Vegan Tikka Masala Curry with Eggplant, Red Kidney Beans and Courgette (Zucchini)


Eggplant, red kidney beans and courgette (zucchini) doused in a luscious vegan homemade tikka masala sauce. A vegan version of the much loved amazingly rich, creamy and flavoursome tikka masala curry.

vegan tikka masala curry, vegan tikka masala sauce

Some two weeks after we first arrived in the UK in 2004, Kevin and I were invited at his aunt’s place for dinner and to stay over. Around dinner conversation, I remember Kevin’s aunt said “You haven’t been to the UK if you haven’t had tikka masala!”
At that time, we were not vegan yet. Chicken tikka masala was the dinner meal on that day. Not yet accustomed to Britain’s culinary culture back then, I found it quite strange that a curry dish with seemingly strong Indian flavours would be considered a British dish.

Being pretty much of a quiet nature – and Kevin’s relatives being all new to me – I didn’t ask any questions on the subject back then. It was much later, after living in England for a few years, that I came to understand how anchored the tikka masala was in the British food culture. Robin Cook, a government minister, even claimed it to be UK’s national dish in 2001.
As Indian as Tikka Masala sounds and tastes, it is in fact a British invention. While the origin and attribution of this dish is much disputed, the most often told story goes back in the 60s when a British man ordered Chicken Tikka in an Indian restaurant. When his dish arrived, he complained that it was too dry. To remedy the situation, the chef added in a can of tomato puree (or soup as it seems) into the tikka along with some spices and yogurt. Chicken Tikka Masala was thus born. However, there are many Indian restaurants that claim the creation of this popular dish. We will never know whom to truly be grateful for this amazingly rich, creamy and flavoursome dish.

During the years I worked in London, an occasional convivial dine out among colleagues was customary. Some of the memories of our life in Britain feel quite distant, but these nice moments, I still do recall – they were one of my best experiences of a work-social relationship. If we were not going for a pub dinner, beer and curry would, most of the time, win everyone’s vote. Chicken tikka masala was the curry of choice for many. On a midweek evening, many reputed restaurants would have a line of people waiting patiently on the pavement in the streets of London. If we managed to make it to the restaurant, after the pub drinks, before 7pm, we had a chance to get seats after less than 30 minutes wait. The waiting was well worth the curry though.

After going vegan, while I was still living in the UK, I attended those dine outs a little less often as there weren’t many restaurants that offered vegan options alongside their regular menu.

The tikka masala curry had practically left my mind when I left the UK (and Ireland too for that matter), until recently when the thought just happened to cross my mind again. I have been reminiscing about the taste and aroma since. After experimenting with a few spice blends from various references online, I came up with a homemade tikka masala mix that was very close to how I remember the invigorating fragrance of the tikka masala curry.

For my vegan version of this curry, my choice of protein is red kidney beans which I find to marry well with the sauce. Any other vegan protein will do though – tofu, tempeh (make your own), vegan chicken or other beans.

You may use vegan yogurt and cashew cream instead of coconut milk in the recipe. I find coconut milk to be more easily available than the other two counterparts; it also makes the curry nut-free for those with allergies (like Kevin and I).

Related post:

Homemade Tikka Masala Spice Mix Recipe

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Vegan Tikka Masala Curry

with Eggplant, Red Kidney Bean and Zucchini/Courgette

Ingredients (serve 2-3)

2 medium [300g] Chinese eggplants

1 tablespoon salt

Water for soaking

1 small [180g] courgette/zucchini

1 tablespoon minced ginger (or ginger-garlic paste)

1 small onion, sliced or chopped

1 1/4 cup [300ml] tomato puree (canned or fresh, blended)

1 cup [170g] cooked/boiled red kidney beans

1/2 can [200ml] coconut milk

2 tablespoons tikka masala mix (store-bought or use our homemade recipe)

Pinch of chilli powder to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil

Salt to taste

1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sugar), optional or adjust to taste

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish

 

Instructions

Wash and cut the Chinese eggplants across about 2.5 cm or 1-inch thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Massage the salt into the eggplants, and then fill the bowl with water to cover them. Leave aside to soak for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables. Slice the courgette into half-moons of about 1 cm thick.

