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Vegetarian Chickpea Tikka Masala

This vegetarian tikka masala is perfectly seasoned, spicy, and restaurant quality.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword garbanzo beans, ginger garlic paste, vegan option
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 423 kcal
Author Cheryl Malik


  • 2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas drained
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion medium, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 lemon juiced juiced
  • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes undrained
  • 1 bell pepper sliced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons fenugreek leaves optional
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro
  • cooked rice or cauliflower rice to serve


  1. Heat butter over medium heat, then add onion and cook until slightly softened.

  2. Add ginger garlic paste and cook until nicely browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of water as needed so paste doesn't burn. Add spices and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Add tomato sauce, tomatoes, bell pepper, chickpeas, and salt. Mix everything well. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Let the sauce simmer until it thickens slightly and turns a darker color, usually about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat as needed so that the sauce remains at a simmer.

  4. Stir in cream, lemon, and fenugreek and reduce heat slightly. Simmer for 5 more minutes, then add more salt to taste. Serve over rice or cauliflower rice with naan. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

Recipe Notes

  • To make ginger garlic paste: Add 1 deseeded jalapaneo, 1 1/2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger, and 5 cloves of garlic, to skillet over medium heat, then reduce the heat. Cook, stirring occasionally until the mixture turns a nice medium brown, almost toffee colored. This will take about 20 minutes. Add a little water here and there if the mixture is sticking. Keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, or freeze it for it to last 6 months.
  • Vegan: Swap out the butter for vegan butter or a neutral oil (like vegetable or avocado) and use 1 cup plant-based half and half or 1 cup pure coconut cream (the solid part of a can of coconut milk).
  • Fenugreek leaves: Optional, but they really make this recipe taste more like restaurant-quality. You can find them online here or here.
  • Caramelization: Do not skip caramelizing onions or tomato paste!
Nutrition Facts
Vegetarian Chickpea Tikka Masala
Amount Per Serving
Calories 423 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 30mg10%
Sodium 1440mg63%
Potassium 773mg22%
Carbohydrates 63g21%
Fiber 10g42%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 1501IU30%
Vitamin C 50mg61%
Calcium 156mg16%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.