I’ll admit, of all the recipes my mom made while growing up, tikka masala It wasn’t on the list. As much as we loved indulging in the dish’s rich sauce at weddings and restaurants, my mother’s never really got to taste it, so we loaded up when we could. And I’m still obsessed with the dish to this day. It’s nostalgic – I have so many food memories from family and friends’ weddings where tikka masala was on the buffet line, or at our favorite Indian restaurants in Houston where we ate family style, bringing our plates over and over again. These days, when a craving strikes, I make this cauliflower tikka masala – and my craving is instantly satiated.
Let’s break it down. cauliflower It can be said that it is one of the most delicious and popular vegetables at the moment. Soak up all the delicious flavors of this simple recipe. And because it comes together in no time, I promise this cauliflower tikka masala will be part of your regular recipe rotation.
Ingredients for cauliflower tikka masala
yogurt. While this recipe is vegetarian, as an ode to the yogurt-marinated chicken for my chicken tikka masala, I “marinate” the cauliflower in buttermilk. It also adds a little subtle subtlety.
garlic and ginger. In both the yogurt dressing and the sauce, these warm spices add plenty of flavor. Use the new stuff – believe me.
cauliflower. Prepared florets or whole cauliflower that you cut up yourself works great. You can also substitute other starchy vegetables like potatoes (a personal favourite) or paneer.
Onion. I prefer yellow onions, but red onions or shallots will work in a pinch.
spices. Garam masala, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, corianderSave this recipe for flavor. Fresh earth is always best, but use what you can find!
jalapeno. Just for a little spice.
canned tomatoes. You can use some options. Puree, whole or plain tomato sauce. I prefer the tomato sauce because I like to keep everything a bit more tender. But since the sauce is mixed, any of these options will work.
Heavy cream. Although I don’t usually have heavy cream on hand, I add it to my list when I do. And you don’t need much, so even if you want to save more on ice trays to freeze and use next time, that will work too! You just want that creamy richness. Coconut milk works too.
ghee. Just a tablespoon adds a glossy finish to your sauce.
sugar. Sprinkle in a pinch to round out all the flavors.
How to make a 30-minute meal of cauliflower tikka masala
Once I found out I could make this recipe in about 30 minutes, it became a go-to for weeknight meals. some advices:
- Soak the cauliflower the night before. Add the yogurt, ginger, garlic and spices to a bowl and stir in the cauliflower and leave it covered in the fridge. This makes it easy to toss them into the oven while the sauce is simmering so they can both cook at the same time. It also provides a little prep during the dinner frenzy.
- Maze In Place is your friend. Before you actually start cooking, measure out your spices into one bowl, and chop the onions, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños on your cutting board. Add the butter and cream to the blender before you start cooking and set aside. All of these little steps get things moving faster and save you cleaning time, too!
- Toast your spices. For maximum flavor, we roast the spices with the onions until fragrant. Once you smell it, add the tomatoes.
- Make everything ahead of time. My mom says this a lot, but recipes like this one are incredibly forgiving of leftovers. In fact, they often taste even better the next day. Store leftovers in an airtight container and reheat on the stovetop with an extra drizzle of cream or margarine and serve. Nobody knows the difference.
Serve alongside hot rice, with naan, or even on its own in a bowl. Add lots of chopped cilantro, a little lemon juice and even a little yogurt if you like.
I also love to serve this dish alongside a few Chachomber salad For more freshness or with raita on the side. Little Palak or saag paneer It’s also delicious if you want some options on the table for people to eat with a big bowl of rice. Whatever you serve, this cauliflower tikka masala will be delicious.
This post was originally published on August 17, 2018, and has since been updated.