Mattar Tofu (vegan + gluten free)

This mattar tofu is a healthy, vegan version of an Indian food classic, mattar paneer. Tofu works perfectly as a sub for the paneer cheese and makes this dish dairy-free.

Isaac and I love Indian food. Our favorite local restaurant for Indian food is Lehja so usually we just head there when we’re craving it, but lately I’ve been on a mission to make some of my favorite dishes at home.

Plate with mattar tofu and peas served over a bowl of rice with a gold fork on the side of the bowl.

My first experiment was Gina’s channa masala recipe. It turned out to be delicious so this week I decided to try a vegan version of mattar paneer using tofu instead of the paneer. Paneer is a soft cheese with a similar consistency to tofu so I thought it would work out well. Oh my goodness you guys… it turned out fantastic!  I was so happy with the results and ended up having the mattar tofu for dinner that night as well as lunch and dinner the next day. It’s THAT good.

Pan full of mattar tofu-- tofu cooked in tomatoes and peas.

Using Tofu Instead of Paneer Cheese

The tofu was the perfect plant-based substitute for paneer cheese. I pan fried the tofu cubes in a little coconut oil until golden brown and then add to the sauce after cooking. The tomato based sauce pairs nicely with the tofu cubes and the peas add a nice hint of sweetness. I had forgotten how much I love peas!

I need to start planning this dinner on the weekly, it’s seriously one of our favs!

Tofu cooked in tomatoes and peas served over a bowl of rice. Topped with cilantro.

More Indian Cuisine Inspired Recipes to Try:

If you make this mattar tofu recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how it turned out. Your feedback is so helpful for the EBF team and other EBF readers.

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Plate with mattar tofu and peas served over a bowl of rice with a gold fork on the side of the bowl.

Mattar Tofu


  • Author: Brittany Mullins
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 2

Description

This mattar tofu is a healthy, vegan version of an Indian food classic, mattar paneer. Tofu works perfectly as a sub for the paneer cheese and makes this dish dairy-free. 


Ingredients

  • 1 (14 oz) package organic extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/41/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/2 Tablespoon garam masala
  • 1/2 Tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 bag (2 cups) frozen baby peas, thawed slightly
  • fresh chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
  • rice or cauliflower rice, for serving

Instructions

  1. Place onion, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper into the container of a blender or food processor along with 1/3 cup water and blend until the mixture turns into a smooth paste. Set aside.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large sauté pan. Once hot add tofu cubes in a single layer and stir-fry until golden. This shouldn’t take very long. Once golden place tofu cubes onto a plate and set aside.
  3. Carefully add the contents of the blender into the same sauté pan you used for the tofu. Just be very careful with this part as the paste may splatter. Cook, stirring constantly until the paste turns a light brown color (about 5-6 minutes).
  4. Add the garam masala, coriander, turmeric, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Stir and cook for a few minutes longer. Add in vegetable broth and peas, mix well and bring mixture to a boil.
  5. Cover, lower heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Lift cover and add the tofu cubes. Simmer ten minutes or until tofu and peas are heated through. Top with a little cilantro and serve with brown, basmati, jasmine or cauliflower rice.

  • Category: Lunch/Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Indian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 of recipe
  • Calories: 539
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated Fat: 11g
  • Carbohydrates: 41g
  • Fiber: 14g
  • Protein: 36g

Keywords: mattar tofu, vegan mattar paneer

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    41 comments
    1. Ashish Patel
      September 1, 2020 AT 3:24 am

      Hello, Awesome Article, and Your information about the recipe is very amazing and so much useful for me. Keep it up and thank you very much.:)

    2. Sarah Van Valkenburgh
      March 12, 2020 AT 4:23 pm

      I’ve tried making Indian food at home, and it always feels like it’s missing something. This recipe, however, was AMAZING. I added more salt than it called for, and added a tablespoon of butter at the end and it was incredible. My fiance doesn’t even like tofu, and he’s raving about how great this is. Thank you!!!!!!

