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Vegan Tempeh Curry

This vegan Tempeh Curry is made with delicious tempeh chunks in a creamy tomato cashew sauce. It’s quick and easy to make! It’s best served with rice and naan.

Vegan Tempeh Curry

Tempeh – some hate it, some love it, most don’t know it. It took me a while to give tempeh a try because let’s face it: ‘soybeans coated in fungus’ does not sound that appealing. BUT it’s totally worth it!

Tempeh is great at soaking up flavor and makes the perfect protein-rich addition to this creamy tomato cashew curry! Tempeh has twice the amount of protein compared to tofu.

Pro-tip for buying tempeh: If you want to spend a lot of $$$ on mini tempeh, buy it at health food stores. If you want to spend little $ on lots of tempeh, buy it at Asian markets.

Vegan Tempeh Curry

What I love about this curry:

  • It’s the perfect comfort food! Nothing gives my belly a hug like a bowl of hot, creamy curry, basmati rice, and homemade naan. It’s the best.
  • It’s super easy and quick to make. The curry sauce consists of chopped, canned tomatoes and homemade cashew sauce (which you can easily substitute with unsweetened soy cream or coconut milk if you want). Add some tempeh, onions, ginger, spices, and done. That’s the short version.
  • It’s versatile. You can make this curry with whatever you have at home. Fancy different protein sources – tofu, seitan, jackfruit, chickpeas? You can also add in veggies such as thinly sliced carrots, peas, or cauliflower.
Vegan Tempeh Curry

How to make this Tempeh Curry

The Ingredients

You will need:

  • For the tempeh:
    • tempeh
    • mustard seeds (optional)
    • ground cumin (can substitute with different spices such as garam masala)
  • For the cashew sauce*:
    • soaked roasted cashews – you can also use unroasted cashews and roast them in the oven or in a pan. If you use salted roasted cashews, skip the rest of the salt in the cashew cream recipe.
    • water
  • onion
  • ginger – preferably fresh
  • canned, diced tomatoes
  • salt
  • oil – I used canola oil but you can use whatever you like best.

*If you don’t want to make the cashew sauce, you can also use unsweetened soy cream or full-fat coconut milk instead.

The basic steps

You can find the whole written recipe in the box at the end of the post. But I want to give you an overview of the preparation process first.

tempeh cubes in pan
Step 1: Cut the tempeh into chunks and toss them in a pan with oil over medium to high heat – add salt, cumin, and mustard seeds. Let them cook until golden brownish. Then set aside.
soft onions
Step 3: Cook the onion and ginger until soft.
onions, tomato sauce and cashew sauce in pan
Step 4: Add the diced tomatoes and cashew sauce.
tempeh in curry sauce
Step 5: Stir and heat until warm, toss in half of the tempeh cubes. Save the rest to add on top.
Vegan Tempeh Curry with basmati rice and naan
Step 6: Serve the curry with basmati rice and homemade naan! Bonus points if you top it with fresh cilantro or parsley.

More vegan curry recipes you will enjoy:

Love it? Rate it!

I hope you will enjoy this Tempeh Curry as much as I did! Let me know if you give it a try!

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Cheers, Bianca

Vegan Tempeh Curry

Vegan Tempeh Curry

Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan
This vegan Tempeh Curry is made with delicious tempeh chunks in a creamy tomato cashew sauce. It’s quick and easy to make! It’s best served with rice and naan.
4.19 from 16 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Vegan
Servings 3 people
Calories 373 kcal


Tempeh Cubes

  • 2 cups tempeh cubed
  • 2 teaspoons plant-based oil (canola, olive, etc.)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds

Cashew Sauce

  • 1/2 cup cashews roasted, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup water + more water for soaking the cashews
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Rest of the ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 2 cups diced, canned tomatoes
  • salt to taste


  • Cover the cashews with water and let them soak for a few (2-3) hours (or overnight in the fridge). Then rinse and drain.
  • Cut the tempeh into chunks and toss them in a pan with oil over medium to high heat – add salt, cumin, and mustard seeds. Let them cook until golden-brownish. Then set aside.
  • Add the cashews, clean water, and salt into a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
  • In a pan over medium to high heat, cook the diced onion and minced ginger until soft.
  • Reduce the heat, then add the diced tomatoes and cashew sauce. Stir and add more salt to taste. If it's too thick, you can also thin it out with water and let it cook until warm. Stir in half of the tempeh cubes.
  • Add the other half of the tempeh cubes on top when serving. Enjoy with basmati rice and naan. Cheers!


Calories: 373kcalCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 25gFat: 24gSaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 404mgPotassium: 659mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 143mgIron: 5mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan!
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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 20th of February 2024

Nice, but calling a recipe with 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds (and same amount of cumin) a “curry” is a bit of a stretch. Delicious once we added more cumin, coriander powder, cardamom powder, celery salt and both chilli powder and chilli flakes to get some flavour happening

Malcolm Lashbrook

Thursday 22nd of December 2022

Very disappointed. Had some Tempeh left over, and decided to look for something different to make. It had neither taste, nor any heat. Putting the word 'curry' in the description is very much a misnomer.


Wednesday 11th of January 2023

I'm sorry you didn't like it. But curries don't have to be spicy per se. I prefer mild curries (heat-wise). Of course, everyone can add as much heat as they want, that's the great thing about cooking yourself - you can adjust it to your taste.