Instant Pot Tikka Masala – Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce Recipe. Easy Tikka masala sauce, made in a Pressure Cooker. Saucepan option. Add veggies, tofu, chickpeas, vegan chickin subs. Freezer Friendly. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree Jump to Recipe
This Tikka Masala Sauce is ridiculously delicious, super easy and freezer friendly. Cook the sauce in a pressure cooker. Then use or freeze for later!
If you are new to the Indian Tikka Masala Sauce, it is a tomato based, tangy spicy flavorful sauce often found in Indian restaurants, served with veggies, paneer, meats. Many of the restaurant sauces have similar base or flavor components with variations here and there. They vary slightly in flavor and texture (creamy, chunky etc). Make this fabulous sauce, adjust after pressure cooking to your preference and use with veggies, beans, tofu, vegan chikin/meat subs or however! Freeze in serving portions, so you can use the sauce to whip up a meal in 10 mins!
See Saucepan and oilfree options in the Recipe notes. Also see Tips section below.
With Cauliflower above for Cauliflower Tikka Masala. Add chickpeas for chickpea tikka masala, some crisped tofu, soycurls for chickin tikka masala! How do you tikka masala?
Like with all my Indian Recipes, I try to keep the flavors as authentic as possible while making it simpler. You can change up other things based on availability and preference (non dairy yogurt can easily be subbed with non dairy cream or milk). It doesn’t affect the amazing flavor, the sauce is flavorful enough and some changes here and there dont affect the deliciousness. It might affect the traditional flavor profile, which may or may not be detectable :).
More Instant Pot Recipes
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- Instant Pot Lasagna Soup with Red lentils. – So Easy
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Step by Step Photos
Uncooked Sauce below
Sauce just opened after cooking
Tips for a fabulous Instant Pot Tikka Masala Sauce
- As with all Indian food or spiced up food, the flavors tend to get stronger as the sauce or dish sits for a while. I generally adjust the spices later when ready to serve rather than right after cooking.
- Indian sauces/base are always overcooked for the best flavor. The onions caramelized, tomatoes well roasted. Pressure cooking helps with the roasting if you cook it long enough. If the sauce flavor feels less complex, just pressure cook the sauce, without the added veggies/beans,for longer.
- Since I eat Indian food at home often, I tend to use much less garam masala and let the other flavors and components shine. If you don’t cook it often or want more flavor playoff, use more garam masala and more of the other spices and flavors in general. This also depends on the flavor payoff of the spices. Old spices and garam masala will have significantly less flavor, so just add more as needed. Mine is pretty potent and a 1/4 tsp is usually enough for me. 🙂
- The right garam masala also is essential for some of these spice heavy restaurant style sauces. Some brands have an imbalance of flavors which make the dishes one dimensional. Get garam masala from Indian stores or make your own using my recipe from Indian kitchen or just omit and add some ground cumin, coriander.
- Salt, spices and heat to your preference will make the dish. Esp the right amount of salt, which immediately helps the flavors and spices bloom on your taste palette. The sauce also thickens on cooling, or you can thicken by simmering for a few mins for more concentrated flavor.
- For Burn errors: Make sure to stir the tomato really well to pick up scorched or browned onion and spices. Those scorched bits on stove top would dislodge with the bubbling and lower heat, but in a pressure cooker, they are under pressure and at higher heat, so they will continue to burn. Mix really well before closing the lid.
Instant Pot Tikka Masala - Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce Recipe. Freezer Friendly Tikka masala sauce, made in a Pressure Cooker. Saucepan option. Add veggies, tofu, chickpeas, vegan chickin subs. Glutenfree Soyfree Nutfree
- 1 tsp oil
- 1 small onion chopped (I usually just process the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli to chop in a processor or a chopper)
- 6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
- 1 inch of ginger finely chopped
- 1 hot green chili such as serrano or bird's eye
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp paprika (combination of sweet and smoked)
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/3 to 1/2 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp dried fenugreek leaves ,plus more for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped red or green bell pepper
- 28 oz diced tomatoes(including juices) or 15 oz diced + 2 ripe tomato chopped
- 1/2 cup non dairy yogurt , plain unsweetened, plain lightly sweetened also works
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup non dairy cream such as cashew, soy or coconut (optional)
- smoked paprika or cayenne for garnish
Press saute on Instant Pot. When hot, add the oil then add finely chopped onion, ginger, garlic, and chili. Add good pinch of salt, mix well and cook for about 3 minutes. Stir occasionally
Add the spices and mix well. Add bell pepper and mix well. Add tomatoes and non dairy yogurt and salt and mix well. (stir well for a few seconds to pick up the scorched onion bits, else they tend to scorch more and cause burn errors in some sensitive instant pots)
- Cancel saute. Close the lid. Pressure cook for 11-12 mins (manual high pressure)
Let the pressure release naturally. Open the lid. mix, taste and adjust salt, flavor, heat. Add some sugar or maple syrup if needed. (I add 1/2 tsp if using plain unsweetened yogurt). Add some more fenugreek leaves or cilantro, some fresh smoked paprika or cayenne and garam masala for garnish.
At this point you can freeze the tikka masala sauce for upto 2 months, and refrigerate for upto 4 days. Add some non dairy dream for creamier and use or store(refrigerated or freeze). You can also blend half of the sauce for smoother.
Add the 4 cups vegetables, 3 cups chickpeas or 21 oz baked tofu or seitan/vegan chiken subs, and some non dairy cream like cashew/soy cream to the cooked sauce(after pressure cooking), and simmer for 10 minutes.
Soycurls: Add 2 to 2.5 cups soy curls and 1/2 cup water to the sauce, Pressure cook for 6 mins and natural release. You can also add the soy curls earlier with the uncooked sauce.
Oil-free: Saute in 2-3 tbsp water or broth.
Nut-free: Use soy or coconut non dairy yogurt and cream.
If using fresh tomatoes, add a tbsp of tomato paste with the tomatoes.
Saucepan: Follow steps 1 to 2 over medium heat. Partially cover and cook for 30 to 35 mins. Add some water if needed. Add yogurt and mix in. Blend half the sauce and continue to simmer for another 10 mins. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.
Nutrition is for 1 serve of sauce