Cauliflower Tikka Masala (easy & vegan)

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This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and maybe best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner that’s super easy to make.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

A creamy and flavorful vegan Curry is just one of those meals that everyone loves and can be cooked anytime. It’s super easy to prepare and always perfect when you’re in need of a simple and comforting meal. The combination of different spices, healthy vegetables, and that creamy texture are a perfect match!

And if you’re not a big fan of cauliflower or don’t know how to prepare it in a delicious and flavorful way, you should definitely try this Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry!
For more Cauliflower Recipes you can also check out my crispy Cauliflower Nuggets or my BBQ Cauliflower Wings.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

Vegan Tikka Masala – Indian Curry

Since I also love Indian dishes, such as my Indian Lentil Dal, today I’m sharing with you another Indian inspired recipe – Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry. Some of you may have already heard of this delicious dish because it’s very popular in Indian cuisine. While the traditional Tikka Masala is made with Chicken (or in the vegetarian version with the Indian cheese “Paneer”), I made mine with Cauliflower. This not only makes it meat-free and vegan but also MUCH healthier and lower in calories and fat.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

Healthier Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Instead of using a lot of heavy cream, paneer (cheese) and butter or oil (which you’ll find often in the traditional Tikka Masala), I used only crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth and lentils to make the vegan curry sauce. To serve, I added some non-dairy yogurt. However, coconut milk, dairy-free cream cheese or homemade cashew cream is a great option to create a creamier texture too. To make a simple cashew cream, just blend 1/3 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked in water overnight or only 20 minutes when using HOT water) with 1/4 cup water until smooth and creamy.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.   

Red Lentils for plant-based Protein

To add some protein, I used red lentils, which are a perfect addition to the Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry Sauce. Not only because they contain healthy nutrients and plant-based protein, but also because they make a thicker texture. I don’t know about you, but I personally always prefer a creamy, rich and thick sauce instead of a watery sauce which reminds me of a soup.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

Mix and Match the ingredients

Anyways, you can mix up this Indian Curry by substituting chickpeas, beans or peas or adding other vegetables like sweet potato, pumpkin, zucchini, carrots, bell pepper or other. Just make sure not to add all of the vegetable broth if you omit the lentils and sub canned chickpeas. Otherwise, the Tikka Masala Sauce will probably get too soupy.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

Easy to make in less than 20 minutes!

To make this Indian Curry we start with sautéing the cauliflower florets and onions. Then we add garlic, ginger, red lentils, and the spices. The most important spice for the taste is Garam Masala, however, you could also use your favorite Curry powder or a Curry paste instead. Next, we add in vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes. Then we cover the pan and let it cook for about 10-15 minutes until done. For more creaminess, you can add some dairy-free yogurt or another alternative, as mentioned in the text above, finally. I also like to stir in a tablespoon of agave syrup for natural sweetness. That’s it! Your meal is served! 😊

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

I hope you‘ll LOVE this Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry too! It’s:

  • Meat-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Gluten-free
  • Plant-based
  • Healthy
  • Creamy
  • Spicy
  • Flavorful
  • Comforting
  • So delicious!

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

How to serve

You can serve this Indian Curry with rice and a piece of toasted baguette, like I often do, or serve it over mashed potatoes, creamy polenta or with naan, flatbread or your favorite tortilla. As mentioned before, it’s truly SUPER QUICK & EASY to make, so you’ve got a hearty healthy dinner on the table fast.

For more curry dishes, be sure to check out my Pumpkin Chickpea Curry, Indian Chickpea Curry, Indian Lentil Dal or Chili sin Carne. And if you give this Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry recipe a try, let me know in the comments here and by tagging me @biancazapatka on Instagram!

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry (easy & vegan)

This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils and comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! It makes a healthy dinner or lunch which is delicious, gluten-free and very easy to make.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Lunch & Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Bianca Zapatka

Ingredients

Cauliflower Tikka Masala

  • 1-2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1/2 head of cauliflower (about 750g) chopped into small florets
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic minced
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger grated
  • 3/8 cup red lentils (75g) *read recipe notes for options
  • 2 tsp garam masala or curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika or chili
  • 1/2 tsp salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp agave syrup
  • 1 14 oz can tomatoes (about 2 cups) crushed
  • 1 cup vegetable broth (240ml) or more, if needed
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy yogurt or coconut cream or cashew cream *read recipe notes

To serve (optional)

Instructions

  • In a large pan, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the cauliflower florets and onions. Sauté until they are starting to brown and onions are translucent, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, lentils and spices.
  • Sauté for a further minute until fragrant, stirring constantly.
  • Add the crushed tomatoes and vegetable broth. Stir to combine and cook covered for about 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat until the cauliflower is tender and the lentils are cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  • Add more water to thin (if needed) or coconut cream/ cashew cream* (to make it creamier). If the sauce is too watery, cook again uncovered for a further few minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency. Season with additional salt and spices, if needed.
  • Then take off heat and let the masala sit for another few minutes before serving to unfold flavors. (optional)
  • Serve with non-dairy yogurt over rice (or mashed potatoes, creamy polenta) and with your favorite bread. Garnish with sesame, roasted cashews* and fresh parsley, if you prefer.
  • Enjoy! 😊

Notes

  • To make the cashew cream, just blend 1/3 cup raw cashews (preferably soaked in water overnight or only 20 minutes when using HOT water) with 1/4 cup water until smooth and creamy.
  • You can sub and add other vegetables or chickpeas, peas, beans (read suggestions in the text above). Just make sure not to add all of the vegetable broth if you omit the lentils and sub canned chickpeas. Otherwise, the sauce will probably get too soupy.
  • To make roasted Cashews, add raw unsalted cashews into a hot pan without additional oil and roast from all sides until lightly browned, about 2-3 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?

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This Vegan Cauliflower Tikka Masala Curry is packed with flavor, protein from red lentils, and best of all, it comes together in less than 20 minutes in one pot! Making this a delicious, healthy and gluten-free lunch or dinner, that's super easy to make.

7 Comments

  1. Avatar 9. February 2019 / 21:49

    Your Tikka Masala looks amazing, Bianca! I love cozy comfort food. 😍😍😍
    Much love, Ela 💛

    • Bianca Zapatka 10. February 2019 / 19:55

      So glad that you like it! 🙂
      Thank you <3

  2. Avatar
    Rie
    10. February 2019 / 18:25

    Made this last night and I absolutely loved it! Thank you so much for sharing such bomb and yummy recipes! Sending lots of love<3

    • Bianca Zapatka 10. February 2019 / 19:57

      So glad that you liked it! 🙂
      Thank you!
      Sending love <3

  3. Avatar
    Lara
    12. February 2019 / 15:31

    This one is absolutely amazing and so easy to make!
    I ate all at once, couldn’t reißt 😋

    Try it. Taste it. Love it!!!

    Thx Bianca!

    • Bianca Zapatka 12. February 2019 / 19:38

      So glad that you liked it! 🙂
      Thank you!
      Sending love <3

  4. Avatar
    Annerosa
    22. April 2019 / 20:12

    This curry is delicious and easy to make.
    Thank you 🙏
    Annerosa 💖💖

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