Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

When I used to be a chickatarian (which I admit wasn’t too long ago), I used to eat a Tandoori Chicken Salad Appetizer at an Indian Restaurant- Moghul- that my family frequents. I really liked that the chef combined grilled, tandoori chicken with cool tomatoes and sauteed peppers and onions, and I HAD to figure out a way to make it vegetarian. And then I thought, what’s better than tofu?! I could’ve used paneer (which is a scrumptious Indian cheese), but I wanted to keep the dish healthy and open to everyone (aka Vegetarians and Vegans). It’s full of spicy tandoori flavors and sweet cherry tomatoes. The soft tofu combined with crunchy vegetables and sweet tomatoes is heavenly. The combination is yummy and its great as an appetizer or side dish, and wonderful to serve at dinner parties too! Plus its low in fat and PACKED with protein! It’s definitely a must try! (Also my Daddy loved this dish and he’s a very picky eater and dislikes tofu!)


  • 1 cup firm cubed tofu (I use Nasoya)
  • 3-4 tbsp tandoori masala (recipe BELOW or store-bought)
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed)- plus extra for cooking
  • 1 tsp salt
  • coarse black pepper- few grinds
  • 3 cloves garlic- crushed and minced
  • 1-2 tbsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3-4 dried cayenne chilies– cut in half
  • 1/2 white onion- sliced in rainbows
  • 1/2 green bell pepper- thinly sliced (almost julienned)
  • 3/4 cup yellow cherry tomatoes- cut in half
  • good handful of cilantro– washed and finely chopped
  • PAM (original)/ 1 tbsp olive oil
  • romaine lettuce leaves (for garnishing)
  • chat masala (for garnishing, optional)

1. In a medium sized bowl place tofu. Add tandoori masala, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, and lemon juice. Combine well, until each piece is coated and red. Wrap with plastic wrap, and place in the fridge. Marinate for 2 hours (or more).

2. In a medium-sized skillet spray with PAM and add oil and set over medium flame. Add onions, peppers and garlic. Saute for about 2 minutes, then add grated ginger. Add chilies with seeds and all. Saute for about another 2 minutes. After the onions and peppers are slightly browned and soft (not caramelized), add tofu. Saute for another 2-3 minutes. You want the tofu to become a lil browned and soft. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and combine.

3. After everything is well combine and veggies and cooked and tofu is soft, taste for salt, and add as needed. Remove from heat and mix in cherry tomatoes. Add cilantro and mix.

4. On a serving platter, place lettuce leave and place tofu over half of the leaves. Sprinkle with a little chat masala and cilantro. Can be served warm or at room temperature. Can be eaten alone or with naan.

Serves 4

Tandoori Masala:

  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek (methi) powder
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp nutmeg (freshly grated preferably)
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder

1. Mix all ingredients together. If starting with whole spices, lightly roast them over the stove, and grind in a coffee grinder.


This dish is PACKED with protein from the tofu and is VERY low in fat. The fat comes from tofu and the 1 tbsp oil. Otherwise, it’s very healthy and yummy, so dig in!

Check it out on Foodista!
Tandoori Tofu Masala “salad” on FoodistaTandoori Tofu Masala “salad”


9 thoughts on “Tandoori Tofu Masala “Salad”

  1. I just came across this recipe and substituted a half pound of prawns for the tofu and it was super good. Thanks for the recipe, I’ve been cooking Indian food just about every day lately.

    1. Whoops I didn’t realize this was a vegetarian site!!! I was a vegetarian for 10+ years and started eating fish about 10 years ago. Sorry if I offended you…

      1. No worries! I’m glad you tried the recipe! The tandoori marinade is traditionally meant for chicken (and I used to be a chickatarian), so I’m not offended! I hope you try some of my other recipes out 🙂

  2. Thank you for this recipe! I made it last night for 4 guests. I cut the heat by a lot–only 1 tsp cayenne and only 2 dried peppers, but still it was very spicy. It was too spicy for one of my guests, but the other 3 ate it and liked it a lot. I also enjoyed it. Next time I will cut the heat a bit more, so everyone can enjoy this tasty dish. Served it with basmati rice. Didn’t know what chat masala was and couldn’t find it at the store so had to skip it.

    1. Hey, amazing that you made it for your guests! Yes, I generally eat really spicy so its ok to cut down the heat as much as you want! And chat masala is generally available at Indian grocery stores, but a good substitute is black salt (which I believe is available at regular supermarkets). I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I hope you try out some of my other creations 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s