Vegetarian Tikka Masala with Basmati Rice

A vegetarian take on one of India's most celebrated dishes, made with cauliflower instead of chicken.


Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Difficulty Easy





  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 cups Basmati rice, rinsed
  • 1 tsp Salt


  • 2 lbs Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black pepper, freshly ground
  • ½ tsp Garam masala
  • ½ tsp Cumin, ground
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin


  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 medium Yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves Garlic , minced
  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Ginger, peeled and grated
  • ¼ tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • ¼ tsp Turmeric , ground
  • ½ tsp Garam masala
  • 1 tsp Paprika, sweet
  • ½ cup Tomato sauce
  • ½ cup Heavy cream
  • 2 tsp Sugar, white


  • For garnish Cilantro, chopped
  • For garnish Lemon, wedges


  • Heat oven to 230°C / 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • In a saucepan, bring water to a boil. Stir in rice and salt and return to a boil over medium-high heat.
  • Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until rice is tender and has absorbed all liquid, about 20 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes. 
  • In a large bowl, combine cauliflower, salt, black pepper, garam masala, cumin and olive oil.
  • Pour the seasoned cauliflower onto prepared baking sheet and place in preheated oven. Roast until cauliflower is golden and just tender, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat butter and olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, stirring often.
  • Add cumin, salt, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, garam masala and paprika. Cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring often.
  • Add tomato sauce, reduce heat to low and allow sauce to thicken for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add cream and sugar and bring sauce to a low boil. Cook over low heat, until sauce has thickened a bit more, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Add the roasted cauliflower to the sauce, stir well. Fluff rice with a fork and serve with tikka masala.


  • Alternatively, you can garnish with parsley and yogurt
  • Naan bread makes a nice addition and can be found at most grocery stores