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White bowl filled with white rice topped with vegetarian tikka masala.
5 from 12 votes

Instant Pot Tikka Masala Recipe

Cauliflower Tikka Masala - an easy and delicious plant-based curry made with cauliflower, chickpeas, and onions cooked in an aromatic spice-filled gravy made from creamy coconut milk.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 164kcal


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 large onion - diced
  • 1 Serrano chili pepper - diced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cloves garlic - minced
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 medium cauliflower - chopped into small florets
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk - plus more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ground cashews - optional (to thicken)
  • Chopped cilantro - to garnish
  • Whole cashews - to garnish


  • Set Instant Pot to sauté mode (see notes).
  • Once hot, add the oil and chopped onion to the bowl of your Instant Pot and mix well to combine. Sauté the onion, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes, or until the onion starts to soften and turn translucent. Add the finely chopped Serrano chili pepper and a dash of salt. Continue to cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring often, before stirring in the garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring continuously, for 30 seconds or so.
  • Reduce sauté temperature to medium-low, if needed, and stir in the garam masala, curry powder, ground cumin, paprika, and Fenugreek leaves. Cook, stirring continuously, for 1-2 minutes, taking extra care not to burn your spices as they will turn bitter. Mix in the tomato paste.
  • Add the canned diced tomatoes, granulated sugar, cauliflower florets, and vegetable broth. Mix well to combine.
  • Secure the lid and close the vent to seal. Cancel sauté mode and press the pressure cook button or “manual” mode. Set to cook for 3 minutes on “high” (see notes). Once the cooking time has completed, allow your Instant Pot to release naturally for 1 minute then manually release.
  • Carefully remove the lid and stir in the chickpeas, coconut milk, and ground cashews (to thicken).
  • Serve garnished with fresh chopped cilantro, cashews, sesame seeds, and a side of rice, if desired.


  • Initially start with your Instant Pot sauté mode set to “high”, however, as you add the spices, you may need to reduce heat to “medium” or even “low” to prevent the spices from burning.
  • The Instant Pot will take approximately 10 minutes to warm up before cooking for 3 minutes and then very slowly depressurize. To prevent the cauliflower from turning mushy, you will want to manually release the pressure after cooking. Take extra care when doing so - keep face away from the vent and place a towel over the vent to help absorb some of the steam.


Calories: 164kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Sodium: 350mg | Potassium: 368mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 139IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 2mg
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