Tempeh Tikka Masala with Kale. Vegan Glutenfree

This creamy masala curry, is a perfect addition to a cozy dinner, served hot with Indian Naan Bread or Basmati Rice. Depending on your spice preference, reduce the spice a bit and serve it with Naan bread or Rice or over cooked Quinoa. The curry is glutenfree. To make soy free, use seitan or cubed soy free patties or chunky veggies.

Tikka Masala, butter masala , Makhani are curries often used interchangeably in restaurants. These are not totally authentic Indian cuisine. The origins of the tikka masala stem from butter masala/makhani versions from Punjab, North India and Pakistan. Meat Tikka masalas or Paneer(cottage Cheese) Tikka masala are a staple in most restaurants now.
The base curry is very similar. Makhani or butter masala. is usually the creamier version with more butter and fresh cream or cashew paste.
Tikka Masala. is the tangyier version with more tomatoes/tomato paste.
There is no standard recipe for the Tikka Masala. This is the way I usually make it. It is partially adapted from my Mom’s version, my own taste preferences and a few elements incorporated from other food bloggers’ versions seen over the years. Kale or your choice of greens add some more nutritional punch to this curry. This is one of the longer recipes, but that flavor play with each bite is worth the effort! You can change it up for several variations.
Use pureed onions and add cashew cream for a silkier makhani.
Add whole roasted cashews an raisins with veggies to make Korma.
Add some mango puree to the curry for a sweet and spicy mango curry.
Tempeh Tikka Masala with Kale 

Allergen Information: Free of Dairy, egg, corn, yeast. Can be made nut-free.
Ingredients: Serves 2
Tempeh marinade:
4 oz Tempeh cut into small cubes,about 3/4 cup
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder or cayenne
 1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon So Delicious plain Greek yogurt or 2 teaspoons plain coconut milk yogurt or non dairy yogurt
2 teaspoons organic canola oil
1/2 teaspoon garam masala or to taste
1/4 teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri mirch
1 teaspoon coriander powder
a generous pinch of asafoetida(hing)
1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 medium onion chopped small (1/3 cup)
1/2 cup finely chopped Kale leaves or greens of choice
3 medium tomatoes chopped
1 inch ginger
5-6 cloves of garlic
1 green chili or to taste
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
2 Tablespoons So Delicious plain greek yogurt or non dairy yogurt
3-5 Tablespoons So Delicious plain unsweetened almond plus almond milk or non dairy milk of choice(nut milks work best)
Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and add Tempeh.
Cook the mixture in pan on low heat, partially covered for 15-20 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed by the tempeh.
Once the tempeh is dry, add a teaspoon of oil and toss on medium for 2-3 minutes, until the edges of the tempeh become golden. Take off heat and keep aside.
Meanwhile, in a deep medium pan, add 2 teaspoons oil and heat on medium.
Add the onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally till it becomes translucent and golden.
Add the spices( turmeric, coriander powder, hing, garam masala, paprika and fenugreek leaves) and mix well. Add Kale, mix and cook for another minute.
Blend the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chili into a smooth puree.
Add the puree to the onion mixture and cook on low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally, until the mix thickens, comes together and leaves oil on the sides.
Add the crisp tempeh, and greek yogurt, salt and sugar and mix well.
Taste and adjust spices, salt.
Add almond milk to get the curry consistency you like.
Mix well and bring to a boil on low heat.
Take off heat, serve hot topped with fresh chopped cilantro, with Indian flat breads(Roti/Naan) or Basmati rice.
The total Raised in the VSPCA fundraiser was about $1100! That will be doubled to$2200.
A big Thank you and hugs to everyone who in any way participated, contributed, shared, and helped with the fundraiser! including my ever patient Hubbs! Do Keep VSPCA in mind for the future too!
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  1. says

    another amazing curry recipe from my dear richa. it looks saucy and comforting, and i’m sure those spices work perfectly together. i could go for a big bowl of this right now :)

    ps- i’m gonna vote now 😉

  2. says

    Oh wow, this looks absolutely breathtaking. I always wanted to try tempeh in an Indian dish. I am so making this and let you know how it turned out.

  3. says

    Mmm I tried my hand at tikka masala for Mother’s day and was pretty happy with the results. I think I just used too much fennel and cardamom so I’ll have to give it another shot. I love that you used tempeh, I totally should have done that.

    • says

      Nice! i love tempeh in the Curries, since it appeals to the meal eaters as well as the paneer eaters:) I usually use my mum’s Garam masala(which reminds me i should out that recipe up) and that has just a little bit of cardamom and fennel. Those are really bold flavors and overshadow everything else really easily.

    • says

      i know. that cute little tapper!:) i bet he is getting fat with all the requests for more tapping videos:)
      i think i should start shipping frozen curries;)

    • says

      This dish positively makes my mouth water! I love the actual serving vessel, too. Those things are so hard to find around here… I’ve still been voting for only your recipes, every single day, by the way!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the votes Hannah! You are the sweetest! Tight hugs!:)
      You can find these in an indian store or costplus world market if there is one near you.

