Vegetarian or Vegan Tikka Masala

The official dish of the UK is my all time favorite thing to order when I eat out at Indian restaurants. Tikka means pieces and Masala....well spice mixes so its veggie pieces in a spice mix. The flavor of the tomato's, spices, and cream come together into a very hearty flavorful sauce. The key ingredient that sets this recipe apart is the Fenugreek leaves, which has a very unique and amazing flavor that it adds to the dish, and is what gives it restaurant quality taste.


If you don't have these ingredients at home, (Garam Masala and Fenugreek leaves really), I encourage you to find a local Indian/Asian grocery store. They have just about every spice you can think of AND THEY ARE CHEAP AF! I bought a huge bag of coriander for a whole $1.50, and the Fenugreek leaves (called Kathuri Methi) were about $2.50 for a big potato chip size bag....you know the size of the one you eat alone in your room at 12am watching Netflix.


This recipe is enough to feed a family of 4-6 easily, so if you want to make less, just cut the ingredients exactly in half, but I guarantee you will want to have some for later it because it tastes better with time.




Ingredients:


Marinade:

1 Cup vegan Yogurt

16-24 oz bag of mixed vegetables ( also good: potatoes, mushrooms, cauliflower, eggplant)

1 Tb Grated Ginger

2 Cloves Grated Garlic

1 Tb Garam Masala

1 Tb Lemon Juice (1/2 lemon)

1 Tb Kashmiri Chili powder (or regular chili powder)

1 Tb Salt

Pepper

Olive Oil


Sauce:

1 Tb Grated Ginger

2 Cloves Grated Garlic

Half of a small onion minced

1 Tb Tomato Paste

1 Tb Garam Masala

28oz Can Crushed Tomato

3/4 cup Cashew Cream (Recipe) or Heavy Cream

2 Tb Sugar

2 Tb Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)

1 Tsp Tumeric (optional)

Olive Oil

Salt


Lets Get Cooking


Marinade Process:


1. Cut the vegetables into 1 inch cubes and place into a zip lock bag or sealable container.


2. Add all of the marinade ingredients with the veggies and mix well until the veggies are fully coated in the mixture. Cover and place in the fridge for at least an hour or preferably overnight (up to 24 hours).



It's Tikka Time:


1. Add 1-2 Tb oil to a medium high pan and place the vegetables in the pan, cooking for about 2 minutes undisturbed and then flip and cook another 2 minutes. Be sure not to crowd the pan so you can get good browning. I did mine in batches, and just let the veggies sit in a bowl while the others were cooking.


2. Remove all the veggies from the pan and keep it in a bowl to the side.


3. In the same pan, sauté the onions on medium low with 1 Tb oil or Ghee if you have it, until the onions are soft and almost browned on the edges. Add the ginger and stir until fragrant, then add the garlic.


4. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until the paste breaks down and is soft, then add the garam masala and cook until fragrant.


5. Turn the heat up to medium high and add the veggies and any juices in the bowl into the pan. Stir the veggies so that the spice mixture coats the veggies well.



6. Add the crushed tomatoes and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Taste the sauce for enough salt, and add 1 Tb of sugar at a time. You would determine this by how acidic the tomatoes taste. 2 Tb is already accounted for with the 28 Oz of tomatoes, so you may need more or less depending on how your tomatoes taste.


*If you are going to serve this with rice, now would be the time to get it cooking*


7. Add the cream, stirring gently until the sauce is an even color. It should look burnt orange at this point (Hook em horns!). Add the Fenugreek leaves, stir, and cover. Cook on low for about 10 minutes.



8. The sauce should have thickened up at this point, and filled your house with aroma of the gods. Now its time to plate! If you want to get fancy, you can put your rice in a bowl or some type of cylinder shaped container, pack it down, and then flip it onto a plate. Then spoon the veggies and sauce over it or around the rice mound.






9. I like to add a sprinkle of the Fenugreek leaves as a garnish because its 1) pretty looking and 2) it adds a pop of flavor and fragrance that you JUST CAN'T DESCRIBE!



Enjoy!










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