What is Lentil Tikka Masala?
Lentil Tikka Masala is a twist on traditional tikka masala. The chicken is replaced with lentils and tofu to make for a high protein dish. The sauce is a spicy blend of tomatoes and coconut milk that is simply bursting with flavor. Making the Lentil Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot makes it a super simple one-pot meal.
What are the ingredients in Lentil Tikka Masala?
While this dish contains more ingredients than the recipes we typically share on this site, it is still quite simple to make. Alos, the large majority of the ingredients are dried spices that you likely have in your pantry already. Here is what you will need to make Lentil Tikka Masala:
- Olive oil
- Chopped onions
- Garlic powder
- Ground ginger powder
- Garam masala
- Ground cumin
- Ground coriander
- Ground cinnamon
- Cayenne powder
- Black pepper
- Firm tofu, well pressed and cubed
- Dried lentils
- Canned coconut milk
- Tomato sauce
- Corn starch
- White rice for serving, optional
How to make Lentil Tikka Masala?
Set the Instant Pot to saute mode over high and add the oil until it is warmed through. While the oil is heating, combine the dry spices in a small bowl. Add the onion and seasonings and saute, stirring for 3-5 minutes until beginning to soften. Turn off the saute function.
Add the tofu, dried lentils and water. Set the pot to manual high pressure for 7 minutes. When the cooking time is done, allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes and then quick release any remaining pressure.
Add the coconut milk, tomato sauce and cornstarch to the bowl. Set to saute and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off the Instant Pot. Return the lid and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes until the dish has thickened. Check for salt and serve over rice.
To press the tofu. Set the block on a paper towel lined plate. Place a heavy plate or pot on top and allow to sit for several minutes. After that use your hand to further press out any remaining moisture. Cube the block and set aside.
Why make Lentil Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot?
Using the Instant Pot to make your Lentil Tikka Masala allows it to be an easy one pot dish. It also greatly decreases your hands on time. This Lentil Tikka Masala requires only about 5 minutes of hands on time making it great for make ahead or even a weeknight meal.
Can Lentil Tikka Masala be made in advance?
Yes, this dish easily can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container for 3-4 days.
What to serve with Lentil Tikka Masala?
- Rice. White or Basmati Rice is the perfect side dish for lentil tikka masala. It can easily be prepared while the tikka masala is cooking making for a quick and easy meal. The rice also helps to soak up some the the additional broth.
- Creamy Cucumber Salad. This Lentil Tikka Masala is a bit on the spicy side so the coolness of cucumbers and a creamy yogurt or sour cream sauce would be a nice pairing.
- Flatbread or Corn Muffins. Bread is great for dipping into this lentil tikka masala to sop up some of the broth and make for a heartier dinner.
- Salad. A nice fresh green salad would be great with this tikka masala. Fresh greens, a vinegar-y or creamy dressing and perhaps some fresh tomatoes is all you would need to complete an easy week-night friendly deal.
Lentil Tikka Masala in the Instant Pot
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ginger powder
- 1 Tablespoon garam masala
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1, 14 oz package firm tofu drained, pressed and cubed
- 1 cup of dried lentils
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- 1, 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 2 Tablespoons corn starch
- Cooked white rice for serving
- Set the Instant Pot to saute. Add the oil. While the oil is warming combing all the dry spices. Add the onion and dry spices and saute for several minutes until the onion has softened, 3-5 minutes.
- Turn off the saute function. Add the tofu, dried lentils and water. Set the pot to manual high pressure for 7 minutes. When the cooking time is done, allow a natural pressure release of 10 minutes and then quick release any remaining pressure.
- Add the coconut milk, tomato sauce and corn starch to the bowl. Set to saute and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes and then turn off the Instant Pot. Return the lid and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes until the dish has thickened. Check for salt and serve over rice.