the seitan tikka has it. Looking for a rich curry without adding fat-rich dairy cream, it’s my vegan seitan tikka masala.vegan seitan tikka masala


My Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala:

Making this vegan seitan tikka masala is so so easy that you will want to make it every other weekend or whenever you wish to enjoy some comfort food. Don’t want to eat this with rice or watching your carb intake? Eat this with cauliflower rice. It tastes heavenly with those chewy, semi-cooked cauli rice.

Seitan is definitely a distant cousin of chicken. I mean how can it taste and feel so similar to chicken? I have no idea. I make a huge batch of seitan and refrigerate it for a week or two. It’s a good source of protein that you can use in stir fry, curries, meatless patties and in many more meat-less cooking.vegan seitan tikka masala


The tikka marinade:

  • Vegan yogurt, curry paste (click here for curry paste recipe), lime juice, red chili powder and tandoori spices, and freshly made ginger garlic paste. Yes, that’s all you need.
  • The marinade is so easy and quick, you can even keep it refrigerated for days and add the ginger garlic paste just before using.
  • I prefer keeping the seitan in the marinade for a few hours, or sometimes overnight in the refrigerator. But, I have also used seitan that are in the marinade for just 10 minutes, and it works perfectly fine.

How to make Tandoori Sietan Tikka in a pan?

vegan seitan tikka masala

  • In a frying pan(preferably non-stick), add a tsp of oil.

vegan seitan tikka masala

  • Add each pieces of seitan carefully and cook without covering the pan.
  • Turn the seitans after few minutes to cook from all the sides.
  • Upon cooking, the seitans will change their color and look yellowish or reddish. (adding some Kashmiri chili powder or paprika gives a vibrant reddish hue to the seitan tikka.

vegan seitan tikka masala


  • If you choose to grill, then add seitans to a skewer and grill them until well cooked and slightly charred.

vegan seitan tikka masala

  • Enjoy tandoori seitan tikka as it is, or proceed to the next step to make a seitan tikka masala gravy.

vegan seitan tikka masala

Grilling the seitan is the quickest step. Unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of that. But, I will ensure to update this post with the grilling step pictures soon.

  • I use a grill pan or sometimes, I even bake the seitans at 350F for five minutes and broil for five minutes.
  • I don’t like to char them a lot. Just a little brown edges, crispy outer texture and that’s it.
  • Now the gravy.

The tikka masala gravy:

It’s easier than you think.

  • All you need are some tomatoes, onions, garlic, ginger, and curry powder, coriander powder and cumin powder.
  • The tikka masala gravy has a tang and sweet taste, because of the tomatoes used in it.
  • The main base and the heart and soul of the dish are tomatoes.
  • This dish does need some onion and ginger-garlic mixture too.
  • Because I use my make-ahead curry paste, I can quickly whip up this dish in less than 15 minutes.

vegan seitan tikka masala


  • If you are doing it from scratch, I would suggest sweating some red onions, green chili and ginger garlic paste with the tomatoes.
  • And puree this mixture once it cools down. This will be the base of your gravy.
  • Don’t forget to strain the mixture before bringing it to a boil and adding spices. This is the key to get a smooth gravy.

To make it creamy, we have the cashew cream.

  • Blend them well and add them to the gravy.
  • Now the best part, adding the ‘Kasuri Methi’ to the gravy.
  • Don’t let the name scare you, it’s just dried fenugreek leaves that you can easily find at any Indian store or online.vegan seitan tikka masala


And making the curry:

  • Add cashew cream to the gravy and stir well to combine.
  • Your vegan seitan tikka masala is ready.
  • Enjoy this creamy and spicy curry with naan, rice or cauliflower rice. I even keep some grilled seitan tikka to enjoy with salads. And sometimes, I use the left-over tikka masala gravy as a pizza sauce and add veggies and seitan to make an Indian inspired pizza.vegan seitan tikka masala


Nutrition Facts:

vegan seitan tikka masala

vegan seitan tikka masala

Vegan Seitan Tikka Masala: Tandoori Spiced, Dairy-free, Vegan

This vegan seitan tikka masala will make you crave for more. With an umpteen mélange of spices and nuts, the rich and creamy gravy with a distinctive spicy and tangy taste leaves a delicious feel on your palate.
4.6 from 5 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: 30-minute vegan dinner, Instant pot tikka masala, Seitan tikka masala, Vegan tikka masala
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 210kcal
Author: Sophie
Cost: $10


