Chickpea Tikka Masala Recipe | Vegetarian Times Skip to main content

Chickpea Tikka Masala

This mild veg version of an Indian restaurant favorite shows that Indian food doesn’t have to be ultra-spicy to be good.



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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
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½ medium onion, diced
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1 Tbs. garam masala
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1 Tbs. tomato paste
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2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
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1 serrano chile, minced
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2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
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1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
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½ cup low-fat Greek-style yogurt
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¼ cup chopped cilantro


1. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add 
onion, and sauté 5 minutes, or until softened. 
Add garam masala, tomato paste, ginger, and 
serrano chile, and season with salt, if desired. 
Sauté 1 minute more.

2. Stir in chickpeas and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in yogurt and cilantro.

Nutrition Information: 

16 g
Total Fat: 
9 g
Saturated Fat: 
1 g
52 g
2 mg
582 mg
5 g
11 g
Serves 4

Comments on this Recipe

Made this recipe exactly as written and after it was done, we went out to eat. It was so bland and really only tasted of tomatoes. I was needless to say very disappointed.

In addition to the garam masala, I added coriander, cumin, turmeric and paprika. Clarified butter instead of vegetable oil makes the dishes a little richer. I also added about 1/2 a cup of milk. Definitely spicier, but it was good.

I was really excited to see this idea for a recipe, but it was pretty terrible. I agree that it was super bland and just tasted like tomato. I added cumin, curry powder, garlic powder, onion powder, turmeric to give it a little taste. Very disappointed.

My 2 year old, 10 year old and husband were all really pleased with this. I added sriracha. It was a good combination of spices for so many different palates.

We liked this very much! I used a whole medium onion, went heavy on the garam masala (prob tbsp & 1/2) & ginger (1 tbsp) and salted well. I substituted coconut greek yogurt to make it vegan and substituted a jalapeno for the Serrano as I couldn't find a Serrano at the grocery store. I found fire roasted crushed tomatoes which added a nice flavor. We will definitely make this again! I'm looking forward to adding some siracha as suggested by another reviewer.

After making some changes, we liked this a lot. I used half a jalapeno instead of the serrano. Added a little (maybe 1/2 tsp each)curry powder, cumin, coriander and a pinch each of cinnamon and cloves. Did not used crushed tomatoes because didn't want the heavy puree. Substituted whole tomatoes in juice that I crushed myself. Reserved the juice and only added about 3/4 of it. A lot of changes, but it was tasty.

chickpea masala


Oh that looks so yummy


Nice n tasty


I made this tonight, and I am somewhere in the middle of the polarized reviewers! After adding the yogurt and the cilantro at the end, it did, much more, have that "restaurant" tikka masala flavor, which was impressive, but I have to agree that it tasted a bit too much like the main ingredient of plain 'ol crushed tomatoes! Probably adding additional spices like cumin and coriander would help, as well as clarified butter, which someone else suggested. I once made a very simple (but VERY fatty :p) paneer makhani and it was much more delicious (sorry V-times, you normally do me right). If I am to be honest, this recipe was amiss for me, too tomato-saucey! And too many chickpeas. Very heavy dish also.

This was really good but I upped it up on the masala because if you don't add enough it tasted only of tomatoes. Overall though very good, definitely making it again!

I made this recipe without any substitutions and found the results to be as many have already said, tasting too much like crushed tomatoes with some spice. Disappointing. Also, I used a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes as instructed and it turned out that the dish was mostly tomatoes (which was not clear from the picture in the magazine).

I was really looking forward to this but the spices were off even after doubling them. I also added a good teaspoon of garlic powder. A small can of tomatoes and extra spices would fix it in my opinion. I added kale and peas to minimize the sauc-y-ness. My family liked it but tikka masala was not the outcome here.


I added 3 more tbs of masala and omitted tomato sauce. I also added a bit of salt. I def. could have used half of the tomato since we ate without rice. It is good with extra spice. I would make a modified version again since it is healthy.

The dish had the right flavor and was tasty, but definitely more sauce-y than I expected (based on picture). Next time, I will use less tomato sauce and probably more of a chunky style (get canned whole tomatoes and crush with my hands).

I loved this!! I used a jalapeño pepper and I always use San Marzano tomatoes (always have lots of cans in my pantry) instead of crushed tomatoes...will absolutely make this again!

To reduce the excess saue, use drained whole tomatoes and crush yourself. Add cumin, curry, and/or more garam masala to boost the spicy flavor.

I made this today. My boyfriend and I love Indian food, and both thought this tasted very authentic, and very delicious! I added an extra teaspoon of garam masala.

What is garam masala?

Coconut cream for vegans out there like me instead of yogurt

This looks wonderful. My roommates & I like to try something different from the typical Southern US food. Will definitely make this soon.


I tried this however it was too much greek yogurt and made the channa sour. I would use less yogurt next time.

I made it and it was fantastic, tnxxxxx

Looks fantastic! I've had a hankering for chickpeas lately, but I've never made a tikka masala version. Looks perfect for a cold winter night...

This is fantastic! It is now a regular recipe in our home. We use a half of a jalapeño in place of Serrano and We add extra garam Masala. We also add green bell pepper. Delicious! Thank you.

Made exactly as written. I agree it was saucier than expected but it was delicious!!!!


The dish wasn't great. Not my favorite. I would use either half & half or heavy whipping cream instead of Greek yogurt. The yogurt didn't make the dish creamy. The yogurt turned into microscopic granules. That was disappointing. Next time, I'm going to substitute chick peas for pander in my pander Tikka masala recipe.

My kids and I are really liking this and they are requesting this dish often. After a few attempts, I've made some tweaks which we think makes it keep getting better ( for us). I used peanut oil instead of vegetable oil which gave it a nice, hint of nutty flavor. I use a whole sweet vidalia onion. I only use about 1/3 of a serrano which is plenty of kick for us. I finely dice the ginger and use a whole small piece. I use garam masala that I get from our local Natural Grocers and add a dash of curry powder. I took the advice from others and drained the tomatoes; I just get diced canned tomatoes and draining them did prevent the overly runny effect others mentioned. We are not cilantro fans and use fresh mint instead. I omit the yogurt and serve with jasmine rice and lime wedges. It makes the whole house smell amazing and is even better the next day.

I love this recipe! I've made it quite a few times, both as written and with variations. It's good as written, but I usually add chopped spinach. For more protein, chunks of paneer are great in it as well. I usually add mustard seeds and turmeric for a more intense Indian flavor. It's a great recipe!

This recipe has become a staple in our home. I add cayenne to give it some kick, turmeric, honey, spinach and lots of chunky mushrooms to give it a stew like quality, served on brown rice. It resembles a Nepali dish served in a local restaurant which includes Jackfruit. I don't bother with yogurt, though my daughter adds it to cool it down. It's a great base to use up leftover vegetables in the fridge. Thanks for sharing it.