Slow cooker vegetarian tikka masala highlights the sultry spices of the Indian kitchen in a restorative, streamlined supper. Serve over basmati rice for a gluten-free and vegan meal. If you’re looking to fend off winter chill with a recipe that’s as comforting as it is nutritious, you’ve come to the right place!
This cozy, Indian-inspired dish hits all the right notes with fragrant garam masala, peppery paprika, and a wealth of aromatics. The coconut milk mellows and loosens the mixture just enough so that it can be spooned over rice (or your grain of choice). For a healthier version of the cultural classic, this recipe highlights hearty root vegetables like potatoes and carrots for added heft and fiber. Cauliflower florets become buttery soft when slow cooked, and are mild enough in flavor to let the Indian spices shine. Stirring in green peas at the end adds a pop of color and vegetal sweetness to each bite.
A host of spices from classic garam masala, ginger, and paprika give the dish alluring aromas and complexity. Garam masala is a peppery Northern Indian spice blend containing up to 12 spices. I typically buy it from the bulk spice section of my local Whole Foods or Sprouts to keep price in check and only purchase what I need at the time (It’s not a spice blend I lean on too often, so I’d rather not let excess go rancid from sitting idle in the cabinet for months). If you can’t find garam masala, you can substitute equal parts ground cumin, pepper, cloves, and nutmeg.This big-batch recipe is perfect for make-ahead lunches and also holds up well to freezing. When ready to enjoy, simply thaw in the microwave in 2-minute intervals until warm, or defrost in the refrigerator over night. And to make dinnertime even easier, use heat-and-eat pouches of precooked unseasoned basmati rice for serving.
Bonus points for a side of naan bread to soak up that luscious, velvety sauce.If you make this recipe, I’d love if you could come back and leave a rating and review—it helps out tremendously in terms of Google searches. And be sure to tag #dishingouthealth on Instagram so I can see your beautiful creations! Cheers, friends—I hope you have a fantastic week!
- 4 cups cauliflower florets
- 3 cups cubed Yukon gold or russet potatoes (about 2 small potatoes)
- 2 large carrots, peeled and sliced at a diagonal into 1-inch pieces
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 cups lower-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 Tbsp. garam masala
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup frozen and thawed green peas
- 1 cup canned coconut milk
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
- Cooked basmati rice for serving
- Combine first 12 ingredients (cauliflower through salt) in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours, or LOW 8 to 9 hours, until vegetables are tender. Turn off heat; stir in thawed green peas and coconut milk. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
- Serve over rice and garnish with fresh cilantro.