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Vegan Kadai Tofu "Paneer", gluten-free, can be nut-free #vegan #indian #tofu #curry #glutenfree HolyCowVegan.net
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4.75 from 4 votes

Kadai Tofu "Paneer"

A recipe for a vegan Kadai Tofu "Paneer" that's lipsmackingly delicious and nutritious. Cubes of tofu are dunked in a creamy tomato sauce, sucking in all of the spice and flavor. A vegan and gluten-free recipe that's ready in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main/Side
Cuisine: gluten-free, Indian, Indian Vegan, Indian Vegetarian
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 182kcal


  • 1 15-oz block high protein tofu or extra firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes (if using extra-firm tofu, press out all the water you can by swaddling the tofu block in paper towels and placing it in a colander with a weight on top. Leave it for at least an hour to drain out most of the water from the tofu.
  • 3 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander or cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 inch piece ginger, grated or julienned
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 heaping tsp garam masala powder
  • ¼ cup raw cashews (blended with ½ cup water to make cashew cream)

For spice mix:

  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 dry red chili pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)


  • In a skillet, dry-roast the spice mix ingredients: the coriander seeds, dry chili pepper, cumin seeds and fennel seeds, until a couple of shades darker and fragrant. Remove to a spice grinder or blender and process to a coarse powder. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil in a wok or a large saucepan. Add the cumin seeds and when they start to turn color, add the tomatoes. Saute the tomatoes until they are fully mashed and pulpy. 
  • Add the ginger, shallots and coriander leaves along with the coriander powder and garam masala powder and continue to saute for another five minutes. Add in the tofu cubes and 1 tbsp of the prepared spice mix and mix well.
  • Add the cashew cream and stir to mix. Check for salt. Let the sauce come to a boil, then turn off the heat. If you want a saucier sauce, add more water or vegetable stock to get it to the consistency you like.


For a nut-free version, use ½ cup of canned coconut milk instead of cashew cream, but this will slightly change flavor.


Calories: 182kcal | Carbohydrates: 11.5g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 9.7g | Potassium: 333mg | Fiber: 1.6g | Sugar: 2.9g | Calcium: 60mg | Iron: 3.8mg