Potato and Cauliflower Tikka Masala – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not – for the Slow Cooker!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

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vromans back

I have really been on a slow cooker kick lately.  I just fucking love the idea of dumping shit in there & walking away & coming home to a house that smells delicious & feels like someone has been thinking of and cooking for you.  Even those of us that live alone.

I used real cream in mine but you can sub that out with a vegan alternative, coconut cream likely being the simplest option.  I used cauliflower & potatoes but any veggies will do – or chick peas or a vegan meat – like the awesome Beyond Meat’s vegan chicken.  Or add seafood or real chicken.  Whatever floats your boat.

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There are a lot of ingredients but none are very exotic – and all you gotta do is dump them into the crock pot & leave.  So come on now!   Why not try it?

I like a lot of gravy in my Indian dishes & there is a boatload here.  I initially tried to use coconut milk creamer in place of heavy cream but it just wasn’t dense enough – so – I resorted to real heavy cream.  Again – coconut cream (thicker even that full fat coconut milk) – would be a great vegan substitution.

Potato and Cauliflower Tikka Masala – Vegetarian or Vegan or Not

This fills a 6 quart slow cooker so it makes a lot.


1 head cauliflower – cut into small florets

4 red potatoes – cut into bite-sized pieces

(other veggies work, too like: peas, broccoli, zucchini, green beans or even white or red beans)

1 onion – diced

2 jalapenos – seeded & minced (optional)

6 garlic cloves – chopped

1-3 TBS fresh ginger (I used 3 but my ginger was jarred & maybe not as pungent as fresh)

26 oz (or so) tomato puree

1/2 cup yogurt (or vegan yogurt)

3 TBS garam masala (you can make it yourself if you cannot find it at your grocery store)

1 TBS turmeric

1 TBS ground cumin

1 TBS paprika

2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 TBS cayenne pepper

1 (14 oz) can coconut milk (I used lite but full fat is even better)

1 cup water


1 cup heavy cream or vegan alternative (including coconut cream or more full fat coconut milk) – plus a bit more just in case your tikka masala needs tweaking

2 TSP cornstarch (more or less)

Cilantro as garnish

Cooked rice (I used brown Basmati)





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Put everything from the cauliflower through to the water into a large slow cooker.  Stir it all up & set on high for 5 hours.  Longer than this is perfectly fine – but just know your cauliflower might begin to disintegrate a bit.  If you go away longer – like a lot longer – maybe set it on low so it doesn’t scorch.  Not all slow cookers are created equal & the heat each of our machines generate can vary widely.

After 5 hours or once your vegetables are tender, take about 1/4 cup of your heavy cream (or vegan alternative) and whisk the cornstarch in.  Once there are no lumps – put this in the slow cooker with the other 3/4 cup of cream.  Stir it up.  Let this heat through & thicken a bit.  Taste for seasoning.  If it is too thick, add more coconut cream or cream or water.   If it is too thin, add more of the cornstarch mixture.

Serve with cilantro over rice.

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