Vegan 'Paneer' Tikka Masala Recipe

Vegan 'Paneer' Tikka Masala
Tofu in Rich, Spicy Gravy
Submitted By: Taz

Ingredients:

1 lbs Extra Firm Tofu - cut into ½ inch cubes
1 Tbs Oil - can use grape seed, canola, vegetable, olive, or peanut oil

Marinade:
¼ Cup Plain Soy or Cashew Yogurt (Dahi)
4 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - grated into a paste
½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) - grated into a paste
1 tsp Red Chile Powder (Lal Mirchi)
1 tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper (Kali Mirch)
½ tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves (Kasuri Methi)
⅛ tsp Asafoetida Powder (Hing)
Kosher Salt (Namak) to taste

Masala:
4 Roma Tomatoes (Tamatar) - seeded and rough chopped
1 medium Onion (Pyaz) - rough chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper (Simla Mirch) - seeded and rough chopped
2 cloves Fresh Garlic (Leh-sun) - crushed
½ inch piece Fresh Ginger (Adrak) - rough chopped
1 Fresh Green Chile (Hari Mirch) - seeded and minced
4 oz Soft Tofu Puréed until smooth = apx ¼ cup
2 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
2 tsp Coriander Seeds (Dhania Saabut) - roasted and ground into a fine powder
½ tsp Cumin Seeds (Jeera)
½ tsp Kashmiri Chile Powder -OR- Paprika (Kashmiri/Deghi Mirch)
½ tsp Red Chile Powder (Lal Mirchi)
½ tsp Turmeric Powder (Haldi)
¼ tsp Garam Masala
1 Tbs Ghee
Kosher Salt (Namak) to taste

-OPTIONAL GARNISH-
Chopped Fresh Coriander Leaves (Dhania Patta)

Preparation:
  1. In a large, nonreactive bowl, whisk together all of the marinade ingredients - Add cubed tofu to the marinade mixture and toss until thoroughly coated - Cover and place in refrigerator for a minimum 2 hours (overnight for better results)
  2. After marinated, heat oil in a medium skillet, wok, or kadahi over medium-high heat until shimmering 
  3. Once oil is hot, add cubed tofu and stir fry until browned on all sides (DO NOT DISCARD REMAINING MARINADE) - Using a slotted spoon, remove browned tofu from pan and set aside until needed
Masala:
  1. Place onion and bell pepper, into the work bowl of a small food processor or blender and purée until smooth
  2. Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, wok, or large kadahi over medium-high heat until shimmering - Once oil is hot, add cumin seeds and fry until they crackle (apx 45 seconds)
  3. Add puréed onion/pepper (DO NOT WASH WORK BOWL) and cook (stirring frequently) until liquid is reduced by half (apx 6-8 minutes)
  4. Add tomato, garlic, and ginger to the same work bowl of small food processor or blender and purée until smooth - Add resulting mixture to reduced onion/pepper purée and continue to cook (stirring frequently) until liquid is reduced by half (apx 6-8 minutes)
  5. Add green chile and remaining dry spices to the onion/tomato reduction and sauté for an additional 4-5 minutes
  6. Add browned tofu and the reserved marinade to the pan and thoroughly combine
  7. Add the puréed soft tofu, thoroughly combine, and bring to a simmer
  8. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or until gravy has reached desired consistency (depending on how thick you like it this could take up to 15 minutes)
  9. Adjust seasoning - Remove and discard bay leaves
  10. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish as desired
  11. Serve hot alongside basmati rice, chapatti or naan, raita or plain yogurt, chutney(s), pickle(s), and salad of choice or as part of any Indian meal
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