This easy to make, rich, creamy & delicious Zucchini Tofu Curry recipe makes a great nutritious packed dinner for weekdays! It is vegan and gluten-free.
With this super easy recipe, you can transform flat zucchini and tofu into a curry which is a delicious melange of amazing textures and mouth-watering exotic flavors.
If you love Zucchini and Tofu, then this recipe is one of the most interesting recipes to try out with zucchini!
You get an amazingly satisfying curry when you cook fried zucchini and fried tofu in a spicy onion tomato sauce.
It is ready in under 25 minutes when cooked in an Instant Pot, but it can also be done at the stovetop top in just 30 minutes.
What is Zucchini Tofu Curry?
Zucchini Tofu Curry is an Indian style spicy curry where you get soft and porous zucchini and tofu infused in Indian Onion tomato masala. This vegan curry is packed to the brim with delectable flavors and amazing textures.
Zucchini tastes great when they are seasoned. And this curry version of zucchini along with tofu makes them much more inviting.
When zucchini gets cooked in onion tomato masala, it becomes tender and releases the water and at the same time, it absorbs all the amazing flavors from onion tomato masala.
What are the features of Zucchini Tofu Curry?
This Zucchini Tofu Curry
✔is vegan and gluten-free
✔is incredibly easy to make
✔is super healthy and tastes so exotic
✔is ready under 25 minutes
✔makes a hearty weeknight or weekend meal
✔is a great way to add zucchini and tofu
✔has the right amount of spices, and is perfectly creamy
✔is suitable for plant-based diets
**More delicious Instant Pot Curry Recipes: ** Instant pot Aloo Gobi
What are the ingredients used in Zucchini Tofu Curry?
This is a simple Indian curry that uses essential Indian spices. If you often cook Indian food at home, then you’ll probably have all the spices in your pantry.
Below are the ingredients you will need to make this easy peasy zucchini tofu curry:
Zucchini: I have used 2 medium zucchinis diced with their skin on.
Oil: Feel free to use any vegetable oil.
Onion & ginger-garlic paste: I made onion & ginger garlic paste by pureeing 1 large onion + 4-5 cloves + 1 inch ginger piece. You can also use onion and ginger garlic paste separately. For this recipe, you will need a puree of 1 large onion and 1.5 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste.
Tomato Puree: I have used store-bought tomato puree in this recipe. This is because it lends a deeper color and mildly sweet and tangy flavors similar to what you get in a restaurant-style curry. However, you can swap it with the same amount of freshly homemade tomato puree. When using homemade tomato puree in this recipe, you can also add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste or tomato ketchup to intensify the tangy flavors of this curry.
Cashew Cream: I am making creamy and rich curry, so I added a lot of cashew cream to this recipe. But you can surely reduce the amount of cashew cream, or you can totally skip it if you are not into the creamy curry. If you are not vegan, then you can also add regular cream to this curry.
Whole spices: Cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, and cloves.
Powdered spices: Coriander powder, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, Kasuri methi aka dried fenugreek leaves, and salt.
Cilantro (coriander) leaves.
Brown sugar, (optional)
Vegan Butter (optional)
How to remove moisture from tofu?
To make it firm, you need to press it to remove moisture.
Tofu in general contains a large amount of water, and when you want to fry or bake tofu, then you certainly don’t want any moisture in there. To remove water, the best thing is to press out as much water as possible before cooking.
The longer you press the tofu, the more firm the texture will be.
This is how you can press tofu to make it firm:
Line a tray or baking sheet with 4-5 layers of paper towel or kitchen cloth.
Place the drained tofu block and then place 4-5 more layers of folded paper towels on top of the block of tofu.
Place a cutting board on top of the top layer of paper towels and then place a heavy skillet or bowl.
Place the weight (canned goods/ heavy book, or exercise dumbbell weight) into the skillet or bowl.
Allow tofu to press for about 30-40 minutes. This resting time will effectively squeeze the moisture out of the block of tofu where it will be absorbed by the paper towels.
Your firm tofu is ready. Cut into desired shapes and cook.
Is Zucchini Tofu Curry Vegan?
Yes, this curry is completely vegan. It is also suitable for people with gluten intolerance.
What are the different variations of this Zucchini Tofu Curry?
Below are some beans/vegetable/lentils that go well in this
Cooked Beans: Chickpeas, black-eyed beans, or kidney beans.
Lentils: Split chickpea (chana dal), yellow lentils (moong dal), or red lentils (masoor dal).
Vegetables: Potatoes, sweet potato, bell pepper, carrots, eggplants, spinach, peas, or corn.
How To Make Instant Pot Zucchini Tofu Curry?
Making this Zucchini Tofu Curry in Instant Pot is a breeze. All you need to do some frying, sauteing, and pressure cooking.
This is how Instant Pot Zucchini Tofu Curry can be made in 8 simple steps:
Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Heat oil, and fry firm tofu. When golden from both sides, then remove them on a plate.
