Have you tried shrimp and grits? Its a classic comfort Southern dish with many renditions! I've had the dish with assorted seasonings, lots of veggies and of course so many different types of cheeses! But of course, all versions have perfectly spiced shrimp and the creamiest, cheesiest grits! Well, I couldn't leave my beloved Indian spices out of such a classic dish! So to turn shrimp and grits into an Indian infused dish, I made shrimp tikka masala with cheesy gobi grits (cauliflower grits) and it is amazing!
I started traveling to Atlanta for my first job and I just fell in love with Southern cuisine! Everything was so delicious! Biscuits, fried green tomatoes, all the peaches!, fried chicken, and of course shrimp and grits. I honestly am not sure I had ever even tried shrimp and grits before I got out of college. What I really loved about the dish was that no two versions were ever the same. So I knew I just had to play around with myself!
What is Shrimp Tikka Masala?
First off, tikka masala is a dish originating in India. The most widely known variation is of course chicken tikka masala. It involves marinating the protein (chicken, paneer, shrimp) in a blend of spices, roasting the protein, and then adding the roasted, spiced protein to a creamy tomato based curry sauce.
Shrimp tikka masala involves marinating shrimp in a tikka masala seasoning before searing. Then add the seasoned shrimp to a coconut and tomato curry sauce.
What Ingredients are in Shrimp Tikka Masala?
Actually as complicated as it may seem, shrimp tikka masala is a pretty straightforward recipe. Just a handful of ingredients.
Shrimp - fresh or frozen work well in this recipe. I do suggest that you use shrimp that is peeled and deveined so its just easier to eat
Canned tomato - tikka masala sauces are always tomato based and canned tomatoes make for a super easy and quick ingredient swap
Canned coconut milk - coconut milk replaces the heavy cream that is typically found in tikka masala recipes. It is lighter and healthier than cream.
Spices: Garam masala, turmeric, red chilli powder
Aromatics: onions, garlic, ginger, to give you all the classic flavors of spice and heat of a curry sauce
How to Make Shrimp Tikka Masala
This shrimp tikka masala dish gives you the comfort of Indian tikka masala with quick cooking shrimp. It is actually a much quicker meal to prep than the chicken tikka masala that you're most used to. If you have all your ingredients prepped and read to go, the dish will come together so quickly!
- First I pre-season the peeled and deveined shrimp with a good amount of garam masala.
- Sear the shrimp for a few minutes. Try to get a bit of char on the shrimp, but be careful not to overcook it. It will only take a few minutes to fully cook.
- The tikka masala sauce is a pretty straightforward, get all of ingredients simmering in the saucepan.
How to make Cheesy Gobi Grits (Cauliflower Grits)
Tikka masalas are most typically paired with naan or basmati rice, but its not unheard of to pair these deeply seasoned dishes with spicy veggies like potatoes or cauliflower! And so instead of adding a spicy tadka (seasoned oil) to cheesy grits, I thought it would pair better with cauliflower grits!
To make cauliflower grits, you have to start with cauliflower rice. While I know that ricing cauliflower can be done easily, its just a big timesaver to use frozen cauliflower rice here.
- Grab a bag of frozen cauliflower rice and prepare it to the package directions. This is usually just a quick microwave for a few minutes.
- Start your tadka (or seasoned oil) with ghee, curry leaves, mustard seeds and diced onions.
- Add the cauliflower rice to the tadka, along with heavy cream and water. Optional, blend with an immersion blender for a smoother consistency.
- Add cheese!
If you liked this shrimp tikka masala with gobi grits, check out these other amazing cauliflower dishes:
Shrimp Tikka Masala with Cheesy Gobi Grits
Shrimp Tikka Masala
- 2 tablespoons cooking oil divided
- 1-2 pounds shrimp peeled and deveined
- 2 teaspoons garam masala divided
- 1 onion diced
- 1 14.5oz canned diced tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves freshly grated
- 2 teaspoons ginger freshly grated
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon salt adjust to taste
- ½ cup coconut milk
- ¼ cup cilantro chopped
Cheesy Gobi (Cauliflower) Grits
- 12 ounces frozen cauliflower rice
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
- pinch asafoetida
- 10 curry leaves
- ¼ cup onions diced
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ¾ cup water
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese shredded
Shrimp Tikka Masala
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil to medium heat. In a bowl, combine shrimp and 1 tablespoon garam masala, stir to coat shrimp. Add shrimp to saucepan and sear for 2 minutes, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon of oil to sauce pan, heat to medium heat. Add diced onions and cook for 2 minutes. Add canned tomatoes, apple cider vinegar, remaining garam masala, turmeric, red chili powder, ginger, garlic and salt. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add in coconut milk, let the sauce thicken for about 3 minutes. Add in shrimp and cook for another 2 minutes, remove from heat, top with chopped cilantro and serve with cauliflower grits.
Gobi (Cauliflower) Grits
- Microwave cauliflower rice according to package directions, set aside to cool.
- Melt ghee in a large saucepan on medium high heat. Add mustard seeds and let heat for a few minutes. Add asafoetida and let sizzle. Add curry leaves let the leaves crisp for just a few seconds. Add diced onions and stir.
- Add cauliflower rice to the saucepan, stir to combine. Add in the heavy cream and water. Stir to combine. Optional: use an immersion blender to pulse the cauliflower mixture so it resembles the same texture as grits.
- Stir in cheese, mix to incorporate and melt cheese. Remove from heat, serve with shrimp tikka masala.