Tikka Masala Chili

This dish is proof that Masala and chili were meant to be together! All the deep flavors, warmth, and spices from masala sauce turned chili thanks to the hearty additions of veggies, legumes, and textures galore from cauliflower, chickpeas, bell pepper, jackfruit, tomatoes, and more finished off to vegan creamy perfection with silky coconut meal. No passport needed for this East Meets West vegetarian chili and thank goodness because I would not want to part with it anytime soon. Not only does this meal feed a crowd but the leftovers make the perfect sauce and toppings for a great makeover meal like a Tikka Masala Pizza! Get the recipe link below! 

Cook Time: Approximately 30 minutes
Servings: 6-8


  • 2-4 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 20 oz can young green jackfruit in brine – NOT SWEETENED, drained, pressed, and mashed lightly (SEE RECIPE NOTES FOR SOME OTHER GREAT SUBSTITUTIONS)
  • 1 tablespoon grated or minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic about 3 cloves
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 cups cauliflower, half riced and half cut into florets (You can use all riced or all florets if you prefer but I love the texture contrast between the two. The riced adds a great thickening chili feel to the dish and the florets provide a nice meaty texture.
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, chopped or halved and cut in strips
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt, adjust to taste
  • 2 14 oz can chickpeas, drained (You can leave one can of the chickpeas whole, and puree the other can of chickpeas with the liquid to add extra thickness and body to the chili if you wish.)
  • 1 14-ounce can diced roasted tomatoes
  • 4-6 cups cups vegetable broth (Depending how thick or think you’d like it)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 can light or full fat canned coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or plain unsweetened coconut milk yogurt, divided
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus extra for topping soup if desired. 
  • Warm naan bread for serving, if desired

Masala Spice Mix:

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper


  1. Mix masala spice blend and set aside.
  2. Stir 1 tablespoon of masala mixture into unsweetened yogurt or yogurt alternative, reserving the rest to top the soup. Add half of the yogurt mixture to the drained pressed jackfruit and toss to coat. 
  3. Reserve 1 tablespoon garam masala mixture and add the remaining to a large soup pot or dutch oven heating over medium for a couple minutes to toast spices. Add 1/2 the coconut oil and stir. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add cauliflower rice and cauliflower florets, and bell pepper, stir and sauté a few minutes until softened slightly. Adjust the heat if needed and add more oil at this point or during the next step if needed to prevent burning.
  4. Scoot veggies to one side of the pan and add the marinated jackfruit mixture, spreading out across the available space in the bottom of the pan. Let cook a couple minutes on one side then stir spread out again and let cook on the other side until slightly browned, making sure you stir the other veggies in the pan as needed so they don’t burn. 
  5. Add garlic and ginger and stir, cooking another minute or so. Add tomato paste, stir and let cook only about a minute. Add chickpeas, canned tomatoes, remaining masala spice mixture and a teaspoon of salt, and stir to combine.
  6. Add vegetable broth and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat slightly and let simmer until veggies are cooked through and soup simmers slightly approximately 20 minutes. Stir in coconut milk and frozen peas and cook an additional 10 minutes.
  7. Taste to adjust seasonings, adding the 1 teaspoon or more of salt if needed, and stir in the chopped cilantro. Ladle into bowls and place a dollop of spiced yogurt on top along with an extra sprinkle of chopped cilantro, if desired. Serve with warm naan for dipping!

Craving more Tikka Masala dishes? Transform some of this leftover chili into a fantastic Tikka Masala Pizza! Click here for the recipe!

Recipe Notes: Canned Jackfruit is widely available at Asian supermarkets and select grocery stores like Trader Joes and Whole Foods. You can also find it online, although it tends to be a little more expensive when ordering. You can substitute 1/2 lb of plant based meat of choice, or drained pressed tofu for other non-meat alternative options for the jackfruit if you prefer or if you cannot find it easily. You could also use 2 cups of shredded cooked chicken for a meat version.)

Enjoy this recipe or have questions? Feel free to leave a comment!

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