Tofu Scramble Masala

A delicious Indian-inspired tofu scramble with red bell peppers, chickpeas and savory spices.

Tofu Scramble Masala My boyfriend and I started a little distraction game during the workday back when I was working a regular 9 to 5 lawyer gig. See, I would sit in front of a computer all day. He didn’t. So all day long he would text me trivia questions that would ideally be a bit challenging but researchable online. Just a five minute distraction, to break up the day.

Sometimes the questions were random. “What woman did Steve Martin write L.A. Story about?”

Often, they involved his interests (translation, Star Wars). “How many actors played Darth Vader in all six films?”

Other times, they involved mine (translation, food). “What do they eat for breakfast in India?”

They do not eat this dish for breakfast in India, at least as far as I could tell from my five minutes worth of research. But his question did make me realize this was something I was absolutely clueless on. In the brief few seconds before I found my answers, the idea for this dish was born. It was kinda like, “Hmmmm well what do I think they eat for breakfast in India? Probably eggs with Indian spices, because, you know, that’s what they do everywhere, eat eggs flavored with whatever seasonings are locally popular…”

Tofu Scramble Masala Actually no, that’s not the case at all. But that won’t stop me from subbing tofu in these imaginary egg dishes, in turn coming up with something completely new. It tastes good, so who cares?

Interestingly, the key ingredient in this dish is a teeny bit of ketchup. If you leave it out the dish will be bland. I got the idea for that from an Indian friend who fed me delicious food for years while we worked together. She confessed one day that the secret ingredient in one of her curries was ketchup. So when I made this and initially felt like a little tartness was missing, I went right for the ketchup, and it worked! Even just the small amount in this recipe was enough to get the flavor just right.

At some point I hope to share something along the lines of what they really eat for breakfast in India. For now, let’s enjoy this. It’s quick, easy, delicious and requires zero research. Breakfast is early, so that works just fine for me.

Tofu Scramble Masala

Tofu Scramble Masala
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 4
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 tbsp. ketchup
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 14 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and sauté another minute.
  4. Crumble tofu into skillet. Sauté until it just begins to dry out a bit, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add soy sauce, nutritional yeast, garam masala, ketchup, turmeric, pepper and chickpeas to skillet. Mix to blend everything.
  6. Sauté until peppers become slightly tender and tofu dries out a bit more, about 3 more minutes.
  7. Serve on toast, alone or wrapped up in tortillas. Top with cilantro.

Tofu Scramble Masala


  1. Ulrich Daniels says

    Hi there!

    Are you serious about the ketchup? Why not tomato paste. It’s only half as bad!

    I live in Venezuela. Nobody here knows nutritional yeast flakes. Is there any way to make them at home? ore a good substitute which is not comercial?

    Greetings from the sunny Isla Margarita.


    • says

      Hi Ulrich!

      I went with ketchup for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a bit more acidic than tomato paste. You could try paste, but you might want to add a splash of vinegar as well. Secondly, I just wanted to make the recipe a bit simpler, particularly since it’s a breakfast recipe and I’m generally a no-fuss in the morning kind of girl. Tomato paste usually comes in cans, and when I use a small amount like a tablespoon, I often end up wasting the rest of the can. Ketchup is easy – take what you need and stick it back in the fridge.

      For the nutritional yeast, try online. It adds a savory flavor. Sorry, but I don’t know of any vegan substitutes. You could try leaving it out, though the dish might not be quite as flavorful.

      I hope all of that helps!

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