Chickpea Tikka Masala

Chickpea Tikka Masala

This is the kind of tikka masala that I crave when I want the flavors of an Indian curry stand without the Delhi belly. Funny thing. I’ve actually been to India, but I never got to leave the airport. Turns out, you have to apply for a visa ahead of time in order to stay in the country for more than 24 hours.

That’s ok though because Air India left a really favorable impression when they served their free three course meal. It was actually quite good!


Chickpea Tikka Masala


This tikka masala is really aromatic and delicious. Instead of chicken and heavy cream, chickpeas get simmered with tomato and coconut milk.

So I guess that makes this tikka masala recipe gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan! I love serving the chickpeas with the sauce over rice, potatoes, cooked cauliflower, or with Indian bread. Whatever you serve it with, please don’t forget the┬ácilantro!


Indian Curry


Indian Curry

Chickpea Tikka Masala Curry

Indian Curry

Chickpea Tikka Masala

Serves: 6


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 shallot, minced (yields: 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk*
  • 2 cans chickpeas or 2 cups chickpeas, soaked overnight, then cooked
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice or 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cilantro minced, for garnish


  1. In a medium pot, sweat the onion in the coconut oil over medium heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent. Then stir in the garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the salt and spices stirring to cook, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato sauce and simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk and cooked chickpeas. Simmer for another 10 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice (or yogurt). Salt to taste. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro, fresh tomato, or onion.

Notes: For the coconut milk, use full fat canned coconut milk and stir before measuring. Canned chickpeas are already cooked and can be added directly to the sauce. If you want to cook your own chickpeas like me, then soak them overnight to shorten the cooking time. Simmer until soft or pressure cook for 20 minutes.

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  1. I love Indian food but usually shy away from cooking it because it seems complicated and time consuming. This recipe is delicious and so easy to make! Do you have an easy vegetable korma recipe you can share?
    • Melody: I'll get to work on a vegetable korma recipe. In the meantime, I think this recipe would make a great base for vegetable korma. You could try adding cauliflower, peas, carrots, onions--just be sure to remove the chickpeas proportionately so that you end up with plenty of sauce.
  2. This was so simple and fun to make! It was one of those dishes that seemed to keep tasting even better and better as leftovers. My one year old baby loves a flavorful dish and this did not disappoint= baby and momma approved.

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