Sweet And Sour Tofu

Sweet And Sour Tofu

Tofu and vegetable cooked with the tamarind sauce makes a very unique flavorful dish. This Sweet and Sour Tofu dish is vegan-friendly and it is enjoyable for just about anyone's taste palette.
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Course vegan
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


  • 1-1/2 oz of seedless tamarind, available in Indian and Asian grocery stores
  • 1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds powder (jeera)
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • ¼ tbsp turmeric (haldi)
  • ¼ tbsp black pepper
  • ¼ tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp finely shredded ginger
  • ¼ cup brown sugar


  • Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water for 15 minutes. Squeeze the tamarind mixture well, then discard tamarind pieces leaving a nice thick pulp.
  • Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the tamarind pulp mix well and set aside.
  • Squeeze the Tofu gently keeping between your both palm.
  • Cut tofu into ¾ inch thick slices then and pat dry between paper towels. Then cut slices into ¾ inch cubes.
  • Remove seeds from bell pepper and slice 1/4 inch thick lengthwise.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan over medium heat. Stir fry tofu pieces until golden brown in color, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel.
  • In the remaining oil, first stir-fry bell pepper for a minute and add cabbage continue to stir fry for approx. 2 more minutes over medium heat. Vegetables should still be crunchy.
  • Add tofu and tamarind sauce to the vegetables in the pan, stir well and let simmer over low heat for 4-5 minutes.
  • Sweet and Sour Tofu tastes great served over plain rice.
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40 thoughts on “Sweet And Sour Tofu

  1. Hello Manjula,
    I made this dish and it tasted very good. I would be interested in turning this dish into a sort of spaghetti stir fry, but I wonder if it’s a good idea because there was still a lot of gravy in the dish. Maybe I should try cooking it longer to make the water evaporate?

  2. This looks so delicious! I will be making this soon, but I was curious if this would be good with onions added as well? Would the onions be overpowering, or would it be okay, if I cook them really well beforehand? Thank you for all the amazing Indian recipes. I am a vegetarian, and I love Indian food. So, when I first became vegetarian, I was eating a lot of Indian food, because a lot of the foods there are vegetarian already. Thank you for making these recipes readily available to us! I don’t know if I could have transitioned to vegetarian without your recipes!

  3. Mataji, as always your recipe is perfect. I used to cook for a take-out dinner program at the local Krishna temple, and your recipes were always so well received. Thank you.

  4. All I can say is once again….so yummy! I didn’t have the red pepper so I omitted and used Chinese cabbage I had on hand sliced thinly. So easy and delicious! Served with some basmati and even had a small left over portion for lunch which I couldn’t wait to eat! I also have the block of seedless tamarind and agree its a little messy to work with. I tried using a sieve and then scraping the pulp off to use it which was okay. Any other suggestions on how to do this easier?
    Thank you once again on another definetly do over meal.

    1. Violet,

      You could use tamarind paste which you would get in any Indian store. The quantity indicated here would be equal to roughly 1.5 tablespoons of this paste. We used ‘Joy’ tamarind paste.



  5. I’ve eaten tofu several times, but this is the first I’ve prepared it myself – and your sweet and sour recipe was simple and delicious. I will be making this – or similar dishes regularly – the sweet tamarind spice mixture was just right for my taste – I was a little intimidated by the blocks of curd – but no more. Thanks for this delicious recipe.

  6. I have to say this looks yummy! I am from North India -from Uttar Pradesh -and while all of our traditional, handed down the generations party recipes -the biryanis, chicken and lamb dishes, paneer dishes,etc have this out of this world taste, they take forever to make and take up enough oil to give a person a heart attack!

    I love your recipes because everything tastes totally awesome and can be cooked so very easily…I remember how my mother had to call professional cooks to help out with party dishes because they cooked over 2-3 hours of care with careful attention to all masalas. I can throw a party for 8 and easily cook up a whole party meal (with around at least 2 main course and 1 appetizer recipe straight off your website) by myself in just 3-4 hours 🙂

  7. Beginning last month my husband and I decided to eat more healthfully. We needed to cut down on our meat intake and instead get more protein from beans and such. We have been trying many traditional indian dishes and LOVING them all! So much flavor and color! It is wonderful! This dish was quick, easy and so yummy!

  8. Just made this for dinner tonight, could barely keep from eating both servings myself (saving the rest for my girlfriend). Amazingly delicious.

    I used a little bit of cilantro and jalapeno in the sauce, and replaced the cabbage with mushrooms and tomatoes (its what I had in my fridge), absolutely amazing. Squeezing the tamarind for the sauce was a bit of messy work, I’ll admit, but it was sooo worth it. Thanks for the recipe!

  9. wow! What a twist! It looks amazing! I have 2 questions – a) can we use jaggery instead of brown sugar? b) would adding other vegetables like green beans, carrot, etc spoil this dish?

    Thank you.

  10. Ah! I am fasting right now, but as soon as it’s over I want to make this! Looks delish! 🙂 Thank you, Manjula. Love to see your smiling beautiful face.

  11. I love this recipe! I make something similar the difference being I do not add cumin, add little brown sugar and add scallions (sping onion) at the end. I would love to try your recipe. I can see this being a great addition to any vegan meal! Thank you.

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