Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes

Marrying into an Indian family 20 years ago, Indian cuisine has become something I have grown to love over time.  Having been born into an Italian family my palate was very accustomed to Mediterranean cuisine, and adjusting to new flavours took some time. Now I must say that Indian cuisine is on the top of my list.  I love it!  And especially fortunate that my mother-in-law was the chef in her own Indian restaurants, so I’ve had some incredible traditional recipes passed down.

I’m excited to introduce you to a dish that’s exceptionally close to my heart: Tofu Cauliflower Tikka Masala. Now, it’s important to note that this isn’t your typical, traditional recipe. We’ve given it a unique twist to make it vegan and healthier than the traditional which often boasts cream as a main ingredient.

Our flavour is an ensemble of classic Indian spices that you probably already have in your kitchen, and a special spice called ‘masala,’ a blend readily available in Indian grocery stores. This medley of spices brings depth to our dish.

Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala


  • 250 grams cauliflower florets
  • 250 grams firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced brown onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cm ginger, grated
  • 1 can tomato pulp 400 grams
  • 1 cup cashew milk (blend ½ cup soaked raw cashews, one cup water and half teaspoon salt)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili (optional)
  • 1 cup frozen peas


  1. Mix all dry spices together to create the masala mix. Using half of your spice mix, top the cubed tofu and cauliflower florets and one tablespoon of olive oil. Mix well and bake in the oven at 180 degrees for approximately 20 minutes
  2. In a saucepan, heat one tablespoon olive oil and sauté diced onion for two minutes or until translucent. Then add garlic and ginger and sauté another couple of minutes.
  3. Turn the heat down, add the spices crushed garlic, grated ginger, fresh chili (optional), garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander powder, and paprika powder, and fry off for about a minute or until fragrant.
  4. Add 1 can of tomato and simmer for 10 minutes. Using a stick blend, blend until all is smooth.
  5. Make the cashew milk and let simmer for another 5 minutes. To make the cashew cream blend together the raw cashews, water, and salt until smooth and creamy. Keep going until you remove all cashew lumps. To get a smooth cashew milk soak the cashew nuts for two hours or boil for about 15 minutes.
  6. The final step is to add the roasted cauliflower, frozen peas, and tofu and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  7. If the mixture appears to be thick add a small amount of hot water to create desired consistency.
  8. Serve with steamed Basmati rice or roti bread

Recipe Notes

Equipment you Need

Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala

Let’s talk about the wholesome benefits of this dish.

The humble cauliflower, is a versatile veggie packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It’s loaded with vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate. Plus, it has antioxidants to keep your cells healthy.  We also have tofu as our plant-based protein which brings iron, calcium, and magnesium to the table. It’s a heart-healthy choice that also burns bad cholesterol. Another main ingredient is cashew nuts: These nuts are good for your heart too. They are a healthy fat and provide a dose of copper, which keeps your blood vessels in shape.

By choosing this Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala, you’re treating your taste buds while giving your body a host of nutrients. It’s a delightful step toward embracing a plant-based lifestyle, and I hope you enjoy every bite.

Let’s start by making a masala mix. Mix all the dry spices together. Take half of the spice mix and sprinkle it over your tofu cubes and cauliflower, then drizzle the olive oil. Give it a good mix and bake in the oven.

Then in a saucepan, heat up another tablespoon of olive oil and toss in your chopped onion. Sautee for a bit then toss in the garlic and ginger and cook for a couple more minutes. Turn the heat, add your spices, and let them toast until they fill the kitchen with their aroma. Pour in your canned tomato and let it simmer for 20 minutes. Using a stick blender, give it a good whizz until it’s silky smooth.

Now it’s time to create the cashew cream magic. Make your cashew milk by blending those soaked raw cashews with water and a pinch of salt. Keep blending until it’s as smooth as a milkshake.  Then add it to you tomato sauce.  The last part.  Add the roasted cauliflower, frozen peas, and tofu to the tomato mix. Let it all simmer together for about 5 minutes until all the flavours are combined

Serve up this yummy dish with some steamed Basmati rice or warm roti bread.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this dish spicier?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the level of chili to suit your spice tolerance. You can also add some fresh birdseye chilies if you’re looking for an extra kick.

What can I use if I don’t have cashew milk?

No worries if you don’t have cashew milk. You can use any unsweetened plant-based milk like almond, soy, or oat as a substitute. It will still give your dish a creamy texture.

How can I make this dish gluten-free?

This dish is already gluten free – bonus! However always check your spices and can tomato are gluten-free without any additives.

Can I prepare this dish in advance?

Absolutely! This Tikka Masala actually tastes better the next day as the flavours have time to combine and do their thing. Just store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheat when you’re ready to enjoy.

What should I serve with Cauliflower and Tofu Tikka Masala?

This dish pairs wonderfully with steamed Basmati rice or warm roti bread. You can also add a side of cucumber raita or a simple green salad for a complete meal.

Can I freeze this dish?

Absolutely! Put it in an airtight container. Glass container works best.