Are you looking for a mouthwatering vegan spin of the beloved chicken tikka masala? Then, you've come to the right place! In our recipe below, we'll show you how to make a no-chicken version using jackfruit and how to serve it with a creamy dairy-free curry sauce.
But first, what is chicken tikka masala exactly? This dish consists of roasted marinated chicken simmered with a spicy tomato sauce. Although chicken tikka itself is an Indian dish, the idea of serving it with a tomato-based sauce actually originated in the United Kingdom, in line with the British culinary tradition of serving meat with gravy.
In our vegan spin, we swapped chicken with canned green jackfruit. Many vegan tikka masala recipes use store-bought mock meats or simply use legumes instead of chicken. But we wanted a cheap and unprocessed alternative, yet as similar to chicken as possible in terms of texture. And young jackfruit is absolutely perfect for this!
Jackfruit is a staple ingredient in various cuisines in South East Asia, like in Southern India and Thailand. Nowadays, you should be able to find green jackfruit chunks canned in water or brine at your local supermarket or Asian food stores. The young fruit has a fairly neutral taste, a fleshy texture and can be easily "pulled" into shreds when cooked, similarly to chicken.
Simply drain and rinse the jackfruit and then coat it with our tikka marinade. We made it with vegan soy yogurt, lemon juice, and a homemade tikka masala paste. Then, roast the jackfruit in the oven while you get the curry sauce ready and finally bring all together into a comforting and satisfying dish.
Each serving has less than 250 calories, yet it covers a fourth of daily proteins and almost half of your fibre needs, all with just a few carbs and fats. Awesome! All is left to do is to enjoy this jackfruit tikka masala on a bed of steamed basmati rice and garnish it with plenty of coriander. Yum!
Vegan "Chicken" Marinade
- Canned Jackfruit in Water
- Soy Yogurt
- Juiced Lemon
Tikka Masala Paste
- Grated Ginger Root
- Garlic Cloves
- Garam Masala
- Ground Turmeric
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Red Onions
- Fresh Red Chillies
- Canned Chopped Tomatoes
- Coconut Milk Drink
- Fresh Coriander
Rinse the canned jackfruit chunks thoroughly under cold water to get rid of the brine water. Then, drain them, and squeeze them tightly to remove excess water.
Then, chop any large piece into smaller chunks, as you would do with chicken.
Next, prepare the tikka masala paste by mixing grated ginger root and minced garlic with garam masala, paprika, and ground turmeric.
We'll use half of the paste to marinate the jackfruit and half to prepare the curry sauce.
Add the jackfruit to a bowl, followed by soy yogurt, lemon juice, and half of the tikka masala paste.
Season it with salt and pepper to taste, and mix well until it's coated with the sauce.
At this point, you can optionally let the jackfruit marinate in the fridge, covered with cling film, for 1 to 3 hours.
Transfer the seasoned jackfruit onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread it flat.
Then, roast it for 15 minutes at 220°C (430°F) in static mode or at 200°C (400°F) in fan mode.
Meanwhile, let's prepare the curry sauce.
In a large skillet, heat the oil with finely chopped onions, fresh red chillies, and the remaining half of tikka masala paste.
Sizzle all for 5 minutes until fragrant.
Next, add canned chopped tomatoes, coconut milk drink, chopped fresh coriander, and salt to taste.
Cover, bring to a boil and simmer the curry for 10-15 minutes.
The sauce should be slightly reduced and denser.
Finally, add the roasted jackfruit chunks to the curry sauce, stir well, and cook for 5 more minutes.
Garnish your delicious vegan "chicken" tikka masala with fresh coriander and enjoy it with steamed basmati rice, warm naan bread, and a side salad.
For a smoother curry sauce, you can replace chopped tomatoes with tomato puree/passata; and for a creamier, richer result, you can swap coconut milk drink with canned coconut milk (but keep in mind it will be higher in fats).