Go Back
+ servings

Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Savory, bold and mildly-spiced, this Cauliflower Tikka Masala is a flavor-packed recipe that your whole family will love. It's a pure comfort meal that is easy to make and it's budget-friendly too! 
Course Dinner
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Indian, Vegan
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 People
Calories 315kcal


Roasted Cauliflower

  • 1 large cauliflower , cut into bite-sized florets
  • avocado oil for drizzling (or preferred oil)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • Salt and pepper , to taste

Tikka Masala Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil , or preferred oil
  • ½ medium red onion , finely diced (sub yellow onion)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic , minced or crushed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger , grated (sub frozen or paste)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • ¾ teaspoon smoked paprika (sub with sweet)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cups tomato purée (strained tomatoes)
  • 2-3 teaspoons agave nectar (or any sweetener)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt , more to taste (more for roasting)
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk (shake can before pouring)
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime , juiced (sub lemon)

For Serving (Optional)

  • Naan
  • Rice (about 3 cups cooked)
  • ½ cup cilantro , chopped


  • For the cauliflower, preheat oven to 450° F (230° C). Place cauliflower florets on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with garam masala, salt, and pepper. Combine together with your hands. Roast for 15-20 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Toss halfway.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garam masala, cumin, turmeric, paprika, and crushed red pepper. Set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until translucent and slightly golden. About 3-5 minutes
  • Turn heat down one notch. Now add the garlic and ginger. Sauté for 30-60 seconds until fragrant. Now add the combined spices and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds
  • Add tomato puree, agave, and salt. Bring to a simmer, then lower the heat (if needed) to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring often to prevent sticking. You want the sauce to get very thick. Stir in coconut milk and lightly simmer 2-4 minutes to combine and thicken (don't boil - lower heat if needed). Stir in 1 tablespoon of lime juice and taste before you add more.
  • Now add roasted cauliflower and gently toss to combine well (heat longer if needed). Taste for seasoning and add more if needed, then remove from heat. Top over rice and serve with naan, lime wedges, and cut cilantro if desired. Enjoy! 



*Nutritional info doesn't include rice or naan. 
For extra spiciness, you can sauté a small serrano pepper (slice first) with the onions. Or you can add a few pinches of ground cayenne pepper or red chili powder with the spice mix. To make it less spicy, omit the crushed red pepper and reduce the cumin. 
If the sauce is too thick for your taste, you can add a few splashes of water or broth to thin it out. 
For a creamier consistency, add ¼ - ½ cup more coconut milk and lightly simmer a few minutes longer.
The coconut milk has a very subtle flavor and it balances well with the tomato base and spices. However, if you're very sensitive to its flavor, you can use lite canned coconut milk. The sauce will be slightly thinner, but still delicious. 
For added protein, add a cup of chickpeas to the pan after the coconut milk. 
More Topping Ideas: A dollop of Unsweetened Yogurt or Vegan Sour Cream, Toasted Nuts, Fresh-Cut Basil, Sliced Green Onion or Bean Sprouts


Serving: 12ounces | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Sodium: 448mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 13g