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 Indianfood. 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.
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.
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!
114 oz package organic extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
1 1/2Tablespoonscoconut oil
1inchpiece of fresh ginger
1clovefresh garlic, minced
1medium yellow onion, chopped
114 oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1bag, 2 cups frozen baby peas, thawed slightly
fresh chopped cilantro, for topping (optional)
rice or cauliflower rice, for serving
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.