Dump & Go Slow Cooker Tofu Tikka Masala
I’ll take absolutely any excuse to use my slow-cooker these days. It’s just such a great way to achieve that slow cooked depth of flavor without much effort. This recipe does require a fair amount of spices, but literally all you have to do is dump almost all of the ingredients into your crock-pot and let it do its thing.
The only additional step just requires adding in some baked tofu. If you don’t do soy, you could definitely just add in some vegan chicken, seitan, tempeh, or even just some cooked chickpeas. Easy peasy. There’s almost no effort required here.
Now, I have on occasion heard people complain about not wanting to cook certain dishes due to the amount of spices required. Which is honestly a shame, because spices are amazing and allow you to really switch up the flavors in your dishes. So, I wanted to talk a little about options for buying spices on a budget.
I usually buy a lot my spices from a local Indian market. They’re always much, much cheaper than your grocery store. I highly recommend checking to see if you have one in your area. I sometimes like buying some spices from Trader Joe’s, they’re quite cheap at only $1.99 per bottle for most spices. I also recommend checking to see if you have any grocery stores with a bulk spice section in your area. We have a Lucky’s Market in my city that has a bulk spice section where you can buy the exact amount you need. It’s great because it allows you to buy just a small amount for your recipes if you don’t want to invest in a whole bottle.
I’m a huge fan of Penzey’s Spices for certain items, especially since they have tiny 1oz bottles that you can buy if you don’t think you will use much of a specific spice. For one last suggestion, if you have a World Market in your area, they have a massive spice section where you can buy small, resealable packets of spices for as little as $0.99 each. If you don’t have any of these options in your city, you can also check out Amazon.
I opted to serve this dish with cauliflower rice the night I made it, solely because I was serving it to a friend who is actually allergic to rice. But, obviously, y’all are welcome to serve it with basmati or another rice of your choice. On the side I also made some homemade garlic flatbread and mini veggie samosas (courtesy of Trader Joe’s <3). This was so good, and so easy.
Onto the recipe. If you make this, be sure to take a pic and tag me on Instagram @Bitchy_Baker <3
Dump & Go Slow Cooker Vegan Tofu Tikka Masala
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 4 Hours
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb freshly grated ginger (or sub about 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger powder)
1 cup veg stock
1 6oz can tomato paste
8oz can Tomato sauce
1 tablespoon yellow curry powder
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, omit if sensitive to spice)
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 can coconut cream (or coconut milk, see notes for other substitutions)
2 16oz blocks tofu, diced into bite-sized cubes (See Note)
Cooked Basmati Rice
1.) Add all ingredients apart from the tofu to your slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cook on low for 4-5 hours, alternately you may cook on high for 2-3 hours.
2.) About 40 minutes before serving, prepare the tofu. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread the tofu cubes onto a parchment-lined baking tray in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and flip the tofu pieces before returning to the oven to bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a little browned and crispy around the edges.
3.) Add the baked tofu cubes to your slow cooker and cook on high for another 10 or so minutes. I also recommend tasting the tikka sauce at this time and adjusting the seasonings to your liking. Also, if the sauce seems too thick, you can adjust the consistency to your liking by adding an extra splash or so of non-dairy milk or vegetable broth.
4.) Serve with naan and rice. Enjoy!
If you would prefer not to to use coconut cream/milk, I would recommend maybe substituting with cashew cream. If you’re allergic to nuts, I would advise using either Ripple Half & Half or another unflavored vegan creamer of your choice. I don’t think the texture will be quite as creamy and rich, but it should still work great.
I personally prefer the vacuum packed High Protein Super Firm Tofu from Trader Joe’s. I’ve seen similar tofu sold in vacuum packages from various other brands as well. I prefer this kind of tofu because they’re much, much firmer and contain way less water than regular extra firm tofu. Because of this, it holds up far better than other tofu and requires less cooking. I also find that it has a nicer texture, more meaty. However, you can definitely just use a regular tofu and bake it for slightly longer to reach your desired level of chewiness.
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