Vegetarian Tikka Masala

I love curry, at all times of the year but in winter curry gains a special place in my heart. Anything spicy just makes me feel warm inside and curry is comfort food. This one is full of vegetables and super filling. It’s the perfect weeknight meal and freezes well too, and that means on a future weeknight your meal will be even easier.

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My expel air on the stove is a little crappy. I have a feeling it somehow sucks the cooking smells directly into my bedroom. This causes me to go to be with my appetite just starting up again whenever something fragrant or slow cooked has happened in the kitchen. Not ideal, but luckily I like food a lot. That said, I love the fragrant smell that curry fills the house with I just don’t love it when my house smells still smells of my Monday night meal come Wednesday.  And by house I specifically mean my bedroom here. Lucky for me, this one is reasonably quick so it doesn’t tend to become your house’s new scent for the next 3 days just 3 hours. Putting it on the delightful aroma to come home to rather than wake up to side of things.

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Although this vegetarian tikka masala is clearly meat free I have made it with chicken before. If you really don’t want it to be vegetarian just use chicken as I’ve suggested using the cauliflower here. 200-400g should be plenty. But keep all the other vegetables in it rather than just having the chicken. It’s good for you. Suck it up.  Plus, more flavour. I usually use a mix of spices rather than a spice paste as then I know what’s in it and can have more control over the flavours.

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I borrowed heavily from this recipe when finding the right spice mix. You can easily make this a little hotter by adding an extra chilli or a pinch or two of cayenne at the end. You will probably make your own adjustments each time you make it. That’s what curries are all about. That’s also what cooking is all about, making a recipe yours so you like it better.

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This is a lighter curry that uses yoghurt instead of cream. I always do this, I don’t think I’ve used cream in a home made curry in a very long time. And I don’t miss it. If you want it ‘creamier’ stick to full fat Greek yoghurt. If you’re worried about your fat in take then feel free to use ‘light’ yoghurt but make sure to read the ingredient list as they sometimes add sugar and stabilisers to make up for the lack of fat!

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You can start this recipe the day before or just 2 hours ahead in order to marinate the cauliflower. If you’re starting the day before you may as well soak the chickpeas over night. If you’re doing the 2 hours version then you could just used canned.

I haven’t included rice cooking instructions, as most of you can probably figure that out, if you need help send me a message! You can also easily double this recipe. I know using half a can of anything is annoying, but perhaps you could freeze the rest of the can… in a tupperware container that is.

Side note, if you like these simple Royal Doulton Olio white plates you can get 10% off through the Temple and Webster website woohoo.

Serves 4


Marinated cauliflower

1/4 cup yoghurt

2 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander seeds

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/2 head cauliflower (approx. 3 cups of florets and chopped stalk)


1 Tbs olive oil

1 tsp cumin seeds

1/2 cup finely chopped spring onion

1 garlic clove crushed

1 tbs grated fresh ginger

1 red chilli, finely diced, seeds included (feel free to wuss out  and not include the seeds if you hate heat)

1/2 can roma tomatoes, whole (or use 2 Tbs tomato paste and 2 roma tomatoes chopped)

1/2 cup water (may need more, see directions)

1 cup raw chickpeas, soaked overnight (or 1 can of chickpeas)

150g potato (I used kipfler but any variety appropriate for boiling will be fine), chopped into 2cm chunks

1 cup butternut pumpkin, chopped into 2cm chunks

1 large sweet potato, chopped into 2cm chunks

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/4 cup greek yoghurt

To serve

3 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup raw, cook whilst curry is cooking)

2 Tbs spring onion

2 Tbs coriander

Extra yoghurt

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2 hours/day before: Combine all ingredients for marinated cauliflower and leave in the fridge for 2 hours or up to overnight.

Preheat oven to 230 degrees celsius and line a baking tray.

Put a heavy based high sided fry pan (or just use a pot) on medium heat. Add oil and once hot add the cumin seeds. Toast for a couple of minutes or until fragrant. Add onions and cook until softened, add chilli, garlic and ginger and cook until starting to colour (10 minutes). Turn the temperature down or add a splash of water if things are drying out.

Add the tomatoes and water, use a wooden spoon to break up the tomatoes and mix everything together. Add the chickpeas and potatoes, add more water if there isn’t enough liquid to almost cover the vegetables. Cook for 10 minutes then add the sweet potato, add more water if there isn’t enough liquid to almost cover the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the pumpkin. Cook for a further 20 minutes or until all vegetables are tender. Add the garam masala, coriander and turmeric.

Meanwhile, spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking tray. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until starting to colour and tender. Once the other vegetables are cooked and the spices have been added add the cauliflower. Turn off the heat. Add the yoghurt and fold through gently. Taste and add further seasoning if needed.

Serve with brown rice, extra yoghurt and the coriander and spring onion sprinkled over the top.

HH. x

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The Temple and Webster link for the above plate is an affiliate link.

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