I don’t know why I’ve never tried tikka masala before given I love the flavors and simplicity of most Indian dishes. It also probably has to do with the fact that I always thought tikka masala had to be made with meat and it never really interested me beyond that.
Well, two things in the universe aligned to allow me to try my first tikka masala. The first was that I stumbled across Pinch of Yum’s Life-Changing 30 Minute Masala Sauce and immediately wanted it in my belly. While the sauce is life-changing, I think the masala paste is truly magical. In a matter of minutes, you have an easy way to transform any dish and you can make a huge batch and keep it in your fridge or freezer. That is what I call a win!
Lindsay used her masala sauce in a simple tikka masala recipe using chicken. It looked so simple and I started brainstorming ideas on how to make it without meat. Which led to the second thing that caused this tikka masala. With a little internet research, I found out that tikka is meat OR vegetables that are marinated. Masala is the sauce those meat or vegetables are cooked in after they’re marinated. Well. There ya go! I could use vegetables in place of meat and still have a delicious tikka masala.
I decided to try it with yuca because my Yuca & Spinach Curry, as well as my Chickpea and Yuca Curry, are some of my favorite meals. And because yuca is just awesome. I tweaked a few things to make it dairy free and kept Lindsay’s masala paste exactly as it is because why mess with a good thing? Give this a shot and let me know if you love this Tikka Masala as much as I do!
Tikka Masala- Based on Pinch of Yum’s 5 Ingredient Chicken Tikka Masala
- 1 batch of Pinch of Yum’s masala paste (keep the leftovers in a jar in your fridge. Thank me later)
- 3 cups yuca, cut into bite-sized pieces*
- 2/3 cup dairy-free plain yogurt (I like Forager brand for this recipe because it’s a little thinner)
- 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- cauliflower rice for serving, optional but awesome
*I used about 2 medium-sized pieces of fresh yuca root because I didn’t have any frozen on hand. It would probably take 5-6 chunks of frozen to get 3 cups. Follow these steps for prepping fresh yuca and the boiling ones for frozen*
- Get your yuca ready and set aside to cool while you get the masala paste ready. Mix 2 tablespoons of the paste with the yogurt.
- Once the yuca is cool, pour the yogurt marinade over top and stir to coat all the pieces. Let that sit while you get everything else ready.
- Puree the can of diced tomatoes either in your blender or with an immersion blender. Make sure it’s totally smooth.
- Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add in 1/3 of the masala paste and let that break down in the pan. Add the yuca and yogurt marinade to the pan and stir to coat everything. Cook this until the yuca starts to brown just a little.
- Add the tomato puree and stir again and then add the coconut milk and stir to mix everything together. Turn the heat down to a simmer and let everything cook for about 20 minutes.
- You can serve it over cauliflower rice right away or if you have time let it stand for about 10 minutes off the heat and the sauce will thicken a little as it cools. Top with generous amounts of chopped cilantro!