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Tikka Masala

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
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Why we love it:

Is tikka masala we know it an Indian dish or … British? The origins of it are hotly debated and we won’t weigh in here. We can say, it’s delicious and well loved. This version is simple and will become a family favorite in times of busy days or when you're stuck at home. It holds up in the fridge for days, even improves overnight or longer, and it freezes beautifully. (Photo is off here - please excuse us for not having a vegetarian photo)


  • 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 12 teaspoon Ground Ginger (ok to omit if you don't have it)
  • 3 Tablespoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
  • 34 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper (optional, or use less)
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 12 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 head Cauliflower (sliced in florets)
  • 1 Tablespoon Vegetable Oil
  • 1 28-ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 pinch White Sugar (optional)
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • 1 cup Basmati Rice (White)
  • 114 cups Water
  • 1 pound Baby Spinach (OR vegetable you have on hand)
  • 6 ounces Feta Cheese (cubed)

Cooking Instructions


    Combine all of the spices in a small bowl, including half of the total salt.

    Dice cauliflower into florets - don't forget that the center core and leaves all tatse great! Just trim any very dry or browned parts. Wash it well. Add half of the spice blend to to the florets, and turn to evenly coat.

  • 2. SAUCE

    Finely dice the onion.

    In a large pot with tall sides, heat until shimmering. Add the diced onion, cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 6-8 minutes. Add the remaining spice blend.

    Cook the spice blend on the bottom of the pan for 30 seconds or so. Add the can of tomatoes and the sugar. Add the cauliflower and about 1/2 cup of water. Cover partially and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened and the cauliflower is tender. It will take at least 20 minutes and up to 30 if the florets were large.

  • 3. RICE

    Combine rice and 1 1/4 cups of water in a small pot with a tight fitting lid, add 1 tsp salt (this should be half of the total salt called for). Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir once. Turn heat to low and cover the pot. Cook for 17 minutes then turn off the heat and leave it covered until you’re ready to serve dinner.


    Whatever vegetable you're serving, roast or steam it until it's cooked through.


    Add the cream (any dairy or coconut milk if using that) to the sauce slowly while stirring.
    Cook sauce with cauliflower and cream for a final 5 minutes over low heat.

    Stir in the feta cubes, if using.

  • 6. PLATING

    Serve a scoop of rice, topped with cauliflower and sauce, veggie on the side.

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    if you don't have it - frozen cauliflower florets would be great, or diced tofu
    simply omit the heavy cream. You can swirl in some almond based yogurt or a can of coconut milk if you’d like it lighter and creamier
    you can use whole milk, sour cream, plain yogurt (greek or not), or omit
    Any greens you have are nice here, roasted or steamed. Even a side salad. Go with what you have
    omit cheese and use tofu, or garbanzo beans, or white beans. Or, use roasted cubes of sweet potato, zucchini, or broccoli. Diced root veggies would taste great as well - think turnips, rutabaga and potatoes.
Rate this recipe:
4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 54 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5 (4 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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