Chicken Tikka Masala is one of my husband's favorite Indian dishes (along with Tandoori Chicken). He's not alone--the dish has been described as Britain's national food after a survey found that it was the most-ordered restaurant dish in the country, and it is very popular throughout America and the rest of the westernized world. Exactly where the dish originated is a bit of a mystery, but it is generally accepted that it was created in a restaurant and aimed at the Western palette. The name itself simply means "spiced chicken pieces" and derives from Hindi.
Wanting to cook some Indian food and moved by a desire to share one of his favorite dishes, my husband decided to create a vegetarian version of this famous dish. Fortunately, we found a very helpful video online showing how to make Chicken Tikka Masala. With a little experimentation, we were able to adapt the recipe to create a very satisfying vegetarian dish.
The recipe calls for yogurt, which is optional (so you could make it vegan as well). The yogurt, when added to the dish a few minutes before serving, creates a rich, creamy sauce. The more yogurt you add, the blander and more saucy the dish becomes. Leave the yogurt out for a peppery, vibrant dish.
Vegetarian Tikka Masala with Potato, Cabbage, and Peas
- 2 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper powder
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 5 cardamom pods
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 and 1/2 sweet onions, finely diced
- 1 large tomato, finely diced
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 medium russet potatoes, diced
- 1/2 green cabbage, sliced into thin strips
- 2 cups frozen peas
- aromatic Basmati rice
1). Mix all of the ingredients for the Masala Paste together.
2). Start the rice cooking according to the instructions for the variety.
3). Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
4). Add the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods for just a few seconds to add fragrance to the oil, then remove them.
5). Add the onions and stir until they are browned.
6). Add the masala paste and stir for a minute, then add the tomato and stir for another minute, then add the water and bring it to a simmer. Salt to taste.
7). Add the chopped potatoes, cabbage, and peas. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until the potatoes and cabbage are tender and a fork can slide easily through the potato pieces.
8). Add yogurt to taste--the yogurt will create a sauce.
9). Serve over aromatic Basmati rice.
Here is a link to the video that taught us how to make Chicken Tikka Masala:
Susan from India on February 05, 2013:
This looks simply delicious. Thanks for sharing.
Diya Das Gupta on September 05, 2012:
i followed each and every step .it turned out excellent.
HannahDeLight on January 09, 2012:
Hey there! Ran into the same problem mid-cook tonight. I added a bit more water and some of Seeds of Change Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce (roughly 6-7 tsp?). I'm sure it changed the flavor, but it turned out ok. Maybe use some of this to augment the recipe and see what you think?
VitalityGrl1 on October 16, 2011:
Hi Melissa and everyone, thanks so much for posting this recipe, but unfortunately it didn't work for me and I wanted to get your input. Basically, the liquid from the diced tomato and only 1/2 cup of water isn't enough liquid to cook the potato and cabbage (which when chopped resulted in a lot of veggies to cook...). The liquid barely even covered the bottom of the pot, which was already filled with the onion mixture. I had to add a can of tomato sauce and more water and still only used 1/2 the potato and cabbage. Any tips? Would love to give it another try. Thanks!
dablufox from Australia on April 18, 2011:
I was looking for a good Indian recipe to try and this one sounds delicious. Thanks you very much!
becca on March 06, 2011:
veryy yummy my children loved it :)
Hawley on January 23, 2011:
Just made this with a friend for our husbands tonight, and we chose to make it vegan. We omited salt and instead added extra of the spices in the "paste" (which isn't paste? just powder?) and used a can of coconut milk instead of yogurt. It came out really well and was quite delicious! We also served it over brown rice.
Considering that we used half the oil (adding 2 tbsp of applesauce to complete the requirement) and no salt, I think it came out really well.
vince on April 01, 2009:
Yumm good recipe. I made it with a vegan yoghurt substitute and it was really good and creamy. thanks so much
Sita again on January 06, 2009:
Oh and also, I made it with chick peas instead of green peas and it was very satisfying. I made this dish for a suspicious carnivore who ended up LOVING it.
Sita on January 06, 2009:
Delicious. Even better than I thought it be.
subia on December 28, 2008:
Stacie Naczelnik from Seattle on February 01, 2008:
Yum! Thanks for the vegetarian version.