A robust vegetable chicken curry recipe with roasted chicken cauliflower, chickpeas, peppers, and onions in a zesty, creamy curry.
Quick and Easy
You are hungry and tired and want to make a quick chicken curry recipe! Plus, it needs to have lots of fresh vegetables and be robust in flavor. In addition, you are not in the mood for rice and want to eat it with a fresh, crisp side salad with toasty naan. Well, this is the perfect meal for you! Using tikka masala, let's make a quick chicken curry dish filled with tender chicken, vegetables, and a thick curry sauce.
For breakfast, how about Masala Chickpeas and Egg Curry? Such as onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, tomatoes, and chickpeas cooked in a tangy and spicy masala curry sauce, finished with poached eggs and topped with creamy ripe avocado slices and fresh cilantro.
Also, if you want a warm bowl of stew, try Curry Lentil Turkey Stew. Hearty ground turkey stew with red lentils, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, celery, and onions in a Caribbean curry broth intensified with scotch bonnet peppers, cumin, and paprika.
If you like Jamaican curry, then you must check out the following:
- Curried Chickpeas and Mushrooms with Spiced Brown Basmati Rice
- Curried Air Fryer Lamb Chops with Chickpea Cucumber Salad
- Curried Ground Turkey, Vegetables, and Olives
In the mood for Katsu with curry, they try this Japanese-inspired Herb Pank Tofu with Curried Potatoes, Carrots, and Onions recipe.
- chicken breast
- cauliflower florets
- red bell pepper
- ground turmeric
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- coriander powder
- cumin powder
- chili powder
- avocado oil
See the recipe card for quantities.
Gather and prep boneless chicken breast, cauliflower, jalapenos, an onion, and red bell pepper. Then, add turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and pepper with avocado oil. Finally, roast all the ingredients in your air fryer to caramelize them and give that extra robust kick.
Next, you'll make the sauce by melting ghee, another flavor enhancer, mixed with avocado oil, tikka masala paste (try vegan Rani Tikka Masala Cooking Spice Paste), and fresh tomatoes. Next, add the chickpeas for texture and extra protein with coconut milk.
Then, simmer and reduce the sauce, add the roasted chicken and vegetables, and toss in the fresh cilantro and minced garlic. Garlic, in the end, is essential to wake your taste buds with spicy goodness to make the perfect quick and easy chicken curry recipe.
Combine ingredients for roasting in a large mixing bowl. Also, cut uniformly to cook evenly to prevent bits from burning.
Toss the mixture in avocado oil and spices. Not only is avocado oil a high smoke point like canola, but it is much healthier.
Parchment paper for the win! Because you can use it in your air fryer or oven. Plus, it makes it easier for clean-ups and transferring to the cutting board. Now there are Air Fryer Disposable Paper Liners that do the same.
Cut the vegetables and meat in a way to finish cooking at the same time; the roasting takes place evenly. Then you remove the ingredients, keeping them on the parchment paper to cool off to the side.
Cut the jalapeno and chicken to a more servable size while on the parchment, make sure not to break through the paper, lift the paper with all ingredients and pour safely into the sauce. Next, you will add fresh cilantro and garlic.
Coarsely chop the cilantro, meaning you can still see the leaves as a whole. You can also tear them with your hands.
- Avocado Oil - If you want a more buttery-rich flavor, you can use ghee (see FAQ), such as 4th & Heart Himalayan Pink Salt Grass-Fed Ghee.
- Non-Dairy - In this recipe, coconut milk is added, not heavy cream. Reduce to create that desired thickened sauce effect in less than half an hour. I recommend using the vegan Rani Tikka Masala Cooking Spice Paste to ensure non-dairy.
- Air Fryer - I used the Ninja AG301 Foodi 5-in-1 Indoor Grill with Air Fry for this recipe, but if you don't have one, you can use your oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit; just keep an eye on browning and make sure to stir the ingredients to brown evenly.
- Mixing Bowl - Used to toss all the ingredients before placing them in the air fryer.
- Saute or Frying Pan - Use a 10-inch pan or larger to make the chicken curry recipe sauce to coat the vegetables quickly. Try OXO Good Grips Pro 10” Frying Pan Skillet if you want a highly-rated pan. Also, I have the 8-inch pan; America's Test Kitchen tested this pan and highly recommended it.
- Refrigerator - To store in the fridge, you can place the chicken curry in a 2-inch shallow pan to cool down quickly. Then store in an air-tight sealing container. The meal will last up to four days.
- Freezer - First, follow the refrigeration process mentioned above. Then you can place it in the freezer in a labeled, airtight container.
This was great with some crispy greens and green goddess dressing. The dressing has a pleasant citrus kick that compliments the curry. And what is a more perfect way than using naan to soak up the sauce? Delicious!
