Cauliflower Tikka Masala from Scratch

By Mieke

I’ve been overdoing it on the tofu so I decided for my final few days of Veganuary to switch to some veggie focused dishes.

I found this cauliflower tikka on Pinterest. It’s incredibly good and simple to prepare. I’ve adjusted it a little bit from the original recipe to allow for freezing.

What do I eat with vegan cauliflower tikka massala?

I like having mine with loads of extra coriander and some plain white rice, and maybe a dollop of (non-dairy) yoghurt. Though I won’t hold it against you if you have this with a nice and easy store-bought naan instead.

Vegan cauliflower tikka masala

Dorothy Porker
Super easy, delicious and vegan cauliflower tikka masala.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main course
Cuisine Indian, Vegan
Servings 4


  • Large skillet or frying pan with a lid
  • Blender


  • 1 T - 15 ml sunflower oil
  • 1/2 t - 2 gr mustard seeds
  • 1 onion diced
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2" - 7mm ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 1/2 jalapeno finely chopped, seeds removed for less heat
  • 3 tomatoes quartered
  • 1 red bell pepper stem and seeds removed, finely sliced
  • 3/4 c - 180 ml full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 c - 20 gr fresh cilantro +extra for garnish
  • 3/4 t - 3 gr garam masala
  • 1/2 t - 2 gr ground coriander
  • 1/4 t - 1 gr ground turmeric
  • 1/2 t - 2 gr ground cinnamon
  • 1 cauliflower cut into small florets
  • yogurt if using dairy-free, go for unsweetened - optional for serving
  • coriander optional for serving


  • Once you have all your elements ready to cook, heat the sunflower oil in a large skillet before adding 1/2 t - 2 gr of mustard seeds. They should start sizzling as they hit the oil.
  • Let sizzle for 30 seconds or so before adding 1 diced onion, 6 minced cloves of garlic, 1/2" - 7 mm of grated ginger and 1/2 a diced jalapeno and turning down the heat to medium. Allow to cook gently, stirring occasionally to avoid browning, until the onions are soft.
  • Once the onion is soft, add the mixture to a blender with 3 quartered tomatoes, 1 finely sliced bell pepper, 3/4 c - 180 ml of coconut milk, 1/2 c - 20 gr fresh cilantro and the remaining spices and blend on high. I have to push my mixture down every once in a while to get everything well blended into a thick sauce.
  • This is where you can decide to freeze part of the sauce or just make all of it. It serves about 4 people, so I continue on with about one quarter of the sauce and 1/4 head of cauliflower.
  • To finish, move the sauce back to the skillet and bring to a boil. Leave to simmer, covered with a lid, for 10-15 minutes. Now add the cauliflower florets, and simmer for another 15-20 minutes. Until the cauliflower is cooked and the sauce has reduced a little.
  • Serve with yogurt, coriander, naan, rice or whatever else tickles your fancy.


The prepped sauce keeps for up to 3 months in the freezer. Simply defrost and pick up the recipe from step 5. 
Keyword easy vegan, indian recipe, vegan

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