Slice or chop the onion.

When ready, drain the eggplants and rinse a couple of times with fresh water to remove the excess salt. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

In a skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil. Add in the eggplant. Fry for about 7 minutes on one side or until golden. Then flip and fry for another 7 minutes on the other side. Prick the eggplant with a fork to test for doneness. If the fork goes it smoothly with no spongy resistance, the eggplants are done. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In the same pan, on medium-high heat, add the onions and minced ginger (or ginger-garlic paste). Cook for about 1 minute or until the onions are a little translucent.

Add the tikka masala mix and roast for about 10 seconds.

Add the tomato puree, stir and mix well with the spices. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until tomato puree slightly changes colour.

Add in the cooked red kidney beans followed by the courgette. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes.

Add the eggplant.

Add the coconut milk and mix well. Take care not to crush the eggplant as they are quite delicate at this stage.

Add salt to taste. Taste the sauce, then add the maple syrup or sugar (if needed). This will depend on how sour or sweet the tomatoes are.

Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve over rice or with roti/naan bread.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Vegan Tikka Masala Curry with Eggplant, Red Kidney Beans and Zucchini/Courgette
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A vegan version of the much loved amazingly rich, creamy and flavoursome Tikka Masala curry with eggplant, red kidney beans and courgette/zucchini.
Author:
Recipe type: Main dish
Cuisine: British Indian
Yield: 2-3 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 medium [300g] Chinese eggplants
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • Water for soaking
  • 1 small [180g] courgette/zucchini
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger (or ginger-garlic paste)
  • 1 small onion, sliced or chopped
  • 1¼ cup [300ml] tomato puree (canned or fresh, blended)
  • 1 cup [170g] cooked/boiled red kidney beans
  • ½ can [200ml] coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons tikka masala mix (store-bought or use our homemade recipe)
  • Pinch of chilli powder to taste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup (or sugar), optional or adjust to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) for garnish
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut the Chinese eggplants across about 2.5 cm or 1-inch thick. Place in a bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt. Massage the salt into the eggplants, and then fill the bowl with water to cover them. Leave aside to soak for 10-12 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare the other vegetables. Slice the courgette into half-moons of about 1 cm thick.
  3. Slice or chop the onion.
  4. When ready, drain the eggplants and rinse a couple of times with fresh water to remove the excess salt. Pat them dry with a paper towel.
  5. In a skillet, over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons vegetable or coconut oil. Add in the eggplant. Fry for about 7 minutes on one side or until golden. Then flip and fry for another 7 minutes on the other side. Prick the eggplant with a fork to test for doneness. If the fork goes it smoothly with no spongy resistance, the eggplants are done. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  6. In the same pan, on medium-high heat, add the onions and minced ginger (or ginger-garlic paste). Cook for about 1 minute or until the onions are a little translucent.
  7. Add the tikka masala mix and roast for about 10 seconds.
  8. Add the tomato puree, stir and mix well with the spices. Simmer for about 10 minutes or until tomato puree slightly changes colour.
  9. Add in the cooked red kidney beans followed by the courgette. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes.
  10. Add the eggplant.
  11. Add the coconut milk and mix well. Take care not to crush the eggplant as they are quite delicate at this stage.
  12. Add salt to taste. Taste the sauce, then add the maple syrup or sugar (if needed). This will depend on how sour or sweet the tomatoes are.
  13. Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes. Turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro) and serve over rice or with roti/naan bread.
Notes
Check out our homemade Tikka Masala Spice Mix recipe - http://veganlovlie.com/homemade-tikka-masala-spice-mix-recipe/

 

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2 Comments

  • omer
    October 3, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    your recipes are just amazing!! I’ve already tried 3 of them ant it was a huge success!!!
    thanks!!!

    • veganlovlie
      October 10, 2016 at 4:15 pm

      That’s great to hear. 🙂 Send us a little pic of the food you made if you can. We love seeing what others are cooking. 😀

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