Fish Tikka Masala and Coconut Cauliflower ‘Rice’


I’ve been really craving Indian food lately and missing one of my favorite Indian spots, Punjab, in Arlington, MA. So when I came across this recipe in the Penzey’s catalog, I had to make it. I usually order chicken or veggies  with my curry, but I have been trying to integrate more seafood into my primal diet, and I also knew my roomie would eat it if I did fish. Ideally I would use Tilapia in this  but I could only find farm-raised (which I am ethically opposed to, but farm-raised fish is also more prone to hormones and bacteria that are harmful to your body), so I settled with wild-caught Alaskan cod-still a nice textured, mild flavored fish that went well with the bold and spicy curry. And if you love Indian food as much as I do, you know you can’t eat curry without rice. Best of all, you can make it out of cauliflower and still be fully primal! I did sacrifice the garlic Naan, but to tell you the truth I didn’t even really miss it.

Fish Tikka Masala (adapted from Penzey’s)

(Difficulty-Intermediate; Servings- 4 to 6)

  • 1 lb. wild-caught white fish, cut into bite sized pieces (e.g. Tilapia, cod, halibut)
  • 1 Tbsp. full fat greek yogurt
  •  1 tsp. ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala
  • 1 Tbsp. Tandoori seasoning
  • 11/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice (juice of 1/2 lemon)
  • 1 Tb. extra virgin olive or coconut oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 organic tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 4 Tbsp. unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 Cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. cashew nut paste (grind 1 Tbsp. cashews with 1 tsp. water in a blender)
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (to taste)

In a medium bowl, combine the fish, yogurt, ginger, minced garlic, garam masala tandoori seasoning, cumin and lemon juice. Mix to combine. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for up to a few hours or overnight. In my hastiness to eat dinner I only marinated the fish for about 30 minutes and it still had plenty of flavor-chicken might take a bit longer to soak up the marinade.



Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy pan. Add onions and tomato and saute until tender, about 7 minutes. Add the fish and cook, stirring constantly, until the meat is white and almost cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Add the ground pepper, coconut milk, water and cashew nut paste. Reduce heat to low and stir until the sauce thickens. Add the butter and salt and mix well. Garnish with fresh cilantro if desired and serve with Coconut Cauliflower Rice (recipe below).


Coconut Cauliflower ‘Rice’ (adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple)

1 head organic cauliflower, cut into florets

2 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil

2-3 shallots, minced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2-2 cups organic vegetable or chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste


To prepare cauliflower, use a food processor with a grater attachment blade. Run florets through processor until the cauliflower becomes little grain-like pieces. Heat oil in a large pot. Add shallots stirring until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute. Add grated cauliflower to the pot and cook, stirring 3-4 minutes. Add broth, bringing to a boil until the liquid reduces until it is just barely covering the cauliflower. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 30-40 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Cauliflower has a lot of natural liquid and will give off its own liquid as it cooks so the ‘rice’ will still be a little more moist than its grain counterpart. Adjust the quantity of liquid according to your preference.



One response »

  1. Pingback: Coconut Curry Turkey Meatballs | The Kitchen Faerie

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