Who doesn't love Indian curries? Indian curries are filled with bold flavor and lots of spices and have a delicious creamy & buttery texture. Cauliflower Tikka Masala falls in this category with an added bonus that the cauliflower pieces are first grilled and then added to the curry.
Being a vegetarian, it's always challenging to find new recipes. Lately, people are trying to make authentic & traditional recipes in a vegan/vegetarian way by adding cauliflower or chickpeas to them. So here I am sharing my version of Cauliflower Tikka Masala that is delicious and easy to digest.
Making Indian food in Instant pot is so much easier, as most of the Indian cooking requires pressure cooking. I use Instant Pot on a daily basis now and always get excited because of the way the food turns out.
HOW TO MAKE TIKKA
Just like Paneer Tikka Masala, Cauliflower Tikka masala is also made by first grilling the cauliflower pieces. I use an air fryer to grill the marinated cauliflower pieces. It will be healthier that way and also gets a beautiful charred color on the cauliflower.
You can also bake the marinated cauliflower pieces in a conventional oven. But making them in an air fryer is easier. You can also add cauliflower pieces without air-frying them. Either way, the recipe comes out great.
STEPS TO FOLLOW
Step 1- Marinate Cauliflower: Cut cauliflower florets and marinate in spices & mustard oil. Marinate for 5-10 minutes so that all the cauliflower pieces are infused well with mustard oil & spices blend.
Step - 2: Air Fry: Air Fry the marinated cauliflower pieces in the Air Fryer or Ninja Foodi for 10-15 minutes, until they are charred. I personally like charred cauliflower better, as it gives a nice smoky flavor to the dish.
Step- 3: Make Masala: Masala is the base for all Indian cooking. The richer the masala is, the creamier the curry will be. I first fry the onion in the oil along with cardamom, cloves, and cashews.
STEP 4 - PRESSURE COOK: Pressure cook the masala for 5 minutes. When the pressure gets released, open the lid and grind it using an Immersion Blender. Add the spices, almond flour, milk, and air-fried cauliflower pieces.Then I add all the leftover spices and finish it up with 1 tbsp of Cream/Yogurt.
STEP 5 : ADD GRILLED CAULIFLOWER: Then add grilled cAUliflower forests in the curry and cook for few more minutes and serve.
This is a healthier option as compared to the traditional way. I have not used any cream in the recipe. Instead, to make the curry creamier, I have added Almond Flour. Also added Yogurt at the end, to bring out the rich flavor to the dish.
STOVE-TOP CAULIFLOWER TIKKA MASALA
First, start by air-frying marinated cauliflower pieces in an air fryer. Then add in skillet or wok to make the masala. Fry onions in the oil along with cardamom, cloves, and cashews. Add diced tomatoes and fry until oil starts to separate.
Grind it using a Grinder or an Immersion Blender. Add in spices along with cauliflower pieces and cook for 10-15 minutes, until all the cauliflower pieces are cooked well.
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CAULIFLOWER TIKKA MASALA
- Add hot Mustard Oil in a bowl and add all the spices to it. Mix and combine this blend with the cauliflower florets. Let it marinate for 5- 10 minutes
Instant Pot Cooking:
- Press Saute in an Instant pot and add Oil. When the oil is hot, add onions, green cardamom, cloves, and cashews. When the onion starts to change color, add the diced tomatoes.(Note: If adding tomatoes, then add ¼ cup of water before pressure cooking).
- Insert the steamer basket and add marinated cauliflower pieces in it. Cancel Saute and close the lid. With the vent in the sealing position, pressure cook for 2minutes. Once the timer beeps, Quick Release. ( Or you can air-fryer the cauliflower pieces in an air-fryer for 8-10 minutes until charred at 400°F. And add cauliflower pieces in the curry).
- Place the cauliflower pieces in a baking tray and broil for 2 minutes.
- When pressure is released, grind the masala into a smooth paste. Press Saute again and add Ginger- Garlic Paste, and fry for 1-2 minutes. Then add all the spices, and fry again for 1 minute. Keep de-glazing so that nothing stick at the bottom of the pot.
- Next add Almond Flour, Maple Syrup, Kasuri Methi, and Milk/Water in the pot & mix. Add Cauliflower Florets to the pot and continue cooking for 5 minutes at low heat.
- When you get desired consistency, cancel Saute and mix Yogurt to it. Garnish with Cilantro and serve with Rice or Naan.
- Add oil in a skillet turn on the stove. Add onions, cloves, cardamom, and cashew/almonds in the skillet and fry until the onion starts to change the color.
- Add diced tomatoes and continue to cook until tomatoes turn mushy. Grind them using an Immersion Blender or any regular grinder until smooth.
- Add oil in the skillet and add the onion-tomato masala and cook at medium-low setting until oil starts to separate.
- Add all the spices & ginger-garlic paste, and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add almond flour and keep stirring for 1-2 minutes.
- Next add Maple Syrup, Kasuri Methi, and Milk/Water in the pot & mix. Add air-fried Cauliflower Florets to the pot and continue cooking for 10-15 minutes at low heat.
- When you get desired consistency, turn off the heat and cancel the heat and mix Yogurt to it. Garnish with Cilantro and serve with Rice or Naan.