  • Instant pot


Seitan Tikka Marinade

  • ½ cup vegan yogurt
  • 1 tsp curry paste(optional)
  • 1 tbsp tandoori tikka masala powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or crushed
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp oil( preferably canola)
  • ½ tsp red chili powder(more if you want a more hot curry)
  • 1 cup chicken style seitan
  • salt to taste

Tikka masala gravy base

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3 cups tomato halves
  • ½ cup red onion
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper or two green chilies


  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp roasted kasuri methi, (just roast the kasuri methi in a heated pan for few minutes till they are warm)
  • Salt to taste

Cashew cream

  • ½ cup raw cashews(soaked in 1 cup water)


Make Seitan Tikka:

  • In a bowl, add all the marinade ingredients and add seitan.
  • Keep aside for few minutes to few hours.
  • Cook in a grill pan for few minutes, until the yogurt tikka marinade is infused well and the seitans look dry.
  • This process approximately takes 5-10 minutes.
  • Allow the seitans to brown and blacken a bit before turning the heat off.

Make the cashew cream:

  • Take the cashew with half cup of water to make a smooth puree.
  • Use a high-speed blender for this process.
  • There shouldn’t be any broken nut pieces in the mixture.

Make tikka gravy:

  • In a saucepan, add a tsp of oil.
  • Now add all the ingredients listed under the tikka gravy and allow the vegetables to lose water.
  • You don’t need to brown the mixture. As they start losing water and become mushy, turn the heat off and allow the mixture to cool.
  • Take this mixture in a blender jar and a smooth puree.
  • Strain and use the liquid only.
  • Now bring the sieved liquid to a boil. Add all the spices listed under the spice list.
  • Stir well. At this point, the gravy will be very thick and start to splutter as you cook.
  • Keep the heat in medium-low and stir well while combining. (Add ½ cup water if you want a little runny gravy)
  • Now add the grilled seitan tikka and mix well.
  • Cook for a few minutes and add the cashew cream.
  • Now add a spoon-full of roasted kasuri methi and turn the heat off.
  • Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Set the instant pot into a saute mode and add oil.
  • Add all the ingredients listed under the tikka gravy and saute till veggies are sweaty.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water, half of the cashew cream, all the spices except kasuri methi, and close the lid. Seal the vent and set for one-minute of pressure cooking.
  • After the beep, weight for 5 minutes and open the lid. Transfer the mixture to a blender jar and blend them to a smooth puree. Alternatively, use a hand blender to blend the mixture well.
  • Set the instant pot to a saute mode, and add the strained blended puree. Now add the seitan tikkas. Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Garnish with cashew cream, cilantro leaves and serve warm.
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  • You can swap seitan for tofu, paneer or chicken.
  • The cooking time for tofu and paneer tikka will be little less than seitan.
  • Add more cashew cream if you want the tikka gravy creamier.
  • I sometimes take half the cashew and puree it with the gravy base, and use the other half to make the cashew cream that I add to the tikka masala gravy in the end.
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Serving: 230g | Calories: 210kcal
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Meena May 27, 2017 - 3:43 pm

Sophie this looks awesome. Lovely clicks and we like seitan. But do you make your seitan or buy them ??

Sophie May 27, 2017 - 5:05 pm

Meena, I always make a huge batch of seitan and refrigerate it. Great time saver ?

Elena May 27, 2017 - 11:49 pm

5 stars
Looks very delicious!

Lathiya May 29, 2017 - 10:12 am

Delicious dish and lovely pictures.

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Catherine June 23, 2018 - 12:41 am

Is this seitan steamed 1st like shown in your easiest chicken style seitan vegan recipe? Can it be deep fried as well? If so how long would you cook it for?

Sophie June 23, 2018 - 9:04 am

I used to cook in broth when using for curries. However, these days I pressure cook in instant pot for 40 minutes by lightly packing my dough in foil. I am going to share that recipe this week.

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Diane April 1, 2021 - 12:49 pm

4 stars
I would give this five stars but I had some issues making it. I made my own seitan but need a better recipe; the sauce was great but the seitans were a bit dry. I even made a batch of the curry, according to your recipe. I froze it for use in future, thank you. My problems came at your instruction section. It would be helpful to let your readers know at what heat setting to cook the various parts of the recipe. When you say “keep aside for a few minutes to a few hours” do you mean to refrigerate, leave on counter? The sieved vegetables I saved for future use, perhaps to add in an Italian tomato pasta sauce. I have been trying more recipes during the pandemic and found your recipe – the first time I have made tikka masala and it was delicious! Also the first time I made seitans; I will try once more but was not pleased with the results; I will have to try a different recipe. Thank you for this sauce thought! it is delightful.


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