Cauliflower Tikka Masala


  • 1 medium cauliflower, washed and cut into medium-small florets
  • 5 cup white onion, diced (about 1 medium white onion)
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 inch ginger, outer skin removed, finely grated
  • 1/2 green jalapeno, diced (more or less as needed for spice)
  • 1/2 teasp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • freshly chopped cilantro for garnish
  • 2 tbsp cashew cream, optional (see notes)

For the Sauce:

  • 3 medium vine-ripe tomatoes , halved
  • 1 medium red bell pepper , stem and seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro , loosely packed
  • 3/4 cup full-fat coconut milk


  • 3/4 teasp garam masala
  • 1/2 teasp ground corriander
  • 1/4 teasp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teasp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teasp salt add more if needed to taste
  • chili powder, as needed for spice (optional)

For the Cashew Cream (optional, note that you will only be using a small amount of this cashew cream in the recipe):

  • 1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked for 2-3 hours
  • 1/4 cup water


To Prepare the Sauce:

  1. In a large non-stick saute pan, heat 1 tbsp cooking oil on medium heat.
  2. Add in the mustard seeds and allow them to fry for ~30 seconds. You should start to see them sizzle and start popping.
  3. Immediately add in the finely grated ginger, minced garlic, green jalapenos (if using), and chopped onions. Cook for a few minutes until fragrant and the onions start to become translucent. Mix frequently to avoid burning.
  4. While the mixture is cooking, add all the Sauce ingredients above into a blender (I used a powerful blender such as a vitamix, but any blender should work).
  5. Once the onions start to become transluscent, turn off the heat, and add all the contents of the saute pan (onion/garlic/ginger) into the blender containing the Sauce ingredients.
  6. Blend on high until completely pureed into a smooth sauce.
  7. Pour the sauce from the blender back into the saute pan, add all the Spices listed above, and mix to combine. Heat the sauce on medium-low until you achieve a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat.
  8. If possible, immediately rinse the blender out so you can use it again to make the cashew cream.

To Make the Dish:

  1. Add all the cauliflower florets into the sauce, toss, and cook, COVERED, for about 10 minutes on low heat or until the cauliflower florets are cooked and tender yet able to keep shape.
  2. Remove the cover and cook again on medium heat, stirring occasionally, for up to about 10-15 minutes OR until the sauce reduces a decent amount and thickens in consistency. While you are waiting, prepare the cashew cream if using.
  3. Season with additional salt if needed, turn off the heat, drizzle on 2 tbsp of cashew cream (if using), and garnish with some fresh chopped cilantro. Enjoy hot with some rice, Naan, or favorite tortilla.