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Bowl of Vegan Tikka Masala with Fork, Water Glass and Bunch of Cilantro on a Blue Table
Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Tikka Masala
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
40 mins

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!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: cashew curry, vegan Indian recipe
Servings: 4 (very generous) servings
Calories: 456 kcal
Author: Alissa
  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
  • 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water, divided, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons sambal oelek, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (or neutral oil of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 large cauliflower crown, broken into florets
  • 1 (14 ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Cooked basmati rice, to serve
  1. 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*. 

  2. Blend until very smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. This may take a few minutes.

  3. Coat the bottom of a large pot or skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. 

  4. When the oil is hot, add the onion and cook it until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 

  5. Stir in the cashew mixture, cauliflower, chickpeas, brown sugar and 1/2 cup of water. 

  6. Raise the heat and bring the sauce to a simmer. 

  7. 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.

  8. Remove the pot from heat. Season the curry with salt and adjust any other seasonings to taste.

  9. Divide onto plates with basmati rice. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

*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.

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Cauliflower Chickpea Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 456 Calories from Fat 194
% Daily Value*
Fat 21.5g33%
Saturated Fat 3.7g19%
Sodium 976mg41%
Potassium 1316mg38%
Carbohydrates 56.9g19%
Fiber 13.3g53%
Sugar 12.5g14%
Protein 16.3g33%
Calcium 100mg10%
Iron 5.9mg33%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.