Alternatively, try serving it with Easy Spiced Brown Rice with Quinoa - Yellow-brown rice and quinoa side dish spiced with turmeric, cumin, paprika, chili flakes, cinnamon, coriander, and lemon zest. Excellent side dish for the Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, African, and Indian Inspired main dishes and rice or Buddha bowls.
Frequently Asked Questions
Tikka roughly means small bits of meat or vegetables, while masala means a spice blend, aka curry. Together, you get the description of an Indian dish with bits of meat or vegetables in a curry.
Traditional tikka masala is a delicacy of Indian cuisine in the global eye, and it has interesting roots stretching back centuries. Its history is complex and diverse; some think it originated in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan, while others contend its lineage traces all the way to the Mughal Empire.
However, this cooking method was created outside of India, possibly in the Uk, by Indian migrants looking for an alternative way to make butter chicken. Regardless of where it came from, tikka masala has become one of the most beloved dishes worldwide.
Cooking tikka masala is usually relatively easy – marinated pieces of meat or paneer cooked in a spiced tomato sauce, giving you a simple dish. Also, many chefs have variations on this classic dish, adding things like cream, nuts, yogurt, or other spices to make it more unique. Whether cooking it at home or eating out, tikka masala promises to tantalize your taste buds every time!
Authentic tikka masala recipes usually involve marinated chicken in a lemon yogurt sauce of garlic and ginger paste with various spice combinations like turmeric, cumin, chili powder, coriander, garam masala, and paprika.
Then the meat is cooked on an open flame, like a grill or tandoori oven, on skewers or seared in a pan until golden brown. Next, in a pan, you'll saute the aromatics, consisting of onions with spices and chilies. Finally, you'll add tomato paste and other spices and finish with cilantro.
If you've ever had the opportunity to order tikka masala and butter chicken in a restaurant, they both really do almost look the same. But there are a couple of interesting differences. First, if you read the history of tikka masala from above, you would have learned that tikka masala didn't originate in India but possibly the UK.
Butter chicken actually originated in New Delhi. Second, they both focus on different ingredients. Tikka masala uses tomato paste, while butter chicken uses fresh tomatoes. Make one more tomatoey while the other is more buttery. Can you guess which one? Hahaha.
Avocado oil is neutral-tasting oil that can withstand heat over 400 degrees Fahrenheit before creating smoke, thus having a high smoke point.
Ghee is a clarified butter used mainly in India; during the process, the milk solids are caramelized, enhancing the taste of the oil before it is removed.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Air Fryer Roasted Chicken Chickpeas Vegetable Curry
- 1 chicken breast sliced horizontally and halved into 3-inch pieces
- 1 ½ cup cauliflower florets cut into 1 ½ inch
- 1 medium jalapeno cut into 4 pieces
- 1 small onion large diced, ½ inch pieces
- ½ medium red bell pepper large diced, ½ inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
- ½ tablespoon garlic powder
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ tablespoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 teaspoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 2 tablespoon tikka masala paste
- 1 medium tomato large diced,½ inch pieces
- 1 can 15.5 oz chickpeas, drained
- 1 cup of light organic coconut milk shaken well
- 1 bunch of cilantro roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves minced or garlic pressed
- Save time in the kitchen: Read the instructions thoroughly, then gather and prep all your ingredients before cooking! Learn Prepping Tips.
- Preheat the air fryer to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and set the cooking timer to 13 minutes.
- In a medium mixing bowl, add the chicken, cauliflower, jalapeno, onions, red bell pepper, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, coriander, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, and salt and combine well.
- When the air fryer is ready, pour the chicken and vegetable mixture into it, spreading them out evenly. You can use an air fryer liner for easy cleanup.
- While the chicken and vegetable mixture cook in the air fryer, heat a medium saute pan on medium heat.
- When the pan is hot, add and heat the ghee and avocado oil. The oil mixture will be hot when it becomes more liquid in velocity, moving freely around the pan.
- Add the tikka masala paste and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Be careful with oil splatter; try to add the paste indirectly to the oil, then combine the two ingredients.
- Add the tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the chickpeas and coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer to evaporate excess liquid and for the curry to gain thickness slightly. You can use the wooden spoon test by coating the back of the spoon with the sauce and splitting the sauce with your finger. If the streak stays, the sauce is thick enough. Once the sauce is done, remove it from the heat and set aside.
- When the vegetable and chicken mixture is done in the air fryer, remove it from the heat and set it next to a prepared cutting board for cooked foods.
- Prepare the cooled-off chicken and vegetables; small chop the jalapeno and chicken into 1-inch pieces.
- Add the air-fried ingredients, cilantro, and garlic to the curry,
- Place the saute pan back onto the heat and simmer for 1 minute on medium heat.
- You can serve this dish alone for two servings or with a side of white or brown basmati rice, your favorite naan, and a side of a mixed green salad with a citrusy vinaigrette for four servings.