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Updated: Oct 11, 2020

This recipe is like a quick trip to India and back. This VEGAN TANDOORI TOFU WITH LEMON MINT PEARL COUSCOUS is absolutely delicious! And the best part? You don't need a tandoor oven to make it!

Tandoori-style tofu is a vegan adaptation of the traditional tandoori chicken, a dish typical of Indian cuisine. Plain yogurt is mixed with garam masala to use as marinade. Garam masala is a blend of ground spices which literally means "hot blend of spices". Though you can probably purchase garam masala, you can also make your own with a recipe I will include at the end of this post.

The traditional version of this dish is cooked in a tandoor oven, a cylindrical oven which is made of clay. But this recipe will deliver the same flavor using a conventional oven. It is paired with a fresh lemon-mint pearl couscous, which provides a nice balance of flavors.



For the tofu:

  • 1 Block extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed

  • 1 Cup plain vegan yogurt

  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely grated

  • 2 tsp garam masala*

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

For the couscous:

  • 1 Cup Pearl/Israeli couscous

  • 1 1/4 Cups water

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

  • 1 Tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped

  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Press and cube the tofu. 

  2. Make the marinade by whisking together the vegan yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, paprika, salt and cayenne. If your yogurt is thick, add a splash of water to thin out slightly.

  3. Add the tofu to the marinade and marinate for at least 2 hours, up to 8 hours. 

  4. When ready, preheat the oven to 400°F. 

  5. Place the tofu on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure each piece of tofu is well coated in the marinade.

  6. Bake the tofu for 25-30 minutes or until brown and crispy. Then, broil for 3-5 minutes or until it chars a bit. 

  7. While the tofu is baking, make the couscous. Bring the water to a boil, then add the couscous and reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until the water is absorbed and couscous is tender. 

  8. Once the couscous is done, add the olive oil, lemon juice, mint, parsley and a few pinches of salt and pepper. Stir, then taste and adjust seasonings. 

  9. Serve the tofu and couscous with naan or grilled pita.

Note: If you can't find garam masala, make your own by mixing the following spices:

- 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin

- 3/4 tsp ground coriander

- 3/4 tsp ground cardamom

- 3/4 tsp black pepper

- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

- 1/4 tsp ground cloves

- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Recipe adapted from

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