      I doubled the recipe to have leftovers, and I’d say the base recipe has more like 3-4 servings, not 2. Because now we have a LOT of leftovers 🙂

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 12, 2020 AT 5:42 pm

        Ahh yay!! So glad you both loved this recipe, Sarah. Thanks so much again, for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. The reviews are super helpful to other readers and it means the world to me!

    3. Amanda
      March 8, 2020 AT 10:07 pm

      Made this tonight and it is absolutely delicious. One of the best dishes I have ever made!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        March 9, 2020 AT 2:33 pm

        Ahh that makes me so happy to hear, Amanda!! Thanks so much for trying my recipe and for coming back to leave a comment and star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    4. martutz
      February 24, 2020 AT 6:08 am

      Love the Indian cuisine. I’m also struggling for a healthier me, I’ve even start running with SportMe marathon training app and I can say I’m on the right track now. Nutrition is an important part of my losing weight plan, and your blog posts are a true inspiration!

    5. Kristen
      February 22, 2020 AT 4:41 pm

      So the family loved it ! However we did a few modifications including frozen corn because the kids don’t like peas for some reason and I also added some garbanzo beans for more fiber and protein and the kids love them as long as I tell my son they are hummus beans LOL

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 23, 2020 AT 2:41 pm

        Haha! I’m so glad this recipe was a hit with your family, Kristen!! I’m sure the corn and added beans were delicious. Thanks for coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It means the world to me. <3

    6. Julie from MA
      February 19, 2020 AT 6:36 pm

      For any of you who made this did you find the recipe was good quantity for 2 or did it serve more than 2? Thanks! I’m keen to try this soon.

    7. Jennifer
      February 19, 2020 AT 10:31 am

      If you make this with paneer is there any difference in the directions or would you treat it the same as the tofu?

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 19, 2020 AT 2:05 pm

        I’m not sure, since I haven’t tried it! Let me know if you end up trying it and how it turns out if you decided to use paneer.

        1. Mr Anil Sharma
          May 25, 2020 AT 7:40 am

          Mattar Paneer is a traditional Indian dish which features regularly in a family setting. I have previously substituted paneer for Halumi and also Soya chunks and now Tofu. The recipe remains the same. The results are still impressive but there is obviously a difference in the texture but the main flavours in the sauce still hit the right notes.

    8. Jennifer
      February 9, 2020 AT 12:41 pm

      This recipe is a(nother) keeper. Thank you, Brittany This dish is one of my new faves! I served over rice made w/coconut milk…so delicious!!!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 10, 2020 AT 1:14 am

        You’re so welcome, Jennifer!! So glad you enjoyed this dish. As always, I so appreciate you coming back to leave a comment + star rating. It’s so helpful to other readers!

    9. Soleil
      October 22, 2019 AT 9:37 am

      I love this recipe! I was a little nervous because I find with curry recipes it always feels like it’s missing something; That is not the case with this one. If you are looking for a new fun recipe, this is it. Everyone in my house loves it.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        October 22, 2019 AT 1:11 pm

        Yay!! That makes me so happy to hear, Soleil. So glad that you and your family enjoyed this recipe. I really appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment and star rating. The reviews are super helpful!

    10. megan chauhan
      September 10, 2019 AT 10:12 am

      This was delicious! It really hit the spot; and my husband who is Indian loved it & even took leftovers for lunch today!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        September 11, 2019 AT 3:00 pm

        Yayy! Thank you so much for sharing Megan, I am so happy that both you and your husband loved it! And thank you so much for coming back to comment (and leaving the star rating) for this recipe. It means the world to me!

    11. Debbie Freeman
      November 19, 2016 AT 3:11 pm

      I’m curious – where does the name “Mattar” come from in your Mattar tofu recipe-
      that is my maiden name!
      Debbie-

      1. Aenia
        November 20, 2016 AT 9:27 pm

        It is Urdu/Hindi for peas! Mattar is found in many of our dishes.

