Tikka masala is a fragrant, complex curry, and utterly delicious. When made with chicken, it also includes several hours of marinating time – but cutting that out means this version is ready to eat in half an hour.
It’s rare that I cook with Quorn, but as it absorbs any flavours you throw at it, this is one dish that it really suits (just make sure you use the vegan range). If you’re not a fan, substitute it for any other veg – carrots, squash, potatoes, cauliflower, aubergine – whatever you like. Don’t be deterred by the list of spices, too: they’re all great store-cupboard staples, so if you don’t already own them they’re a great investment for a host of other recipes.
Ingredients (serves 4):
– 1 tbsp mustard seeds
– 1 large/2 small onions, cut into thin strips
– 4 cloves garlic, grated
– thumb-size piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
– 2 peppers (1 red; 1 yellow), cut into chunks
– 350g vegan Quorn pieces
– 4 cloves
– 6 cardamom pods
– ½ tsp ground cinnamon
– 1 tbsp garam masala
– 2 tsp smoked paprika
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp turmeric
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 1 green chilli, sliced (seeds removed if you prefer)
– 1 tbsp tomato puree
– 500g tomato passata
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 5-6 tbsp coconut yoghurt, to taste
– handful of fresh coriander
1. Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pan or wok, then add the mustard seeds. Sizzle until they begin to pop, then add the onion. After a few minutes add the garlic and ginger, then cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion has softened.
2. Stir in the peppers and Quorn pieces (these can be added straight from frozen, but break them up first) and cook for a further 5 minutes, until beginning to brown. Use a pestle and mortar, or a rolling pin, to finely crush the cloves and seeds from the cardamom pods, then add these to the pan along with the rest of the spices. Stir to coat.
3. After a minute or so, add the chilli, tomato puree, passata and stock cube, along with 300ml water. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes to reduce (this is a great time to cook your rice, depending on which kind you’re using).
4. Once the sauce has thickened, stir in the coriander and coconut yoghurt – add more or less if you prefer, depending on how creamy you like your curry. Serve with rice, warm naan bread and lemon wedges.