Though the origins of Tikka Masala have been much disputed, the popularity and deliciousness of this dish is indisputable. Normally made with chicken swathed in a creamy and spicy tomato sauce, Tikka Masala straddles the divide between British and Indian cultures, and remains a popular dish in both cuisines and cultures. In this recipe, vegan protein replaces chicken, and light coconut milk lightens up the creamy sauce. Turmeric is a traditional Indian spice, and chock full of anti-inflammatory properties, purported to boost the immune system, suppress tumors, protect the brain from Alzheimer’s, and make your skin glow from the inside out. Turmeric is best absorbed by the body when consumed with a healthy fat like coconut oil, and black pepper. Consider the recipe below a delicious and healthy way to get your turmeric fix, and an easy way to skip the takeout menu.
Total Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 2 generously
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
- 2 teaspoons garm masala
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 8 oz. can tomato puree
- 1 8 oz. can light coconut milk (unsweetened)
- 2 portions vegan meat substitute, defrosted if frozen (look for ones made with seitan for a firm texture)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh lemon juice, to taste
- White rice, vegan yogurt, and chopped cilantro, to serve
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter, and add the garlic and onions. Cook for 4-6 minutes, until the onion is softened and beginning to turn golden brown.
- Add all the ground spices to the skillet, and stir well to combine. Add the tomato puree and the coconut milk, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Bring the mix up to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
- Cut the vegan meat into bite size pieces, and add them to the sauce. Cook for 6-8 minutes, until warmed through.
- Season the sauce to taste with a bit of fresh lemon juice, and salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve the tikka masala over warm rice, with a dollop of vegan yogurt and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro.
Alternatives: To bulk up this recipe, you can add cubed, cooked potatoes to the finished sauce, and frozen peas for a hit of color and freshness.
Note: You can usually find vegan meat substitutes in the freezer or refrigerator section of most grocery stores. They come in a variety of flavors, mimicking chicken, beef, and fish. If you have trouble finding this ingredient, you can easily substitute extra firm tofu.