Creamy and vibrant Vegetable Tikka Masala is fantastic when made with tender potatoes and cauliflower! This sweet curry with a hint of spice is a classic for a reason!
Make it a complete meal with Easy Saag Paneer on the side!
When I really can’t think of what to make for dinner, I often turn to curries for a solution. Although it might be simple to order take out, it loses its charm pretty quickly, especially since it can be expensive and unhealthy.
Fortunately, it’s simple enough to make a stunning curry at home for a fraction of the price. A good curry can take simple ingredients and turn then into a meal full of flavour that disguises just how easy it is to make!
Why you’ll love it
I’m convinced that one of the reasons tikka masala is so popular is restrained flavours. It has a bit of sweetness without going too far. And unlike some other curries, it isn’t spicy at all, making it a great option for kids or anyone who doesn’t love hot food.
Cauliflower and potatoes become tender as they cook in the tikka masala sauce, soaking up the delicious flavours. And although it is possible to make tikka masala with individual spices, who wants to put in that sort of effort? Find a good quality paste to make this recipe a breeze!
What is tikka masala?
Tikka masala is definitely South Asian dish, while also very British. How can this be?
It was created by Bangladeshi or Indian chefs living in the the UK and designed for the British palate. It clearly draws from classic curries, but with a flavour profile that makes it easy to love for people all over the world, hence its enduring appeal.
As with so many dishes, there is no definitive recipe for tikka masala. There are as many variations as there are cooks.
Recipes almost always include tomatoes, cream or yoghurt, coconut cream and a masala spice mix, which itself comes with plenty of variety. But from there we have plenty of room to make it our own!
The sauce has an orange colour, which can be light or dark, depending on the ingredients that are used. Traditionally it is made with chicken, but I think it’s perfect for a vegetarian curry.
Although making a curry with all your own spices gives more opportunity to personalise the flavours, I find the convenience of a store bought paste to be too good to pass up.
The tikka masala paste so important to this recipe because it is the source of most of the flavour. That means it is important to choose the best quality paste you can find and afford. I normally use Patak’s but other pastes might be available where you live.
I had baby potatoes available when I made this recipe but any waxy potatoes will do just fine. Larger potatoes need to be cut up into chunks of roughly the same size so they cook at the same rate.
The same goes for the cauliflower. I recommend buying a head of cauliflower rather than pre-cut pieces so it can be divided into large florets that will take a similar time to cook as the potatoes.
What to serve with vegetable tikka masala
Curries like this one have a thick sauce that is perfect when served over a bed of rice. Find basmati rice if you can.
A flatbread like naan is also perfect. I usually add a dollop of chutney or a spicy pickle as well.
There are plenty of side dishes from South Asian cuisine that will work as well. Something made with saag, a leafy green vegetable, is ideal, such as a Saag Paneer or Saag Aloo. A side like this makes it a more complete meal and adds even more diversity to the taste.
Recipe tips and notes
- Be sure to buy tikka masala paste, not sauce. They are separate products that are used differently to make curries.
- Chickpeas can be used in this recipe in place of potatoes.
- I used baby potatoes because they were what I had available, but any waxy potato variety will work perfectly. If using larger potatoes, cut them into similar sizes so they cook at an even pace.
- Cut the cauliflower head into large florets so they cook at roughly the same rate as the potatoes.
- Ghee is traditionally used in South Asian cooking but as it is made from butter it is not suitable for vegans, who should use oil.
- I find frozen grated ginger to be a huge time saver and always keep some in my freezer. It works great in this recipe.
More vegetable curry dishes
- Jackfruit Curry with Potatoes
- Easy Egg Curry with Peas and Potatoes
- Paneer Tikka Masala
- Vegan Coconut Lentil Curry with Butternut Squash
- 1 tablespoon ghee (oil for vegan option)
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ lbs baby potatoes or other waxy potatoes, cut larger potatoes in half
- ½ lbs cauliflower head broken into large florets
- 125 ml/1/2 cup tikka masala spice paste, not cooking sauce
- 400ml/14 oz canned chopped tomatoes
- 250ml/1 cup water
- 125ml/1/2 cup single or double cream (use coconut milk for a vegan option)
- 2-3 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro/coriander for garnish
- Heat the oil or ghee in a large deep pan, then add the sliced onion and cook over medium heat for about 7-10 minutes until it’s brown. To the same pan add the cauliflower, broken into large florets and continue cooking until the florets are golden in places for about 5 minutes, it won’t be cooked at this point but browning will add flavour and will improve texture.
- Now add the ginger and garlic and cook briefly for about 30 seconds, add the tikka masala paste and cook it while stirring for another 30 seconds. Bring in the chopped tomatoes and the water to the pan, sir to combine, add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Then cover with a lot and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and cauliflower is tender.
- Add the cream and the brown sugar and stir to combine, let it simmer for a minute, then take off the heat and serve garnished with fresh cilantro/coriander.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 575Total Fat: 42gSaturated Fat: 25gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 137mgSodium: 573mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 5gSugar: 14gProtein: 16g
Nutritional information is calculated using third-party services and is only a guideline. There may be some variations based on product brands and cooking methods. If you are on a restricted diet, it is recommended that you supplement this info with your own research.