Cauliflower and/or Chicken Tikka Masala

Cauliflower and/or Chicken Tikka Masala

May 14 2015
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May is a funny old month.  Sometimes the weather is gorgeous and I feel all summery in my mood and dress, and sometimes the weather is dreadful and I want to slink back into jeans and boots and a big jumper.  It’s the same with food.  Some days a salad is entirely appropriate and some days it just isn’t, and most of the time it starts out one way and turns in to another.  This dish, I think, can be whatever you want it to be.  It’s sustenance enough to be comforting on a grey day and light enough to be refreshing on a bright one.  You can give it a heavyweight blow with some rice or a lightweight punch with some salad.  Either are good.  You decide.

I should say that the original recipe for a cauliflower tikka masala came from Jamie Oliver.  I’ve adapted it a little but not a lot.


Serves 4 (2 meat eaters, 2 veggies)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 red chilli, trimmed and deseeded
2 thumb sized pieces of ginger, peeled
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
1 bunch fresh coriander
75g flakes almonds
2 tbsp tomato puree
coconut oil
2 onions
1 x 400g tin coconut milk
1 x 400g tin tomatoes
1/2 head cauliflower, broken into florets
2 chicken breasts, diced

Toast the cumin and coriander seeds in a small frying pan until aromatic.  Tip into a food processor.  Add to the food processor the chilli, half the peeled ginger, garlic, garam masala, paprika, most of the coriander and 50g of the almonds.  Finally add the tomato puree and blitz to a paste.  If you need to add a little water to get the paste more paste-like then feel free.


Peel and finely slice the onions.  Add coconut oil to two pans (I like to use those lovely deep frying pans but a casserole will do).  I add about a tablespoon of coconut oil.  You could also use olive oil.  Split the onions between the two pans and fry until soft which should take about 10 minutes, and in the last couple of minutes add the remaining ginger which you will have sliced as thinly as you can.  Now split the paste and add to each pan.  Fry briefly before adding the diced chicken to one pan and the cauliflower florets to the other. Try to coat the chicken and cauliflower in the paste giving it a jiggle around (is that a culinary term?) for a couple of minutes.  Add half the coconut milk to each pan and half the tomatoes, give it a stir and cover to cook.  Until the cauliflower is soft (about 10-15 mins) and the chicken is cooked (about 15 mins).  If you feel it’s looking a bit dry do add a little water to loosen, but not too much.  This isn’t an overly watery curry.

Finally, when it’s ready to serve sprinkle on the remaining flaked almonds and coriander.  As I say, serve it with rice if you need it, just a salad if you don’t or if you can’t decide, some quinoa fills the gap between one of those and  the other.