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Weight Loss Tikka Masala – Low Calorie, Low Fat!

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Vegan Tikka Masala served with a spoon on a plate, accompanied by brown rice and garnished with parsley. There is another bowl of tikka masala in the top left hand corner and a small bowl of chopped parsley in the bottom left hand corner | Hurry The Food Up

This vegan tikka masala is our plant-based take on a classic curry, featuring chickpeas, cauliflower, carrots and coconut milk. A mild, creamy and fragrant dish, this is sure to be your new go-to vegan curry recipe.

This particular version of tikka masala is also far lower in calories than normal. The Irish Times found that “The average portion of chicken tikka masala contained 1,249 calories“. Incredible!

Ours clocks in at a much more belly-friendly 540 calories. We use utilise low-fat coconut milk and go for nutrient-dense brown/wholegrain rice instead of regular white.

That means this recipe is both a low-fat tikka masala and a low-calorie tikka masala! More on that in a moment.

From traditional to vegan tikka masala

Well, tikka masala is not actually a traditional south Asian dish, rather it is a British-Bangladeshi fusion dish originating some time in the 20th century!

It bears resemblance to the North Indian dish ‘butter chicken’, but it is thought that it was developed accidentally by a Bangladeshi chef in the UK in the 1970s.

There are a few theories about how this came to pass.

One story claims that tikka masala was invented in Glasgow by a Bangladeshi chef called Ali Ahmed Aslam.

According to his son, they were in the restaurant one night when a customer sent back his curry because it was too dry.

Mr Aslam had an ulcer so was drinking tomato soup. When the curry got sent back he suggested they just add tomato soup and some spices, then send it back out! The customer loved it and tikka masala was born!

The other theories revolve around a similar theme: an improvised curry made by adding tomato soup to another dish.

If you don’t believe me, tikka masala actually has its own wikipedia page which explains this cool history!

The ingredients for the vegan tikka masala are laid out in bowls, including chickpeas, cauliflower and carrots, brown rice, coconut milk, tomatoes, a selection of spices, half an onion, minced garlic and a sprig of parsley | Hurry The Food Up

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Chuck the chicken!

I know, there has been a worrying amount of chicken mentioned so far in this blog post.

Never fear, we haven’t lost our mind or our morals: this IS a vegan tikka masala recipe. Instead of using chicken, we use a selection of vegetables and chickpeas.

Why chickpeas?

The reason we decided to make a chickpea tikka masala is because chickpeas are a great source of plant protein, alongside numerous other health benefits.

What’s the big deal about protein? It’s a super important part of any diet – protein is vital for lots of different functions in our body like our immune system and our hormonal system, AND it helps to maintain muscle mass too!

Furthermore, protein-rich foods are very filling, so are a good option if you are looking to lose weight.

The same can be said for foods that are high in fibre (also chickpeas!).

Tikka Masala for weight loss

Eating foods that are high in protein and fibre are good for weight loss because they will keep you full for a long time and nip the temptation to snack between meals in the bud!

Our vegan tikka masala contains 21g protein per serving and 13g fibre. Why not incorporate it into one of our vegetarian weight loss plans?

The spice mix for the vegan tikka masala is fried in the bottom of a saucepan. There is a bowl of chickpeas in the right hand corner of the frame. | Hurry The Food Up

Cauliflowers and carrots!

What else goes in a weight loss vegan tikka masala? In this case, cauliflower florets and carrots.

These two veggies add lots of fibre for relatively few calories, so they help ensure this dish is as filling as possible.

They also come with a whole host of health benefits! Take cauliflower, for example. One serving of cauliflower contains 100% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C, which helps to keep our immune system healthy.

They also make for great low-carb alternatives to rice or potatoes – why not switch out mashed potatoes for a low carb garlic cauliflower mash?

And as for carrots, they actually do help you see in the dark! For real! Carrots help eye health because they contain beta-carotene which your body transforms into Vitamin A- a vitamin that is fundamental for healthy vision.

The vegan tikka masala is served on a plate with rice and garnished with parsley. The plate has a spoon on it, there is a tea towel in the right hand corner and you can see a bowl of parsley and another bowl of tikka masala in the left hand corners | Hurry The Food Up

Top Tikka Tips

This is a pretty easy vegan curry recipe, but there are still a few things you can do if you want to learn how to make tikka masala as tasty as possible.

You’ll see that the recipe asks you to brown your veg first. Don’t skip this step! Browning veggies helps to seal in all their lovely flavours before they get incorporated into the vegan tikka masala sauce.

You may also notice that when frying your veggies, they seem like they need more oil. But this a weight loss Tikka Masala, and we don’t want all that extra oil.

