The Washington Post

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Chickpea Tikka Masala 4.000

Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post

Weeknight Vegetarian Jul 24, 2017

This vegan take on the Indian chicken tikka masala uses coconut milk instead of cream.

To read the accompanying story, see: Chickpea tikka masala: It’s not traditional, but it sure tastes great.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings; makes about 5 cups

  • One 28-ounce can no-salt-added whole or diced tomatoes, with their juices
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon peeled grated/minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (see NOTE)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
  • One 15-ounce can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup canned coconut milk (regular or low-fat)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving


Pour the tomatoes into a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. (If you have an immersion [stick] blender, you can blend the tomatoes right in their can.)

Heat the oil in a large, nonreactive skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the onion and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the garam masala and cayenne, if using, and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the pureed tomatoes, chickpeas, coconut milk and the 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro. Taste, and add more salt if needed.

Increase the heat to medium-high; once the mixture begins bubbling around the edges, reduce the heat to low to maintain a gentle bubbling. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and the flavors meld, about 20 minutes.

To serve, spoon the rice into individual bowls and top with the chickpea masala. Sprinkle with more chopped cilantro.

NOTE: If you can't find garam masala, you can substitute this spice blend: 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander, 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom, 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves and 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "Love Real Food," by Kathryne Taylor (Rodale, 2017).

Tested by Joe Yonan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6, using regular coconut milk; without rice): 230

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 10g 15%

Saturated Fat: 6g 30%

Cholesterol: 0mg 0%

Sodium: 200mg 8%

Total Carbohydrates: 27g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 7g 28%

Sugar: 6g

Protein: 8g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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