The people that know me well know how much I love indian food. It’s my favorite.
Since that’s the case, you’d think I make indian dishes all the time, right? Nope.
Until now, it has actually intimidated me from making any attempts to cook indian food. But today, I felt adventurous. This cauliflower tikka masala is my first attempt at indian cuisine, and I have to say it’s easily one of my favorite things I’ve ever made.
Tikka masala was my favorite thing to get at indian restaurants before going vegan, so naturally it had to be the first indian recipe I make. I really think this dish can stand up to any non-vegan counterpart. It is rich, creamy, and delicious-no need for butter or heavy cream! Cashew cream can serve as direct substitute for heavy cream whenever a recipe calls for it. And the cauliflower does an awesome job as a plant-based alternative to the chicken or paneer that is traditionally used.
Once you have all the ingredients this is a pretty simple and easy recipe to make any day of the week, but it’s sure to still impress anyone that tries it. To make things even simpler, I also experimented with finding a way to make a vegan shortcut naan bread to go with the meal. While I was at the grocery store, I checked the ingredients of a packaged naan bread and saw that it contains dairy ingredients. I started brainstorming and decided to buy the pre-made fresh pizza dough that my local grocery store sells, and then I cooked it in a skillet.
When making this recipe, I tried to make incorporate as many authentic elements as I could while still ensuring a delicious and easy plant-based alternative. Overall, I’m very happy with how everything turned out, and my ventures in cooking indian cuisine are only beginning. I hope you give this recipe a try 🙂
Cauliflower Tikka Masala Recipe:
-For the Garlic-Ginger Paste-
- ½ cup Cloves of Garlic, whole
- ½ cup Ginger, peeled and sliced
- ¼ cup Olive Oil
-For the Cauliflower-
- 1 Large Head of Cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 cup Unsweetened Coconut Milk Yogurt (nondairy)
- 3 tbsp Garlic-Ginger Paste
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
-For the Sauce-
- 2 tsp Olive Oil
- 1/3 cup Garlic Ginger Paste
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 2 tsp Paprika
- 8 Roma Tomatoes, diced
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup water
- ½ – 1 cup Cashew Cream
-For the Shortcut Naan-
- Store-Bought Pre-Made Pizza Dough
- 1 tsp Olive Oil
- Minced Fresh Cilantro, for garnish
- 4 cups Cooked Jasmine Rice
- To make the garlic-ginger paste, place garlic, ginger, and ¼ olive oil in a food processor and process until a smooth mixture forms.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large baking sheet with tin foil. In a large bowl, whisk together coconut milk yogurt, 3 tbsp garlic-ginger paste, 1 tsp salt, and black pepper. Dip each cauliflower floret in the yogurt mixture, making sure its fully coated. Then place the coated florets on the baking sheet, evenly spacing them apart. Bake for 20 minutes, then set aside.
- Start making the sauce by heating a large pan with 2 tsp of olive over medium heat. Add the remaining garlic-ginger paste, cooking for a minute, then add tomato paste, garam masala, and paprika. Cook mixture until it become fragrant. Add diced tomatoes, cooking until they start to break down. Then add water and salt. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, to make the shortcut naan, divide dough into 5 equal pieces. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp olive oil. Stretch each piece of dough to be about 1/2 inch thick. Cook each stretched piece of dough one at a time for 2-3 minutes on each side. You want it to be nicely browned.
- Transfer sauce to a blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend the sauce until completely smooth. Pour blended the sauce back in the pan. Add the cauliflower, then stir in cashew cream. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice.