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Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala | Get Inspired Everyday!

Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala


This Instant Pot Cauliflower Tikka Masala is simple to make and loaded with veggies and nutrients. It’s naturally gluten free, dairy free, and vegan as well. All in all, it’s Indian comfort food made easier and perfect for meatless meals! I love serving this with freshly steamed rice along with some fresh cilantro for an extra tasty meal.



8 cups cauliflower florets from 1 head cauliflower, 3 pounds

1 Tablespoon avocado oil

1 cup diced onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tablespoon minced ginger

2 Teaspoons garam masala, split reserving 1 Teaspoon for the end, see notes

1/2 Teaspoon ground cardamom

1 Teaspoon each ground turmeric, cumin, coriander, and chili powder

1 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste

1 can coconut milk, refrigerated, see notes

128 ounce can whole fire roasted tomatoes


Freshly steamed rice, or butternut rice for paleo and Whole30

Chopped fresh cilantro

Chopped toasted cashews


Prep the cauliflower into florets about 1″ in size and set them aside.

Turn a 6-quart Instant Pot on to the sauté setting and add the avocado oil. When the oil is just starting to shimmer, add the onion and sauté until the it begins to brown, about 5 minutes.

Then add the garlic and ginger, and cook for 1-2 more minutes. Turn the sauté setting off and scoop the mixture out of the Instant Pot and into a blender.

Add the spices using just 1 teaspoon of the garam masala reserving the other teaspoon for the end of the cooking time. Scoop the hardened cream from the top of the can of coconut milk and set it aside to reserve it.

Pour the leftover liquid from the coconut milk into the blender along with the fire roasted tomatoes and the salt. Blend until mostly smooth, then pour the sauce back into the Instant Pot.

Add the cauliflower florets and stir to partially cover. Secure the lid and pressure cook for 1 minute.

When the cooking time is done, use the quick release function, and when the Instant Pot is safe to open remove the lid.

Turn the sauté setting back on, and stir in the coconut cream along with the remaining 1 teaspoon of garam masala, simmer for 1 minute to combine the flavors.

Season to taste, and if you’d like to thicken the sauce slightly mix together 1-2 teaspoons tapioca starch with 2 tablespoon of water until smooth. Drizzle in small amounts of this mixture into the simmering tikka masala stirring constantly until the sauce thickens to your liking.

Serve immediately with your choice of sides.


I read somewhere to add a small portion of garam masala in at the end of the cooking time because it’s a delicate spice mix, and it’s a complete flavor game changer!

You don’t need to refrigerate the coconut milk if you have cans of coconut milk that have been sitting in your pantry for weeks because the cream will have separated. The only purpose of refrigerating the coconut milk is to more rapidly separate the cream from the liquid.

When cauliflower is too expensive, try broccoli instead.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Indian

Keywords: Vegetarian Tikka Masala, Vegan Tikka Masala, Tikka Masala Instant Pot, Cauliflower Tikka Masala