Loaded Veggie Tikka Masala
Oh hey, welcome to one of my favorite recipe creations OF ALL TIME! Sometimes (a lot of the time) I exaggerate, but today is not one of those days :)
I didn’t grow up eating a lot of Indian food (and for the record, I’m totally not claiming this recipe to be an authentic Indian recipes) but I have definitely made up for that over the past few years. For a small southern city, Nashville holds its own when it comes to Indian restaurants and I most certainly have my favorites. My GO TO meal…..tikka masala! When I get to the point that I’ve eaten the same dish at the same restaurant more than about 5 times, that’s when I decide it’s past time I try the recipe for myself at home. Enter, THIS AMAZING LOADED VEGGIE TIKKA MASALA! (sorry for yelling….I’m just really in love with this recipe).
Out of all the recipes on my blog (and there’s something like 300 of them!), this is definitely the recipe that I have tested the longest and the most amount of times. Actually, I first started making tikka masala recipes from cookbooks that I have and from some of my favorite bloggers. I took the elements that I loved most from each of those recipes and made it into my own veggie packed recipe.
The factors that I was most looking for: 1) LOTS of veggies. It took me a while to get the veggie proportions correct but I found a delicious happy medium. 2) The sauce. The first few times I tested my own recipe, there just wasn’t enough sauce. Or, I think there was just way too many veggies. Either way, I personally like a really saucy tikka masala. So, that’s what my recipe is. 3) I really wanted to create a fully plant based recipe. This was pretty easy actually. I simply subbed the yogurt for coconut yogurt and the cream for coconut cream. Everything else was already plant based and vegan.
Many tikka masala recipes start out with a curry paste that gets rubbed all over the meat and left to marinate. Since we’re not marinating anything, we get to skip that part (yay!!).
Instead, we make a simple onion, garlic, and cilantro sauce that adds SO much mind blowing flavor to the dish.
Next, we saute the onions with LOTS of spices. I’ve had a lot of fun lately experimenting with different spices and this recipe was no exception.
As with most of my recipes, the salt is totally optional.
Once the spices become aromatic and the onions are translucent, the tomatoes, sauce, coconut yogurt, half of the coconut cream AND the blitzed onion and cilantro mixture is added in. Then the cauliflower and carrots go in.
Once the veggies are tender and *just* about done, the chickpeas and peas are added in. NOW, if adding only half of a can of chickpeas into this dish is super annoying to you then go ahead and add in the whole can. I tried it this way at first and it works just great. I only add in half because it’s just a large dish already. You can also put in slightly less cauliflower or carrots to account for the extra chickpeas.
And on that note, don’t feel restricted to these veggies. I felt like peas + cauliflower + carrots + chickpeas was a perfect balance but honestly, a lot of other things would work in this dish! If you try other things, please let me know what and how you liked it!!
Alright, well that’s it for this gloomy Wednesday morning. I seriously can’t tell you how much I love this recipe and I hope that you love it as much as I do!
ps- it makes AMAZING leftovers. Like, it’s maybe even better on day 2 than the first time you eat it. So, I highly recommend making this with the intention of multiple leftover lunches. GAH, I wish I still had some leftover in the fridge now.
See How to Make the Tikka Masala:
- Large yellow onion (1/2 goes in sauce in blitzed sauce, 1/2 is finely chopped)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1 inch of ginger, peeled
- 10 sprigs of fresh cilantro (plus more for serving)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 1 teaspoon of salt (optional)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of garam masala
- 400 g of canned plum tomatoes, not drained
- 1 15 ounce can of tomato sauce
- 1 small container of vegan yogurt**, roughly 5 ounces (I typically use So Delicious ensweetened coconut yogurt)
- 1 15 oz can of full fat coconut cream or milk**
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3 large carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 15 oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Optional for serving: chopped cilantro, extra yogurt, basmati rice cooked
- In a food processor, combine half of the onion, garlic, ginger, cilantro stalks, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Blitz until fully combined about 1 minute. (see photo above) Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add in the chopped onion and spices, stir to combine and cook gently for 10 minutes.
- Into the skillet, add the plum tomatoes (with the liquid from the can), tomato sauce, yogurt, HALF of the can of coconut milk and the blitzed onion and cilantro sauce. Cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium heat.
- Add in the cauliflower and carrots and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes.
- Once the veggies are tender, add in chickpeas, frozen peas and the remaining coconut milk. Stir to combine and let cook for 5 more minutes or until peas are fully heated through.
- Serve with rice and (optional) a bit more cilantro leaves and yogurt.
**To see photos of the kind of coconut cream and yogurt that I use, see photo above!**