Do you like Indian food? I love it. I don’t remember the first time I tried it, but it had to have been in college. Going to school in a big city, I was exposed to so much interesting food. My palate really expanded those four years; I’m so grateful for my friends who opened my tastebuds to new and exciting flavors. Indian food is very vegetarian friendly and many dishes are vegan or can be made vegan. These Cauliflower Tikka Masala Tacos are a mashup of a few different Indian dishes I tend to gravitate towards.
I hope it goes without saying that I didn’t set out to make an authentic Indian recipe. Once more for the people in the back – I am not claiming authenticity here! This is an Indian-inpsired dish that borrows ingredients and flavors from traditional Indian cuisine. You’ll find tikka masala on nearly every Indian restaurant menu. It’s a creamy tomato-based curry sauce infused with tons of fragrant spices; it’s positively mouthwatering. You may see tikka masala paired with chicken, paneer (a fresh cheese common in Indian cuisine), tofu, or vegetables. Typically, tikka masala sauce is made with cream, so be sure to ask your server if their tikka masala is vegan. Or, you can just make this recipe at home!
First, you’ll batter and bake the cauliflower florets. I always find this step to be a bit tedious, but I promise it’s worth it. While the cauliflower is in the oven, get to work making the tikka masala sauce. There is SO MUCH flavor packed into this sauce! The key ingredient is garam masala. You can buy garam masala at any major grocery store in the spice aisle. Alternatively, you may find it in the international section. This recipe uses two tablespoons of garam masala, and there isn’t really a substitute. If you absolutely can’t find it you can use curry powder, but the end flavor will be different.
These Cauliflower Tikka Masala Tacos are vibrant, flavorful, and rich. Heat up your tortillas on the stove, add rice and cauliflower, and top everything off with fresh cilantro for a fun twist on taco night.Print
These Cauliflower Tikka Masala Tacos are vibrant, flavorful, and rich. Heat up your tortillas on the stove, add rice and cauliflower, and top everything off with fresh cilantro for a fun twist on taco night.
- 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 1 cup non-dairy milk (plain, unsweetened)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon water
For the tikka masala sauce:
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 2-inch chunk of ginger, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup cilantro leaves and stems, chopped (plus more for serving)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons garam masala
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup or agave
- 1 jalapeño, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 cup coconut milk (from a can of full fat coconut milk)
- 3 cups cooked rice or quinoa
- Corn or flour tortillas
- Preheat your oven to 425F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. If you’re serving the tacos with rice or quinoa, start making it now.
- Whisk the non-dairy milk, flour, salt, and water together in a medium bowl. Dip each cauliflower floret in the batter and coat all sides. Place the battered cauliflower on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden and slightly crispy.
- Meanwhile, make the tikka masala paste. Combine the onion, tomato paste, ginger, cilantro, garlic, paprika, garam masala, maple syrup, jalapeño, lime juice, and salt in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the tikka masala paste and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until fragrant and slightly bubbly around the edges. Stir in the tomato sauce and coconut milk and continue simmering for another 10 minutes or so. If you like a super smooth sauce, transfer it to a high speed blender and blend for a minute before pouring the sauce back into the skillet.
- When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to the tikka masala sauce and gently toss to coat.
- Warm the tortillas on your stovetop. Add some rice to each tortilla followed by a few saucy cauliflower pieces. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
- Serving Size: 1 taco