- 1 large head of Cauliflower
- 1 Eggplant
- 4 Tablespoons (divided) Avocado Oil
- 2 teaspoons (divided) Sea Salt
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Ginger
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Cumin
- 0.5 teaspoon (smoked or sweet) Paprika Powder
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Turmeric
- 0.5 teaspoon Ground Coriander
- 2 teaspoons Garam Masala
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
- 0.5 cup, diced Onion
- 2 (or 3) Garlic Cloves
- 15 ounce can Full Fat Coconut Milk
- 2 Limes
- 0.3 cup, chopped Fresh Cilantro
- 2 cups, uncooked (Basmati) Rice
Creamy, saucy and spiced cauliflower tikka masala served over rice!
Tikka masala consist of roasted and marinated meat chunks, usually chicken, in a spiced and orange-colored curry sauce.
The origin of the dish is not certain, however, it traces back to the Indian community and was made popular in Great Britain.
As a lot of us are moving away from meat and including more vegetables into our diet, it was time to convert some meat-focused dishes vegetarian!
I’ve been making tikka masala for years.
Cauliflower makes for a great addition as it is hearty and can stand on it’s on in this dish.
For added flavor and texture, I am adding eggplant.
The cauliflower and eggplant combination works great together.
Some other vegetables that would work great in this cauliflower tikka masala are bell peppers or carrots!
What makes this tikka masala so special are the spices. Don’t skip out on those!
The most prominent spice in any tikka masala is garam masala.
Garam masala is a mix of South Asia spices including fennel, bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, cardamon, and more!
Although garam masala packs a punch of flavor, tikka masala calls for even more spices.
The sauce is made from a couple of tomato base ingredients, onion, garlic and most importantly full-fat coconut milk.
The coconut milk makes the tikka masala incredibly saucy and creamy and keeps it dairy free.
Quick Prep Work
Wash the eggplant and cut off the ends and slice into small cubes.
Wash the cauliflower, cut off the stem and discard along with any of the green leaves. Chop the rest into bite-size pieces.
Peel and chop a small onion.
Smash, peel and finely chop the garlic cloves.
Lastly, get all of your remaining ingredients out and ready.
Cook The Rice
Rinse your rice under cold water for a few seconds. You can also soak the rice for a few minutes and then rinse it. Soaking the rice will shorten the cooking time.
Add 2 cups of rinsed rice to a pot along with 2 3/4 cups of water.
Cover the pot, bring it to a gentle boil then lower the heat to low and set a 10 minute timer.
Once all of the water has been absorbed, the rice is fully cooked.
Remove the lid and fluff the cooked rice with a fork then set aside.
Cook The Eggplant
Get a large pot and heat on high.
Add 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil then add the diced eggplant.
Season the eggplant with 1 teaspoon of sea salt (only use 1/2 teaspoon if you are using table salt) and 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.
Cook the eggplant on medium heat, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes or until the eggplant is soft and cooked through.
Scoop out the cooked eggplant and move to a plate.
Bloom The Spices
Add another 2 Tablespoons of avocado oil to the pot on medium heat.
Next, add 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/2 teaspoon paprika powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander and 2 teaspoons garam masala.
Stir and bloom the spices in the hot oil for about 1 minute.
Add 2 Tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Next, add the crushed tomatoes and season with 1 teaspoon of sea salt (or 1/2 teaspoon of table salt).
Using your wooden spoon, stir and scrape the bottom of the pot to incorporate any dry bits on the bottom of the pot.
Add The Cauliflower
To the pot, add the 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2-3 finely chopped garlic cloves, the chopped cauliflower and 1/2 cup of water.
Stir well so that every piece of cauliflower is coated in the sauce.
Cover the pot and simmer on medium heat for 10 minutes.
After 10 minutes, remove the lid, stir then add the cooked eggplant and stir to combine.
Add 15 ounces of full fat coconut milk and stir to combine.
Cover the pot again and simmer on medium heat for another 10 minutes.
Grab a spoon and give the tikka masala a taste. Adjust seasoning, if needed.
To finish, add the juice of 1 or 2 limes as well as 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro.