Cauliflower Tikka Masala

Based off Alton Brown’s Lamb Tikka Masala, this veggie only version is delicious and rewarding when served over brown rice or farro.


  • 2 Tbsp. garam masala*
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lbs. cauliflower, cut into bit-sized chunks
  • 1 C. plain non-fat yogurt (or a vegan alternative; onion cream, etc.)
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 28oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 C. coconut milk
  • Kosher salt
  • Cilantro leaves for serving
  • Rice, for serving


  1. Place cauliflower, yogurt (or whatever), 1 Tbsp. garam masala, cumin, coriander, pepper, and a pinch or two of salt,  into a gallon plastic bag.  Squish around until all evenly coated.
  2. Heat broiler.  Place rack at the highest setting.
  3. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat
  4. Add onions and a pinch or two of salt.  Cook until onion is browned around the edges (11-12 minutes)
  5. Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add garlic, ginger, and chile.  Stir and cook until onions are soft and have browned completely.   About 7 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle remaining garam masala, stirring to coat.
  7. Add the tomatoes and cook until they reduce and darken.  About 15-20 minutes.
  8. While that simmers, spread the cauliflower over a sheet pan (sprayed with non-stick spray)
  9. Broil the cauliflower, watching carefully, until it begins to brown deeply.  Flip and stir.  Brown again.  Remove from broiler.
  10. Add cauliflower to tomato mixture.  Stir to combine.  Cook until it reaches your desired softness.**

Cook’s Notes

* If you must, buy it.  Otherwise make Alton’s version at home.

** I liked my cauliflower to still have a significant bite, but if you like it softer, be my guest.


Based from Alton Brown’s “Lamb Tikka Masala

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