Tikka Masala

This is such a great sauce to serve with pretty much anything you can think of!


  • 1/2 cup cashews soaked in 1/2 cup warm water (about 30 minutes)
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp crushed chilies or cayenne pepper (optional – add more for more heat!)
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 cups tomato purée
    • If you don’t have purée on hand, mix 1 part tomato paste to 3 parts water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • Serve with rice, potatoes, fish, choice of meat, and/or any roasted vegetable you desire!


  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger to a blender and blend until a smooth paste is formed. Add a splash of water if needed. This is a good method to prep large batches beforehand and keep in the freezer until needed! It’s also not necessary, so if you just want to chop the onion and garlic and grate your ginger, that’s fine too!
  • Warm the oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin and chilies (if using) and allow them to sizzle for 30 seconds until fragrant.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, onion paste and sauté for 10 minutes. You’re trying to add some brown colour to the onions and cook off any excess moisture.
  • Add the ground spices and cook for another minute until everything is fragrant and blended together.
  • Add tomato purée, stirring everything together. Place bay leaves into sauce and cook for 10 minutes until the colour and aroma deepens.
  • Blend the cashews with the soaking water in a blender until a smooth, cream-like consistency forms (add more cashews if needed). Add the cashew cream to the sauce and mix well. Add paprika, salt, and pepper.
  • Discard the bay leaves and serve with rice and/or naan. Top with cilantro if available.
  • This pairs well with roasted cauliflower tikka, roasted sweet potatoes, and any other vegetable you can think of for a completely vegetarian dish!
  • For meat lovers, this would be a great sauce to serve with chicken or fish. We placed fish fillets in the sauce, covered and cooked for 15 minutes until fish was done. Amazingly simple and delicious!

Thanks to Kanchan Koya for the recipe!

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