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.


Mattar Tofu

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


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. 


  • 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


  1. Place onion, ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper into the container of a blender or food processor (affiliate link) 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


  • 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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  1. 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 🙂

    • 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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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

    • 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

  4. 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.

      • 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.

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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.

    • 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!

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

    • 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!

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

      • 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

  13. 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!

  14. This looks delicious! As a Pakistani, I love making healthier, yet just as delicious, versions of our dishes. I will definitely try this one out 🙂

  15. And to answer the question, I do enjoy Pakistani/Indian food! My favorite dishes are: saag, palak paneer, daal, sabzi dishes, baingan, and basically anything with lentils/beans/vegetables 🙂

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