This vegan tikka masala is rich, creamy and packed with flavor! Made with tender cauliflower florets and hearty chickpeas are simmered in a spicy cashew tomato sauce, you'd never guess this cozy curry was dairy free. A delicious Indian-inspired dinner that tastes like it came from a restaurant and is easy enough for a weeknight!
Place the cashews, tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, garlic, ginger, sambal oelek, garam masala, cumin, paprika, coriander, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, and pepper into the bowl of food processor fitted with an s-blade*.
Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. This may take a few minutes.
Coat the bottom of a large pot or skillet with oil and place it over medium heat.
When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook it until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the cashew mixture, cauliflower, chickpeas, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water.
Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Lower the heat and allow it to simmer, uncovered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and thinning the sauce with extra water as needed. Be sure to scrape the bottom of the pot with a spoon to prevent the sauce from sticking and burning.
Remove the pot from heat. Season the curry with salt and adjust any other seasonings to taste.
Divide onto plates with basmati rice. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
*If you are using a low powered blending device, I recommend blending the cashews and 1/4 cup of water to a smooth paste first. Then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.