Cauliflower Tikka Masala

I love getting the chance to explore new foods, and by doing so sometimes I end up finding a new favorite. I have also enjoyed a good Tikka Masala but when I was looking for some alternative ways of cooking it to share with my family sometimes it proved a bit more difficult. But as more and more products come to the market that are dairy free & vegetarian it makes these more illusive recipes possible for us.

Tikka Masala, is a warm and inviting combination of spices. It is perfect for the cooler weather that is coming and also a wonderful comfort food for the whole family to enjoy.


For the roasted cauliflower

  • 1 large head of cauliflower (you need approximately 1kg of cauliflower)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala [ if you do not have garam masala or cannot find it you can make your own see instructions below]
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp salt

For the tikka masala curry

  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tsp ginger grated/crushed
  • 2 tsp garam masala [ if you do not have garam masala or cannot find it you can make your own see instructions below]
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½-1 tsp chili powder
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • 2 400g/14oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup coconut milk or coconut cream if you want it heavier like those who use heavy cream.
  • 2 tbsp. butter [ Use margarine or plant butters if you cannot use normal dairy butter]
  • 1-2 tsp  brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Pre-heat the oven to 200ºc/390ºF.
  • Slice the cauliflower floret off the head of cauliflower. Chop the remaining stalk into bite size pieces. Place the cauliflower into a large roasting tray and drizzle over the oil and season with the spices then place into the oven and roast for 30 minutes until golden brown and cooked. 
  • In the meanwhile start making the sauce. Fry the onions in the oil until soft and translucent then add the garlic and ginger and fry for another 30 seconds. 
  • Add all the spices and fry for a minute before adding the tomatoes and tomato paste. Simmer for 5 minutes then add the coconut milk/cream and brown sugar then simmer for 10 minutes
  • Add the roasted cauliflower and butter and stir together then allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste and serve. 

How to make your own Garam Masala?

The most common spices in Garam Masala are:

Green Cardamom Pods or Black Cardamom pods
Bay leaves
Black Peppercorns (or black pepper)
Fennel seeds
Star Anise
And the quantities, combinations and variations are endless.

Curry roasted cauliflower


1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground cardamom

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4– 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)


Mix all ground spices together in a small bowl and store in a sealed jar.

To bump up the flavor and fragrance, lightly toast the amount called for in a recipe, just before using, in a dry skillet, over medium heat, stirring until fragrant and lively.


To make a more authentic version of Garam Masala using whole spices, toast the following in a skillet.

Lightly toast over medium heat in a dry skillet, until crackling and fragrant, stirring often, being careful not to scorch. Grind in a Spice grinder or blender until ground into a fine powder. Store in a sealable jar.


By simmering the sauce for long enough it will reduce and thicken but if you want to thicken it more, you can mix 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 1 tablespoon water and add it to the sauce. Allow to cook until the sauce has thickened.

Top with Greek yogurt if desired, serve on rice or even on pita or Naan.

Dairy Free Greek Yogurt from Kite Hill is amazing or you can use Silk’s plain yogurt if you prefer.


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