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A kadhai serving bowl with matar paneer with tofu cubes in a tomato onion gravy sauce, with onions, lemons and roti
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5 from 4 votes

Matar Paneer with Tofu

Matar Paneer (pronounced "mutter" paneer) is a north Indian restaurant-style dish of green peas in a spicy, beautifully flavored tomato onion sauce. My vegan recipe uses tofu to stand in for the paneer, making this a healthier and tastier version all at once. This is a gluten-free and nut-free recipe.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Side Dish, Vegetable side
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 117kcal


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 brown cardamom (crushed until the pod splits with seeds still inside)
  • 1 large onion (pureed or very finely grated)
  • 3 medium tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 tbsp (heaping) ginger garlic paste (make this by blending or crushing 3-4 cloves garlic and a 1-inch piece of ginger)
  • 1 tbsp (heaping) coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or paprika for less heat)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2-4 teaspoon garam masala (use more or less per your taste)
  • 12 oz green peas (not sweet peas; use peas that are not too sweet because they will make your dish sweet, which is not quite the effect you're going for)
  • 14 oz super firm tofu (or extra firm tofu, pressed. Dice the tofu into ½-inch cubes)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (for garnish)
  • Wedges of lemon for serving


  • Heat the oil. Add the crushed cardamom and bay leaf, and as they start to darken and become fragrant, add the pureed onions.
  • Cook the onions with some salt, stirring frequently, until they brown, then add in the tomatoes and ginger garlic paste and continue sauteeing until the tomatoes are darker and most of the liquid has evaporated. If using fresh green peas, add at this time.
  • Add the powdered spices--coriander, turmeric, cayenne or paprika, and garam masala and continue to saute a couple more minutes. Add 3 cups water, salt to taste, and bring to a boil, and let it simmer until the peas are tender.
  • (If using the tomato onion masala sauce: Puree two cups of the tomato onion masala sauce. After heating the oil and adding the cardamom and bay leaf, add the sauce, and once it comes to a boil, add the powdered spices, then water as in step 3, and proceed as follows. You can taste and add some more garam masala if you like.)
  • If using frozen peas, add them after the sauce comes to a boil. Add the tofu cubes and mix well and let the sauce continue to simmer another five minutes for all flavors to meld. Check salt and add more if needed.
  • Serve hot, garnished with cilantro and with the lemon wedges on the side.


Calories: 117kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 268mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 810IU | Vitamin C: 25mg | Calcium: 95mg | Iron: 2mg