Cauliflower Tikka Masala With Vegan Cashew Cream And Basmati Rice

There's probably two iconic dishes that people will immediately associate with UK grub: the almighty fish and chips, and Britain's most popular dish, chicken tikka masala. A delicious culinary fusion of the British demand for meat and a fragrant Indian curry, there's a reason why this recipe is so beloved! But the true MVP of this dish has to be the warm Indian spices – the garam masala, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and turmeric all combine to create a truly unique taste. This recipe takes those classic tikka masala flavors back to their vegetarian roots by frying up cauliflower florets and serving them with a spicy curry sauce, a vegan cashew cream, and some aromatic basmati rice.

You'll Need:

For the tikka masala sauce: 

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small piece of ginger, minced
  • 1-2 jalapeños, diced
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • salt to taste
  • 5 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1¼ cups coconut milk

For the cauliflower bites:

  • 1 medium cauliflower head, chopped
  • 1 large pot with cooking oil

For the batter:

  • 1⅔ cups flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1½ cups sparkling water
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsp black sesame seeds

For the cashew cream:

  • 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
  • ¼ cup water

For the rice:

  • 1⅓ cups basmati rice
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 star anise pods
  • salt to taste

Here's How:

1. Chop the garlic, jalapeño, onion, and ginger into small pieces and sauté the diced veggies in a skillet until translucent. Add the cayenne pepper, garam masala, and cinnamon and let the spices roast for a few seconds. Then add the chopped tomatoes, bell pepper, and coconut milk and let simmer over medium heat for about 15-20 minutes. Once the vegetables have cooked all the way through, a creamy curry should form. If necessary, use an immersion blender for a smoother sauce.

2. Cut the florets from the head of cauliflower and set aside. For the batter, mix the flour with baking powder, black sesame seeds, turmeric, vegetable oil, salt, and sparkling water until the mixture becomes smooth and there are no lumps left. But make sure not to stir it too much, otherwise you will lose the fluffiness in the batter that the sparkling water gives.

3. Submerge the cauliflower florets in the batter one by one until they're completely coated and then fry them in hot oil.

4. Serve the cauliflower tikka masala with cashew cream and rice. For the cashew cream, first soak the cashews in water for 2-3 hours. Add the soaked nuts with the water to a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. If you lightly toast the cashews in a pan and let them cool first, the cream will be even more delicious! And for the perfect side dish, bring the water, basmati rice, cardamom pods, and star anise pods to a boil. Let cook for about 15 minutes over very low heat, add salt to taste, and serve with your yummy and healthy Indian dish!

Just the smell of the curry with all those spices wafting through the air should be enough to convince you that this is a recipe for the ages. Get ready for a culinary trip straight to India. Bon appetit!

Get the recipe for the Chicken Curry Naan Bowls featured in the bonus video.


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