Cauliflower & Chickpea Tikka Masala

Cauliflower & Chickpea Tikka Masala

So, I managed to create the most delicious Vegan Tikka Masala Sauce with Spicy Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas. I still can't get over how good it is. Truly. What's vegan about this curry? Firstly, no butter/ghee.  I used coconut cream instead of dairy cream and of course,  replaced chicken with cauliflower and chickpeas.  The spice combination, the heat, the ''tomatoeyness'' and creaminess is legit. And the roasty, toasty cauliflower and chickpeas stirred through the sauce is simply mouthwatering. J loved this curry too, so this will be a regular weeknight meal going forward. I also love that it is pretty much a pantry dinner (provided you have all these spices at hand) with the addition of fresh cauliflower and a few basic aromatics.  Once you nail a seriously good tikka masala sauce, the options are endless! The excitement is real. So, from my kitchen to yours, find the recipe below.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2


Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas:

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 can of chickpeas drained
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) each of garam masala, ground coriander and paprika
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) each of dried chilli flakes, turmeric and ground cumin
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper

Tikka Masala Sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) minced red chillies (sambal oelek) or dried chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) grated ginger
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) each of ground coriander, garam masala, paprika
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) each of ground cumin and turmeric
  • 6 cardamom pods bashed
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
  • 1 c (250 ml) coconut cream
  • handful of fresh coriander stems chopped
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) sugar or agave

To serve:

  • Cooked brown basmati rice
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Slivered almonds toasted
  • Extra coconut cream for drizzling
  • Olive oil for drizzling


  • Preheat oven to 220°C.
  • In a bowl, combine the garlic and spices. Remove about ¼ of the mixture and keep aside.
  • Add the cauliflower florets to the bowl. Drizzle well with olive oil and toss in the spice mixture until well coated. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Arrange onto a baking tray and roast for +- 30 minutes or until golden and crispy.
  • In the same bowl, add the chickpeas. Toss well with olive oil and the set aside spice mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
  • When cauliflower has roasted for 15 minutes, make space on the roasting tray and add the chickpeas and roast for a further +- 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the Tikka Masala sauce.
  • Heat the olive oil and sauté the onion, garlic, ginger and spices until fragrant.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, paste and +- 200 ml water. Simmer gently for 15 minutes.
  • Add the coconut cream and coriander stems and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  • The cardamom pods should be floating on the surface at this stage. Simply fish them out.
  • Use a stick blender and blitz the sauce until smooth and creamy.
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and chickpeas (reserve some for garnishing) into the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Swirl with more coconut cream and serve with brown basmati rice, fresh coriander leaves and slivered almonds. Drizzle with olive oil.
  • Pickled cucumber is lovely with this curry too.


Keyword curry, plantbased, tikka masala, vegan, vegetarian
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