Add zucchini and fry for 2 minutes. Remove them onto a plate.
Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves and let them splutter.
Add onion ginger garlic paste and saute.
Add tomato puree and mix well. Cook.
Add powdered spices (red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, and Kasuri methi) and green chili and mix well.
After that, add water, tofu, cashew cream, zucchini, and sugar (optional). Mix well and pressure cook.
QPR (Quick Pressure Release). Add cashew cream, garam masala powder, cilantro, and mix well. Cook for 2 minutes. Done.
For a full list of Zucchini Tofu Curry Recipe ingredients and step-by-step photo and video instructions, please see the recipe box on this page.
How to serve Zucchini Tofu Curry?
What are the pro tips and tricks to make the best Zucchini Tofu Curry?
Tip 1. I wanted to make rich-tasting restaurant-style curry, so I fried tofu and zucchini before making the curry. The oil coating makes them taste more luxurious. But you can surely skip the frying part. If you are not frying tofu and zucchini, then use only 2 tablespoons of oil for this recipe.
Tip 2. I added little sugar because it complements the spicy and tangy flavors of this curry. But you can skip it or substitute it with maple syrup.
Tip 3. If you want your zucchinis that are soft yet hold their shape, then make sure to pressure cook on high for only 1 minute, and then do QPR (Quick Pressure Release) after 2 minutes.
Tip 4. Remember to dice zucchini to around 1-inch. Don’t dice them too small, or they will turn mushy after pressure cooking.
Tip 5. Adding butter to this Zucchini Tofu Curry is completely optional.
Tip 6. You can also add other vegetables to this curry such as eggplant, cauliflower, carrots, or beans.
Tip 7. You can replace red chili powder with paprika or cayenne pepper.
Tip 8. For a nutty goodness, you can also add roasted cashews or roasted almonds to this curry.
Tip 9. I have added vegan butter and cashew cream to this curry recipe, but you can also add regular butter and cream.
Tip 10. To make Zucchini Coconut Curry, replace cashew cream with coconut milk.
Zucchini Tofu Curry (Instant Pot + Stovetop) (Step-by-step photo instructions)
How to Make Instant Pot Zucchini Tofu Curry:
- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add oil.
- Now add tofu cubes in a single layer. Fry them until they are lightly golden.
- Flip and fry from the other side until they are golden.
- Remove fried tofu from the pot and transfer it onto a plate. Keep it aside.
- Now add zucchini and fry for 2 minutes.
- After 2 minutes, remove fried zucchini from the pot and keep it aside.
- Now, deglaze the pot and add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, cloves and let the seeds splutter for a few seconds or until they are aromatic.
- Then add onion and ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add tomato puree and stir well to combine. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- After that, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and mix everything well. Let the masala cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add Kasuri methi, salt and mix well.
- After that, add 1/4 cup of water and mix again.
- Now add green chili, fried tofu, and mix well.
- Now add brown sugar, 1/4 cup cashew cream, and mix everything well.
- Add 1/4 cup or more water to adjust the consistency.
- Finally add fried zucchini and mix well.
- Cancel the SAUTE mode. Close the lid, and set the valve to sealing. Change the instant pot setting to manual or pressure cook mode at high pressure for 1 minute.
- QPR (Quick pressure release), after one minute. Open the lid and stir well.
- Now add 1 teaspoon butter, garam masala powder, cilantro leaves, and 2 tablespoons cashew cream.
- Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes.
- Garnish Zucchini Tofu Curry with cilantro, roasted cashews, and serve hot with rice or naan.
How to Make Zucchini Tofu Curry on Stovetop:
- Heat oil in thick-bottomed pot/pan. Once hot, add tofu cubes in a single layer. Fry them until they are lightly golden. Flip and fry from the other side until they are golden. Remove fried tofu from the pot and transfer it onto a plate. Keep it aside.
- Now add zucchini and fry for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, remove fried zucchini from the pot and keep them aside.
- Now, add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves and let the seeds splutter for a few seconds or until they are aromatic. Then add onion and ginger-garlic paste and mix well. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Now add tomato mix and stir well to combine. Sauté for 2-3 minutes. After that, add turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and mix everything well. Let the masala cook for 2 minutes.
- Now add Kasuri methi, salt and mix well. After that, add 1/2 cup of water and mix again.
- Now add green chili, brown sugar, 1/4 cup cashew cream, fried tofu, and mix everything well. Add 1/4 cup or more water to adjust the consistency. After that, add fried zucchini and mix well.
- Combine all of the spices in a bowl and set them aside for now. Cover the pot and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat.
- After 5 minutes, remove the lid, and add 1 teaspoon butter, garam masala powder, cilantro leaves, and 2 tablespoons cashew cream. Mix everything well and simmer for around 5 minutes, or until the zucchini is tender and soft.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.
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