I’ve found the best way cook the vegetables is to add a little water with the spices when cooking. But only a tablespoon or so at a time. This helps the veggies retain their flavour (and even take on more from the spices) without ‘washing away’ the flavour by using water to cook.

You can also use any vegetables you like in this vegan Tikka Masala. I like cauliflower and carrot personally, but I’ve also tested broccoli and peas and those worked really well, too!

A plate of vegan tikka masala with a spoon, served with brown rice and garnished with parsley. There is a small bowl of chopped parsley in the bottom left hand corner and another bowl of tikka masala in the top left hand corner, with a serving spoon submerged in it | Hurry The Food Up
Weight Loss Tikka Masala
4.87 from 15 votes
The classic curry takes on a new face with our vegan tikka masala. Full of healthy veg and fragrant flavours, this is sure to win your heart!
Cuisine:Asian, British
Diet: dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, vegan
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:30 minutes
Total Time:45 minutes
Servings:3 servings
Author: Abril Macías



  • Cook the brown rice according to package instructions.
    ⅔ cup brown rice
  • In a medium sized saucepan add the olive oil and set to medium heat.
    1 tsp olive oil
  • Add the minced garlic cloves, diced white onion, minced fresh ginger and a dash of salt. Cook until everything has softened, reduced and begun to brown on the edges.
    3 cloves garlic, ½ onion, 1 tsp ginger, fresh
    The spice mix for the vegan tikka masala is fried in the bottom of a saucepan. There is a bowl of chickpeas in the right hand corner of the frame. | Hurry The Food Up
  • Add the cauliflower florets and carrots.
    1 ¾ cups cauliflower, 1 small carrot
  • Then, add cumin, paprika, cinnamon, cardamom, turmeric, garam masala and cilantro stalk (lightly crushed with the back of a knife). Cook for some seconds.
    1 tsp cumin, ground, 1 tsp paprika powder, ½ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp cardamom, ground, ½ tsp turmeric, 1 tsp garam masala powder or curry powder, Salt to taste, ½ tsp chili flakes
  • Add tomato passata and cook for about 4-5 minutes to cut through the acidity of the tomatoes.
    1.5 cup tomato passata
  • Then add sugar and coconut milk and cook until it boils and begins to reduce. Chop tofu into small blocks.
    2 tsp sugar, 1.5 cup low fat coconut milk
  • Add chickpeas and tofu. Cook at medium heat until the cauliflower is completely cooked through and the sauce is creamy and thick. Season with salt to taste.
    1.5 cup chickpeas, cooked
  • Serve cauliflower and chickpea tikka masala over brown rice and top with cilantro leaves.
    ⅔ cup brown rice, 1 sprig cilantro/coriander, fresh
    The vegan tikka masala is served on a plate with rice and garnished with parsley. The plate has a spoon on it, there is a tea towel in the right hand corner and you can see a bowl of parsley and another bowl of tikka masala in the left hand corners | Hurry The Food Up


  • Tips: If you find your veggies sticking in the pan in the Tikka Masala, add a little water as you’re cooking (not oil). But only a little! You can also use any vegetables you like in the Tikka Masala! For example, broccoli is also great. So feel free to use up any that need it!
  • Make-ahead? Yes, can be made ahead and reheated if wanted!
  • Freezable? Yes, it can be frozen!
Love this recipe? Check out some of our others:
Another delicious Cauliflower Curry
Warming and filling Broccoli Cauliflower Soup
Loving lentils? Try a Lentil Coconut Curry
Super healthy Lentil Quinoa Salad
Quick lunch Carrot and Ginger Soup


Nutrition Facts
Weight Loss Tikka Masala
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Your comments make our day. Thank you! If you have a question, please skim the comments section – you might find an immediate answer there. If you made the recipe, please choose a star rating, too.

Recipe Rating

  1. 5 stars
    Delish!!!!easy and kid friendly!! Thank you!!

    1. You’re very welcome! Thank you for writing 🙂

  2. 5 stars
    Really good! I used almond milk in place of coconut.

    1. Awesome to know almond milk works as well! Thanks Jr, glad you enjoyed it!

  3. How much tomato purée did you use? I used 28 oz can and it came out way too tomatoe-y 🙁

    1. Hi Lindsay! It’s just 1 standard can (about 14oz) but I can see we haven’t made that clear, so I’ll update it now. Sorry yours came out so tomatoe-y, I hope you make it again!

  4. 5 stars
    Delicious recipe! Also, love that you list ingredients also with step by step too!

    1. Thank you Carey! Our pleasure!