        A native speaker 🙂

      2. Brittany Mullins
        November 20, 2016 AT 4:22 pm

        I think it’s Hindi (or Indian) for pea. 🙂

    12. Jennifer
      August 21, 2015 AT 1:55 pm

      I finally got around to making this last week, and it was delicious. My husband, who claims he can’t stand tofu, had seconds and leftovers the next day!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        August 21, 2015 AT 3:51 pm

        Your comment made my day! I love finding recipes that can convert tofu haters. 🙂

    13. WorthyStyle
      March 2, 2015 AT 12:24 pm

      Wow! That looks absolutely scrumptious. I def have pinned it to my Go-To Food ideas board on Pinterest so thank you lady!

    14. Petra
      February 26, 2015 AT 7:05 pm

      Palak Paneer, Gajar Ka Halwa, Pav Bhaji – I love them all!! 🙂 Changing Mattar Paneer to Mattar Tofu is an interesting idea about which I’m really curious – another inspiration in my bookmarks… I hope it will become my favourite, too, as it looks like a great (and tasty) last minute lunch idea. Honestly, if I was cooking the result never looked liked this – and definitely not in the pictures! For me it’s really important how I see the food I eat, creative dining events like this helped me a lot to realize this fact: the combination of an ordinary place and professional cooks revealed that creating a dish that looks delicious is easier than I thought and it’s all about the small details… Just like on these colourful photos!

    15. Amy
      February 24, 2015 AT 8:24 pm

      Loved this recipe! Living alone, I often end up wasting a lot of food, so I try to half recipes. This one I decided not to and Im glad I didn’t. I’ve eaten it twice and am still not sick of it. Yum!

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 25, 2015 AT 9:39 am

        So glad that you liked this recipe, Amy. And hooray for tasty leftovers. I love cooking once and eating twice (or three times). 🙂

    16. Prof. Iron
      February 23, 2015 AT 10:59 pm

      Oh my!!! So tasty! I am actually not a huge Indian food fan, but I really loved this recipe. My husband and I were able to make it even with our jam-packed week nights.
      By the way, since following “Eat to Live”, and basically trying to relearn how to cook, your website has been the most amazing find! You’ve helped me more than you know.

      1. Brittany Mullins
        February 25, 2015 AT 9:38 am

        Woo-hoo! So glad that you enjoyed the mattar tofu! It makes me so happy to hear that my blog has helped you — that’s what EBF is all about. 🙂

        1. Prof. Iron
          March 13, 2015 AT 10:43 pm

          By the way, the Superfood Energy Balls have been renamed in our house as little balls of heaven. Occasionally I make them with peanut butter instead of the almond butter and both versions are, well… little balls of heaven

    17. Beth
      February 16, 2015 AT 11:49 am

      Yum, yum, yum, yum! I have 80% of the ingredients and will be making this for dinner tonight!!! I just need to pick up some tofu and peas and I’m set. Thank you so much for sharing and for the beautiful photos!

    18. Cory
      February 16, 2015 AT 8:14 am

      How much is a bag of peas?

    19. Emma @em-poweredwellness
      February 13, 2015 AT 12:16 pm

      I love Indian food! Especially saag–I make it in the crockpot and can eat it for a whole week 🙂

    20. Jen@jpabstfitness
      February 13, 2015 AT 12:10 pm

      I’ve never actually had Indian food, but this may change my mind. It looks delicious!!!

    21. cleaneatingveggiegirl
      February 13, 2015 AT 10:32 am

      I am so unbelievably excited to try this, Brittany! I am a major tofu fan, an Indian food lover, and am pea obsessed. I think it’s meant to be 😉

    22. Cara’s Healthy Cravings
      February 13, 2015 AT 6:59 am

      Now I have a purpose for the block of tofu in my fridge.
      I adore making Indian food, especially for the leftovers, as they are always better the next day!

    23. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul
      February 12, 2015 AT 7:16 pm

      This sounds amazing! I’m sending to Josh with the note, “Let’s have Indian sometime soon!”

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