This plant-powered vegan chickpea tikka masala recipe combines asparagus with a thick tomato-coconut masala sauce infused with cumin, turmeric and fresh cilantro. The result is an authentic, nourishing 30-minute vegetable curry, perfect for any night of the week. So go ahead and give this homemade Indian curry dish a try–you won’t be disappointed! This vegan tikka masala is vegan, gluten-free, and also diabetes diet friendly.

angled overhead shot of a wok of chickpeas and asparagus in an orange/red sauce topped with cilantro and lime segments.

As a registered dietitian and certified diabetes, I’m consistently asked for meatless meals – particularly authentic Indian and Pakistani dishes – that are hearty, quick and easy to make. That’s why I love this recipe so much – it ticks all the boxes!

If you’re looking to expand your vegan curry recipe repertoire, don’t miss out on these delightful creations: tantalizing vegan curried broccoli and a rich and flavourful vegan eggplant curry. And if you’re like me and like to wrap up your meal on a sweet note, my vegan carrot halwa is a game changer!

Nutrition highlights: What’s inside your bowl of vegan tikka masala

  • Fuel Your Fiber Needs: This dish is packed with fibre, thanks to ingredients like chickpeas and asparagus. That means you’ll stay satisfied and full longer, helping you conquer those mid-afternoon snack cravings.
  • Boost Your Vitamin A Intake: With an abundance of vitamin A from ingredients like asparagus and tomatoes, you’re giving your skin, eyes, and immune system well-deserved support.
  • Crank Up the Vitamin C: Your body will thank you for the dose of vitamin C from the vibrant tomatoes and asparagus in this recipe. Not only does it bolster your immune system, but it also helps your body absorb iron – a double win!
  • Pump Up Your Iron Levels: Say goodbye to fatigue! This vegan tikka masala boasts a hefty dose of iron found in the chickpeas. It’s your ally in maintaining energy levels throughout the day.
  • Carb Smart: With just 25 grams of net carbs, this dish won’t send your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride. It’s the perfect choice for those looking to enjoy a satisfying meal without the carb-induced slump.

*Nutrient claims based on a 2000-calorie diet.

If you’re a fan of vegetarian tikka masala, you’re in for a treat with this versatile dish. There’s a world of creative possibilities to explore, from switching up the veggies to customizing the spice blend and even trying different approaches to the vegan tikka masala sauce. What makes this Indian chickpea recipe truly special is its use of a rich, thick tomato sauce (blitz to ensure a flawlessly smooth consistency!) and thick coconut cream, resulting in a delectable veggie tikka masala.

The best part? You won’t need a lengthy list of ingredients; in fact, most of them are probably already sitting in your pantry. Plus, the cooking process is pretty straightforward, earning it the affectionate nickname: “Lazy vegan tikka masala.”

Why you’ll devour this vegan masala curry

This recipe stars asparagus and chickpeas, a duo worth celebrating! Asparagus, in its peak-season glory, takes center stage and also happens to be the star of my much-loved tomato-asparagus frittata. Truth be told, it’s a hit with the Devje crew, and it’s easy to see why!

This veggie tikka masala is a culinary chameleon, ready to transform with the seasons:

  • Asparagus dazzles in the spring.
  • Early summer brings the sizzle of peppers.
  • Fall vibes with the earthy notes of squash and carrots.
  • And when winter arrives, embrace the warmth of cabbage.
perspective shot of a wok filled with cooked chickpeas and asparagus in an orange/red sauce with a side of folded chapati topped with lime segments. There is also a plant in the background.

Similarly, you have the freedom to get creative – mix and match veggies and legumes, experiment with spices in the sauce, and put that last bit of coconut milk or cream hiding in your fridge to good use.

In fact, it’s the kind of tikka masala recipe you’ll easily commit to memory, a flexible canvas where you can improvise with whatever’s at your fingertips – which, for me, happens quite often!

I’d like to give a special shoutout to all the chickpea enthusiasts who shared their love for my recent air fryer eggplant and chickpeas salad recipe on Instagram. Your support means the world, and I sincerely hope this vegan tikka masala brings just as much joy to your taste buds.

