Spicy Tikka Masala

As an acupuncturist I studied Traditional Chinese medicine for many years. I loved the five element theory which taught me how each season I linked to nourishing certain parts of our bodies and that nutrition that reflected the season’s colours was the most beneficial.

Autumn is the energy of metal, a time when what is no longer needed is shed. The Autumn colours are rich and warm, like the leaves of a tree – oranges, yellows and reds. A time for letting go and preparing for the next season. As the fallen leaves nourish the soil, we must nourish and respect what our bodies need. A time to cleanse and shower ourselves with anti-oxidants and clean, unprocessed foods.

Think of pumpkin, squashes, turmeric, peppers, carrots, cinnamon and cayenne. You can use these seasonally available foods. Link your nutrition with what nature provides each season.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, Autumn is also associated with the colour white – a cleansing colour. Therefore natural white foods are also the ones to choose. Fruit and vegetables such as cauliflower, turnip, scallions, fennel, pears, onions and garlic.

The recipe I’ve created and want to share with you blends the perfect Autumn ingredients.

Spicy Tikka Masala, Chickpeas, Cauliflower and Rice (serves 4)


Cauliflower – blitzed in a food processor (you can save a few florets)
Finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsps ground tumeric
2 tsps ground cumin
2 tsps tikka masala powder
2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 tin chickpeas
4 oz frozen peas
Finely chopped red pepper
1 tbsp coconut oil
Pinch of saffron (optional)


  1. Melt the coconut oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and fry until soft. Add the garlic and the spices and mix well.
  2. Add the cauliflower and frozen peas. Fry until they soften and are coated in spices.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and red pepper. Mix well and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Depending on your taste you can add some chilli flakes or cayenne pepper to give it a little kick, or a pinch of saffron.

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