Vegetarian Tikka Masala

14 Mar

I am so excited about Indian food lately! I have been trying a lot of new Indian recipes, thanks to Aarti Sequeria from the Food Network. She makes Indian food so much more accessible. I’m totally rooting for Sudhir on America’s Next Great Restaurant because it would be so cool to have fast casual Indian restaurants around the country! 🙂

The recipe I am sharing today is for Vegetarian Tikka Masala. You may be wondering how tikka masala can be vegetarian, as it usually includes chicken. Really, the recipe is just Aarti’s Chicken Tikka Masala, but with potatoes and cauliflower instead of chicken. I have also made it with tofu, using the marinade that would have been for the chicken. It was yummy, but I found the marinade didn’t add much flavor.

You could really add whatever protein or veggies you want and it would taste delicious because the creamy tomato curry is freaking awesome. And, the ingredients are not hard to find. Once you have the garam masala, you’re set!

When I made this dish the other night, I also made naan as a side. This was my first time making it.  It was pretty close, but didn’t quiet taste like the real thing. However, I think it was more of my fault than anything else. I was in a hurry and didn’t roll out the naan thin enough, so it didn’t get as brown and puffy as it could have. I am going to be trying another Indian recipe (aloo gobi) later this week and will try making the naan again. I ventured to the Indian grocery store today to get stocked up on some chapati flour, which may make the naan taste more authentic. Hopefully I’ll get better results and can share it with you!

But for now, try this amazing, flavorful, vegetarian tikka masala…

Vegetarian Tikka Masala (adapted from “Chicken Tikka Masala” by Aarti Sequeria)


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 6 cloves garlic and 2-inch thumb ginger minced
  • 2 serrano peppers, minced (seeds removed if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 8 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • Extra virgin olive oil, for roasting
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Minced fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Cooked rice, naan, or crusty piece of bread, for serving


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place potatoes and cauliflower onto two separate baking sheets. Drizzle both with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for approximately 20-25 minutes, and the cauliflower for 15-20 minutes, or until both are tender. Flip them halfway through cooking time.
  • Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the butter has melted, add the garlic, ginger, and serrano peppers. Saute until lightly browned around the edges. Add the tomato paste and cook until the tomato has darkened in color, about 3 minutes. Add the garam masala and the paprika and saute for about 1 minute to draw out their flavors.
  • Add the tomatoes, salt, and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until thickened, about 20 minutes. You may need more water depending on how much liquid the tomatoes give off.
  • Pour the sauce into a blender or food processor, or use an immersion blender, and process until smooth. Pour back into the skillet and bring back up to a boil. Add the potatoes and cauliflower. Take the heat down to a simmer and cook for about 10 minutes. Add the cream and stir through.
  • Garnish with minced fresh cilantro, and serve over rice, with naan, or a crusty piece of bread!

Makes 3-5 servings.


5 Responses to “Vegetarian Tikka Masala”

  1. Christina March 17, 2011 at 9:45 am #

    I LOVE chicken Tikka Masala, so I bet I would really love this vegetarian version too! Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to give it a try! 🙂

  2. crustabakes March 18, 2011 at 9:03 pm #

    With a great looking sauce like that, i think you can pretty much throw everything under the sun into it. A vegetarian version of potatoes, brocolis, cauliflowers sound delicious. My mom is a vegetarian, she would definitely love this!

    • yumtherapy March 18, 2011 at 10:02 pm #

      Yes, this recipe is very versatile. I hope your mom likes it!


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    […] Food that Tastes Like Indian Food: Aloo Gobi w/ Naan By yumtherapy As I previously mentioned, I am on an Indian food kick lately. In fact, I think I’ve eaten Indian food three times this […]

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