What is veggie tikka masala made of?

This vegan tikka masala sauce is made with the following ingredients:

a wooden board staged with food ingredients like asparagus, a wok of chickpeas, spices, herbs and chillies.
  • Chickpeas: are a good source of protein and fibre. Plus, they have a nice firm texture that holds up well in this curry. You can opt for canned (like I do) or cook them from scratch using dried chickpeas.
  • Asparagus: makes a lovely addition to this vegan tikka masala.
  • Tomato sauce: is used as the base for this vegan masala curry. I prefer a thick, rich tomato sauce for its flavour and texture. However, you can also use tomato puree or fresh tomatoes.
  • Coconut cream: This gives the vegan tikka masala its characteristic richness and body. I love Grace’s pure creamed coconut because it works so well in curries. You can find coconut cream in most well-stocked supermarkets. If you can’t find it, simply place a full-fat can of coconut milk in the fridge for several hours (or overnight), then scoop out the solidified cream from the top.
  • Water: is used to make the coconut sauce.
  • Spices: I used a combination of cumin seeds, bay leaf, asafoetida and turmeric to flavour the vegan tikka masala. You can adjust the spices to your liking.
  • Salt: I use a conservative amount of sea salt since we prefer it this way. You can always add more at the end to taste.
  • Chillies: Hot and spicy green chillies are a must! You can use more or less, depending on your spice tolerance.
  • Cilantro: The scent and flavour are superb. I always make sure to add a good handful at the end. Remember to opt for fresh cilantro and not the dried form.
  • Lime: finishes off this easy vegan tikka masala in style!

Instructions

There aren’t any complicated steps – I promise!

Tips for the novice cook

  • Infuse Flavor with a Slow Simmer: Allow the tikka masala to simmer gently on low heat, giving the flavours ample time to meld together, resulting in a dish that has rich and harmonious flavours.
  • Thoroughly Drain Chickpeas: Before introducing chickpeas to the sauce, drain them thoroughly. Excess water could dilute the sauce, so ensuring they’re well-drained will maintain the dish’s desired consistency.
  • Create Extra Sauce: If you prefer a saucier curry, simply include half a cup of water while cooking the asparagus.
close up perspective shot of a wok with chickpeas and asparagus cooked in a orange/red sauce.

Is tikka masala spicy?

Spiciness in tikka masala can be as mild or fiery as you want it to be. It all comes down to your spice tolerance and how heavy-handed you are with those spices. Typically, it has a mildly spiced tomato-based sauce, but you can always amp up the heat with more chili powder or dial it down if you prefer a milder experience. It’s like a spice adventure you can customize to your liking!

What vegetables go with tikka masala?

The beauty of tikka masala lies in its versatility! You can pair it with a variety of vegetables to suit your taste. Mix, match, and explore to create your very own tikka masala veggie masterpiece!

  • Bell peppers: Add a burst of colour and crunch to your dish.
  • Onions: Bring a delightful hint of sweetness and texture.
  • Peas: Add a touch of sweetness and added protein and fibre.
  • Sweet potatoes: Introduce a subtle sweetness and creaminess.
  • Spinach: Get your greens in with some spinach goodness.
  • Cauliflower: Soak up those flavorful spices for a unique twist.
  • Broccoli: Add a hearty, wholesome touch to your meal.
  • Mushrooms: Deliver an earthy, umami depth to your tikka masala.

Health benefits of chickpeas

It isn’t only their planet-friendly status that gets chickpeas their superfood title.

They are a good source of important nutrients to support health and prevent chronic conditions. Specifically, chickpeas have been linked to several health benefits across a number of significant human chronic conditions such as heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, digestive problems, and some types of cancers.

Balancing blood sugars might also be easier with chickpeas. For example, chickpeas have a low glycemic index (39-41), which means that they might help prevent blood sugar spikes and support type 2 diabetes management.

Does tikka masala have dairy?

In traditional recipes, you might find ghee, heavy cream, and yogurt, but not in our vegan version! We use coconut cream instead of heavy cream, making it lower in saturated fat and calories.