  4. says

    You have been torturing me ALL week with this picture–FINALLY!! The recipe, I can hardly contain myself. I already pinned this bad boy and he will be on the dinner list this coming week. I cannot wait!!! xo

    • says

      girl, the recipe was already on the so delicious page 😛
      let me know when you do make it and try not to eat the plate and spoo n;)

  5. says

    Richa this looks just to die for! How do you even come up wit these recipes…..I would give anything to have this served to me. Indian is our favorite in this house…wow!

    • says

      Thanks Shira! i dont hink i have to say that india is a staple in our houese.. including restaurant style stuff once in a while!

  6. says

    this sounds incredible, Richa! bookmarked for sure, I’ll be making this!

    thank you again for hosting such a wonderful event. congrats on raising a good amount for a good cause. every time I see that cow photo, it tugs at my heart. XXO

    • says

      Thanks Kristina! It wouldnt have been possible without the support of you all. That calf is now all grown up and super happy! VSPCA now has a bigger farm to accomodate more cows and calfs, it feels good to see these calm and sweet creatures happy out there.

  7. says

    This looks SO good!! Such a pretty dish, and all of those flavors sound amazing! I’ve never cooked tempeh before, something new for me to try!

  8. says

    I love that dancing Corgi video- it gets me everytime. I’ve been voting for this dish on So Delicious, but I haven’t checked out the actual post until now! This looks so incredible- you are such a talented lady, Richa!

    • says

      i know.. he is like one happy tappy corgi. Than you for the votes Kristy!xoxo :) We make this often, its just plated and pictures well this time 😉

  9. says

    I googled tempeh and kale and came upon this recipe. I cannot tell you how delicious this is! Even my husband – a true meatatarian – went back for seconds. And my oldest daughter who hates all veggies – loved it. Everyone said that this had to stay in the rotation. So glad I found your blog – eager to try many other recipes!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the comment Meg:) It definitely makes my day when someone tries and loves a recipe! That is awesome that it got a thumbs up from the meatatarian too!:) Do keep dropping by and let me know about anything you try!

  10. says

    i’m gonna make this sometime in the next few days, but i have a few questions first:

    – do you pre-boil your tempeh to get rid of the bitterness? or are the flavours of the sauce strong enough to cancel it out? (although i guess some people like the bitterness)

    – i couldn’t find asafoetida – my regular grocery store is normally pretty good for spices/herbs i’ve never encountered, but not this one. i looked up subs – is an equivalent amount of garlic and onion powders a suitable replacement?

    – i only have fenugreek seeds and ground fenugreek, couldn’t find the leaves, will either of these do?


    • says

      – the tempeh doesnt taste bitter when cooked in the broth with the spices. if you are worried about it still being bitter, you can steam it for 10 minutes and then cook in the spices and water broth.
      – you can skip asafoetida altogether, there is already enough onion and garlic taste going on. :)
      – you can use the seed powder, but use very little, probably just about 1/8 teaspoon.

      So let me know how it turns out!:)

    • says

      this was delicious!! you were right that the bitterness gets simmered out with the broth. the only thing i did differently was make greens the center of the recipe – i used a big bunch of swiss chard instead of just the 1/2 c of kale, it was really hearty and tasty. good standby recipe for the coming winter months!

      (why does vegan yoghurt always smell so gross?? it’s a great addition to this recipe, and luckily you can’t smell it in the sauce, but i seriously feel nauseous when i first get a whiff of it!)

    • says

      yay! awesome that you liked it! i dont know about all yogurts:) the coconut milk one smells decent to me :) you can replace it with more cashew cream and some vinegar or some vegenaise.

  11. says

    – the tempeh doesnt taste bitter when cooked in the broth with the spices. if you are worried about it still being bitter, you can steam it for 10 minutes and then cook in the spices and water broth.
    – you can skip asafoetida altogether, there is already enough onion and garlic taste going on. :)
    – you can use the seed powder, but use very little, probably just about 1/8 teaspoon.

    So let me know how it turns out!:)

  12. Andrea says

    Aloha Richa! Is this recipe no longer available? It seems to point out that it’s only in the book? Thank you!

  13. Aneesha says

    Is there a way to substitute yogurt in this recipe? I can’t have dairy or coconut and all other yogurts are too hard to find!

    • says

      how about almond yogurt. Maybe make some at home? There is a recipe to make almond milk, soy milk or cashew milk yogurt in my cookbook. Anything else doesnt taste the same. you can try it with cashew cream.

        • says

          there are several brands like so delicious, kite hill, almond dream that have almond milk based yogurts that taste so much like regular yogurt. or once you start making some at home, its just like making dairy yogurt with a few tricks, then you can have fresh yogurt supply everyday to serve however, as is, as raita or use in recipes.


  1. […] While you can eat kale raw, many people find it too tough or bitter and, in fact, it may be healthier for you when cooked, anyway. You can use the usual methods to cook kale, such as sautéing, steaming or boiling, but it doesn’t end there. If you dehydrate kale or bake it in a low-temperature oven, you can make delicious kale chips that can be eaten as a healthy snack. Of course, you can also incorporate it into all kinds of tasty vegan recipes, including this quinoa, white bean and kale stew or this tempeh tikka masala with kale. […]

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