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Tikka Masala can easily be made vegan, plant based, and oil free with a few tweaks.  This delicious Indian recipe features the wonderful spice garam masala.  Use chickpeas instead of chicken and any vegetable like cauliflower to create this filling, high fiber, and high protein whole food plant based meal. #tikkamasala #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #plantbasedprotein #eattolive #dairyfree #indiancuisine #garammasala

Ready for a super easy & delicious plant based Indian recipe that will make your house smell amazing? I was inspired to create this Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala by MamaSezz when they sent me a free sample of their garam masala spice. It smelled amazing and I had to find a good recipe for it.

what is garam masala used for

Is Tikka Masala plant based?

It can be! This plant based Tikka Masala is vegan, dairy free, and oil-free so the perfect whole food plant based meal. Instead of chicken, use chickpeas for plant based protein and instead of yogurt, use light coconut milk to create the creamy flavor.

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What is garam masala?

Garam masala is a blend of different spices that is used commonly in Indian cuisine and is what creates the really warm flavor to this dish. Translated from Hindi, garam masala means “warming spice”.

You can find garam masala at most grocery stores – check the spice aisle and also the ethnic aisle.

Can you make your own garam masala?

Garam masala really varies from different regions and individual preferences so you can really make it your own.

Most garam masalas consist of:

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Cloves
  • Black pepper

Other versions may also contain fennel, turmeric, saffron, garlic, ginger, bay leaves, tamarind, star anise, or fenugreek.

What are good substitutes for garam masala?

In a hurry? Then here are a couple quick substitutes that you might have on hand that you can substitute for the garam masala:

  • Curry
  • 4 parts cumin to 1 part Allspice
  • Chaat masala
Tikka Masala can easily be made vegan, plant based, and oil free with a few tweaks. This delicious Indian recipe features the wonderful spice garam masala. Use chickpeas instead of chicken and any vegetable like cauliflower to create this filling, high fiber, and high protein whole food plant based meal. #tikkamasala #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #plantbasedprotein #eattolive #dairyfree #indiancuisine #garammasala

Can you make Chickpea Tikka Masala without oil?

Absolutely! No oil necessary!

Water or broth saute your onions & garlic in a good non-stick pan or pot. My favorite non-stick pan is this ScanPan that I absolutely love! If the onions & garlic start to get a little dry, just add a splash of water or veggie broth. Doesn’t take much so don’t over do it, otherwise you’ll be boiling them.

What do you serve Chickpea Tikka Masala with?

This plant based tikka masala can be eaten by itself or served over brown rice or quinoa for a filling meal full of phytonutrients, anti-oxidants, fiber, and protein.

To make it even more nutrient-dense, try serving it over riced cauliflower. The beautiful thing about non-starchy veggies like cauliflower is you can eat A LOT for very little calories. I’ll make a whole steam bag (2 cups) of riced cauliflower and top with a serving of this Tikka Masala. Lots of food for only around 300 calories!

Plus, cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable so it has double the anti-cancer power of regular veggies! Win-win!

how to make vegan tikka masala

What kinds of veggies can you use in vegan tikka masala?

So many variations! Feel free to change up the spices and veggies to make it your own. I used onions, garlic, & cauliflower in this version, but you could swap it out for any veggies you like or have on hand. You could even do an all veggie tikka masala without the chickpeas.

  • carrots
  • diced tomatoes
  • chopped zucchini
  • diced eggplant
  • broccoli
  • peas
  • diced sweet potato
  • chopped bell pepper
  • mushrooms
  • chopped celery
  • the list is endless!
Tikka Masala can easily be made vegan, plant based, and oil free with a few tweaks. This delicious Indian recipe features the wonderful spice garam masala. Use chickpeas instead of chicken and any vegetable like cauliflower to create this filling, high fiber, and high protein whole food plant based meal. #tikkamasala #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #plantbasedprotein #eattolive #dairyfree #indiancuisine #garammasala

Other great plant-based recipes you might like:

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Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala (WFPB)

This delicious dairy-free popular Indian dish is super filling & whole food plant based! Serve over brown rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time35 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 231kcal
Author: Kim Murphy

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1.5 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt optional
  • 15 ounces tomato sauce low sodium
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas low sodium, drained
  • 1/2 head cauliflower florets chopped
  • 1 cup lite coconut milk canned not refrigerated
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, broth or water saute the chopped onion & minced garlic over medium-high heat until softened.
  • Add all the dry spices (ginger, chili powder, garam masala, cumin, turmeric, & salt) and saute for about 1 minute until well combined.
  • Add the tomato sauce, chickpeas, chopped cauliflower, & 1/4 cup water and stir to mix well.
  • Bring to a boil, then cover & lower heat. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add in coconut milk and tomato paste. Stir until mixed evenly, then simmer for 5 for minutes uncovered.
  • Serve by itself or over brown rice, quinoa, or riced cauliflower. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Serving: 2cups | Calories: 231kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 717mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 776IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 92mg | Iron: 4mg
Tikka Masala can easily be made vegan, plant based, and oil free with a few tweaks. This delicious Indian recipe features the wonderful spice garam masala. Use chickpeas instead of chicken and any vegetable like cauliflower to create this filling, high fiber, and high protein whole food plant based meal. #tikkamasala #wfpb #healthyveganrecipes #plantbased #plantbasedprotein #eattolive #dairyfree #indiancuisine #garammasala

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