Vegan Tikka Masala

My newest obsession…Indian food! I had never tried Indian cuisine nor have I ever been to an Indian restaurant..until very recently my dearest girlfriend held a get together at one back in St. Louis! (Where I’m originally from) Though I was very hesitant on trying this foreign (to me) cuisine I automatically was surprised on how much I enjoyed it! The combining of different flavors & use of spices drew me in! Here’s my Vegan take on this dish! Tikka Masala–paired with Pineapple Jasmine rice served in a pineapple boat for a tropical presentation.

Tip- If you don’t have much of a tolerance or liking for spicy food then make sure to alter this recipe to your liking.

This Recipe- 4-6 servings

What you’ll need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
Half white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 two-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Garam Masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can be reduced fat coconut milk
Salt to taste
Fresh chopped cilantro

1 1/2 cups Brown Jasmine rice

1 cup peas (I used frozen)

1/2 cup diced pineapple

Pineapple Boats- Cut Pineapple down the center. To make it easier on myself I cut down the leafy part so I could get a better cut. Use a knife to carve out & set aside your pieces for your rice.

Pineapple Jasmine Rice-

1. Bring 2 cups of water to boil. Add 1 1/2 cup of rice. Add salt & one tsp of vegan butter in a saucepan. Return to a boil, then turn down heat and simmer for 35-40 minutes. Lid on.

2. Toss in frozen peas after 20 minutes and mix throughout.

3. Take your diced pineapple from your boats and stir in after 30 minutes.

4. Take off heat with the lid on for 5 minutes then serve.

Masala Sauce-

1. Start by combining all of your spices in one bowl (turmeric, cayenne, cumin, paprika, Garam)

2. Diced up your onion, cloves & ginger. Toss these in a larger oiled saucepan & cook until fragrant.

3. Pour coconut milk slowly into the pan while whisking & add spices. (make sure it’s on low/med. heat you don’t want to burn your milk here)

4. Whisk diced tomatoes in slowly. (med. heat)

5. Allow your sauce to marinate together for 10 minutes (checking & whisking every few minutes) If you see any pockets or bubbling lower your heat a bit & cover.

6. Toss in your chickpeas and cover for additional 10-12 minutes.

7. Taste your sauce & judge if you need any salt or pepper.

This recipe is a bit time consuming compared to most of my recipes but so worth it! I’ll definitely make this more often. Not to mention its a great change of pace for any kitchen new to these wonderful flavors. This dish makes great leftovers (without the boat)

Assemble your dish by filling one side of the boat with your rice & the other with your Masala! Top with Freshly chopped cilantro for additional garnish & flavor. If you are looking to cool down the dish with a condiment- I drizzled vegan plain yogurt over top & it was delicious!

Yogurt- Silk Plain Dairy Free/Vegan Yogurt.

If you decided to opt out of using pineapples for bowls- Try serving a large dollop of rice on a plate with your Masala poured over top with warm naan for a more traditional plating.

“Indian cuisine reflects a 5,000-year history of various groups and cultures interacting with the subcontinent, leading to diversity of flavors and regional cuisines found in modern-day India. Later, Mughal, British and Portuguese influence added to the already diverse Indian cuisine.”

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