Tikka Masala is easily one of the most delicious and creamy curries you can try. I love it so much I set out to make my own bulk chicken tikka masala recipe years ago, and it has consistently been a hit. Since we have switched over to a predominately plant-based diet in our home, I have created a vegan version, subbing in my favorite crunchy roasted vegetables: cauliflower and potatoes. I also include chickpeas to make the dish a complete and hearty meal with plenty of protein. Best of all, this meal takes a fraction of the time to prepare because it only uses vegetables that quickly roast in the oven. It is easily made vegan because we do not need a yogurt marinade to tenderize meat! I use the same spices and flavor profile on the cauliflower and potatoes as they roast, as well as in the sauce. The aromatic, lemony, fresh curry made of tomatoes and onions scented with a range of fresh and potent spices like coriander, paprika, cumin, garlic and turmeric blankets the crispy cauliflower and potatoes that beg to be soaked up with some bread or rice. This cauliflower and potato tikka masala promises to be one of the most flavorful and delicious recipes you can make!
This recipe is made so quickly because you start with roasting the cauliflower and potatoes. Simply wash, cut, and sprinkle on all the spices. They turn golden crispy delicious within 20 minutes. It’s so hard to resist not to just eat it all straight off the roasting pan. I recommend using a cast iron pan, if you have one, to get nicely crisp results. It’s also important not to overlap the cauliflower and potato pieces so they don’t steam cook and get too soft. I leave the roasting of the vegetables until just before serving, while the sauce can be prepared earlier in the day or even in advance and stored. The dish is garnished with freshly chopped cilantro leaves and squeezed lemon juice.
The spices used in tikka masala can range from each recipe. I use what I find to be the most flavorful and provide that depth of citrus and tangy spice. Almost always, I omit cayenne pepper mostly because it makes it too spicy for my kids, but the great thing about this recipe is that you can add whatever spices you like! Here are the basics I use for bright and aromatic tikka masala sauce: coriander seed, cumin seed, and paprika. Toasting the spices in a dry pan for 1-2 minutes really brings out the nutty fragrance of the cumin and citrus notes of the coriander. I use fresh garlic, ginger, and turmeric root, keeping this dish as fresh and flavorful as possible.
I then add in fresh garlic cloves, turmeric root, and ginger root because the flavors are a lot more potent. I love using these in most dishes because they have so many great health benefits!
The tomatoes used in this sauce can either be fresh tomatoes diced then blended, or a jar of crushed tomatoes. I prefer blending the ginger and turmeric root so that they become super fine and have no noticeable chunks. The entire sauce gets pureed with an immersion blender before adding the chickpeas and vegetables, so it’s important to use a deeper pot.
Because this sauce is so tasty to use with many recipes and stores well, I like to double or triple it and then save it, before adding in the chickpeas, lemon, or cilantro. It can then be pulled out and used on a variety of dishes such as roasted vegetables, fish, or simply a stew of chickpeas or other beans.
Serve along with
Cauliflower and Potato Tikka Masala
- cast iron pan recommended
For the Sauce
- 1 tbsp oil olive oil or grapeseed oil
- 1 onion, sliced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1.5 tbsp turmeric root, minced
- 1.5 tbsp ginger root, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp coriander seed, ground
- 2 tsp cumin seed, ground
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 c blended tomatoes, or crushed tomatoes
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 c cooked chickpeas
- 1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
For the roasted vegetables
- 2 heads of cauliflower
- 3-4 large potatoes
- 1 tbsp olive oil or sunflower oil
- 1 tsp coriander, ground
- 1 tsp ginger powder, ground
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin, ground
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
For the Roasted Vegetables
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees (F).
- Wash the cauliflower well, and pat dry. Remove the stalky stem, and cut up into smaller pieces.
- Wash the potatoes, pat dry, and cut into 1.5 inch cubes.
- Toss the cut vegetables into the oil and all of the spices.
- Arrange the vegetables onto a large sheet pan or cast iron pan evenly, so that none are overlapping.
- Roast on the top rack of the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden and crispy.
For the Tikka Masala Sauce
- Over medium-high heat, in a deep pan or pot, sautee the onions until yellow.
- Add the minced ginger, garlic, and turmeric to the pan.
- Add all of the spices. Stir gently for 1 minute.
- Add the tomatoes to the pot and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Puree using an immersion blender.
- Add the cooked chickpeas and stir gently.
- Just before serving, add the lemon juice and half the cilantro.
- Arrange cauliflower and potatoes onto serving tray and pour tikka sauce all over. Garnish the remaining cilantro. Serve with bread or rice.