If you’re looking for alternatives, try almond milk or cashew milk for creaminess. Just remember, full-fat versions work best. Soy milk is an option too, but it might thin the sauce a bit too much.

a wok filled with cooked chickpeas and asparagus in a orange/red sauce with a side of folded chapati.

If you enjoy this recipe as much as I do, please consider leaving a rating and a review in the comments below. Your feedback helps others decide to give it a go, and it also warms my heart to know you’re enjoying these flavours. And for those Insta-savvy foodies, don’t forget to snap a pic of your creation and tag me at @deliciousrd. Let’s spread the love for plant-based goodness together!

Desi~liciously Yours, Shahzadi

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perspective shot of a wok filled with cooked chickpeas and asparagus in an orange/red sauce with a side of folded chapati topped with lime segments.
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Get the Recipe:

30-Minute Vegan Chickpea Tikka Masala

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 4 people
This plant-powered vegan chickpea tikka masala recipe combines asparagus with a thick tomato-coconut masala sauce infused with cumin, turmeric and fresh cilantro. The result is an authentic, nourishing 30-minute vegetable curry, perfect for any night of the week. So go ahead and give this homemade Indian curry dish a try–you won’t be disappointed! This vegan tikka masala is vegan, gluten-free, and also diabetes diet friendly.

Video

Ingredients
  

  • ¼ cup creamed coconut, pure
  • ¼ cup water, hot, to mix with coconut cream
  • tsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 bay leaf, large
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 1 cup tomato sauce, blitzed for a smoother consistency
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 17 asparagus, 300 grams, washed, trimmed, and cut into medium pieces
  • 3 green chillies, large, washed, finely chopped
  • 2 cups chickpeas, cooked, drained, unsalted
  • cup cilantro, fresh, washed, finely chopped, including the stems
  • ½ tsp salt, sea salt
  • ½ lime, freshly squeezed juice

Instructions
 

  • Prepare the coconut sauce by mixing together the coconut cream and water. Set it aside.
  • Make the tikka masala sauce by heating olive oil on medium heat
  • Add cumin, bay leaf and asafoetida. Once the cumin seeds release their flavour, add the tomato sauce. Due to spluttering, you will need to reduce the heat at this point
  • Stir in the coconut sauce along with turmeric.
  • Add the asparagus and chillies and mix thoroughly to coat the pieces with the tikka masala sauce. Cover and cook for about 5-6 minutes. You want the asparagus pieces to be slightly crunchy and not mushy
  • Finally, add chickpeas along with fresh cilantro and salt, cover and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and finish with lime juice

Notes

  • For the tikka masala sauce, use pure creamed coconut. This results in a luscious dry-style consistency.
  • Use hot water to make the coconut sauce. It helps to dissolve the creamed coconut quickly and easily.
  • Simmer and cook the tikka masala on low heat, giving the flavours time to come together to create a flavour-packed dish.
  • Make sure to drain chickpeas well before adding them to the vegan tikka masala. Excess water will make the sauce watery.
  • If you want a bit more of a saucy curry, add 1/2 cup of water when cooking the asparagus.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 300kcal (15%)Carbohydrates: 35g (12%)Protein: 11g (22%)Fat: 14g (22%)Saturated Fat: 10g (50%)Polyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 470mg (20%)Potassium: 812mg (23%)Fiber: 10g (40%)Sugar: 10g (11%)Vitamin A: 954IU (19%)Vitamin C: 13mg (16%)Calcium: 84mg (8%)Iron: 5mg (28%)

Keep in mind that the nutritional values provided are approximations and suggestions, and might fluctuate depending on ingredient variations, portion sizes, and recipe adjustments. This nutrition facts table cannot account for your individual needs. Your body — including your hunger and satiety cues — change daily. It’s perfectly fine to eat more or less on different days. Instead of letting food guilt take over, consider mindful eating.

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Cuisine: Desi, Indian
Course: Main
Did you make this recipe?Mention @desiliciousrd on Instagram or tag #desiliciousrd.
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