Chickpea Tikka Masala
Savory and spicy, this Indian chickpea dish is a terrific vegetarian entree that won't leave you wishing it had meat!
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Indian
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable or other coking oil
  • ½ red onion, diced or sliced fine
  • 1 small Serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped fine
  • 2 Tablespoons curry powder or garam masala
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream or coconut milk (the thick kind) or regular milk
  1. Get your widest pan with the tallest sides, or if you have none, pull out your widest pot. Add in one tablespoon of vegetable oil (or coconut oil, or olive oil, etc.)
  2. Add in ½ of a red onion, diced fine. Sometimes I decide to not dice it and to instead have it in strips, so to do that, cut your half onion into half again, making two quarter onions. Then slice each quarter thinly, into strips about two inches long and about ⅛ inch wide.
  3. Sauté the onions in the oil over medium high heat, caramelizing them until the onions are rich and dark. That takes a good ten minutes or so over medium high heat. If it looks or smells like they are burning, turn the heat down to medium and stir the onions more often. If you don’t have time to caramelize the onions, just cook them about five minutes to soften.
  4. While the onions are cooking, it is time to toast your spices. This is a very quick process, and must be carefully done to avoid burning the spices.
  5. Take two tablespoons of curry powder, or garam masala and pour them into a clean, dry, small frying pan. (No oil!) Place that pan over your burner at medium heat just until you can smell the spices. That take’s only about 30 seconds to a minute. (You’ll know what I mean when you smell them. All of a sudden you will say, whoa, Indian spices!) Immediately pull that pan off the heat and pour the spices onto a plate—something that is not still hot. If you keep them in the pan, the spices will continue to cook, and will burn.
  6. Turning back to the onion pan, once they are nicely browned, turn the heat down to medium.
  7. Add in two tablespoons of grated ginger (it’s ok to use the jar, but fresh will give it real pop!), and a minced Serrano chili. You can instead add a small minced jalapeno instead, if your market does not have Serrano chilies.
  8. Add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and the toasted spices.
  9. Let this cook for a couple of minutes, and stir it well. It will be pretty sticky, but keep stirring it.
  10. Add in one 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes and two cups of drained and rinsed chickpeas.
  11. Add in ½ teaspoon of salt, and cook the chickpea tikka masala over medium high heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  12. Take the chickpea tikka masala off the heat and add in ¼ cup heavy cream or ¼ cup coconut milk (canned, the thick stuff) or ¼ cup milk (if that’s all you have). Sometimes I don’t add in any dairy at all, and it still looks and tastes really great!
  13. Stir in ¼ cup chopped cilantro and serve. Sometimes I like to put the cilantro on top and let each person stir in as much as they like!
Recipe by WooPigFoodie at