Vegan Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

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Who says you can't eat curry when trying to lose weight? At just 356 calories per serving, my vegan paneer butter masala is a perfect balance of spiciness and creaminess. If you are not taking care of your waist, why not have it with naan or rice, or starchy curry dishes, such as aloo masala and dal fry!

I had the great idea to make paneer with vegetable milk. Before going vegan, I used to make my own paneer, so how hard could it be to make it with non-dairy milk?

Do you know what you get when you try to make paneer with soy milk?

Tofu, that's what.

So I guess it would be more accurate to call this dairy butter-free Masala tofu … but it doesn't really have the same hue, does it?

However, whatever it is called, this is incredibly beautiful.

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I mean, very, very beautiful. Just look at it …

Couldn't you just?

OK, tofu is not an accurate and 100% substitute for paneer, but who cares? It still works perfectly.

BTW, if you can't get super firm tofu, you can press firm tofu (not silk) to reaffirm it. My local Asian store only has firm tofu, so when I take it home, I drain it and rinse it, then wrap it in a clean dish towel, put it in one of the sinks, and then put a pound bag of rice on top of it. I leave it for 20-24 hours, and then it's really firm and ready to use.

At some point, I'll try panning again, but I think next time I'll use nut milk, like cashew. After all, cashews make great ricotta that really tastes like dairy, so maybe it works for something a little more solid, right?



Vegan Paneer Butter Masala

It is…

  • without gluten
  • Dairy free
  • packed with vitamin C (92% RDV)
  • creamy
  • hot spicy
  • tomato
  • simple
  • Quick
  • delicious

Make it as warm or soft as you like, however no matter how you do it enjoy!

Vegan Paneer Butter Masala

My vegan paneer butter masala is a perfect balance of spiciness and creaminess, and works very well with Indian breads or rice and starchy curry dishes like aloo masala and dal fry.

Course: main dishes

Cuisine: Indian

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

Cook time: 40 minutes.

Total time: 45 minutes

Yield (slide to fit): 4 servings

Calories: 356kcal


  • 200g extra firm tofu drained and pressed to remove as much moisture as possible

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped

  • 2.5cm piece of ginger root, minced (about 1 ")

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

  • 5 medium tomatoes, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil

  • 1 bay leaf india tej patta

  • 1 split green chili

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric

  • ½ teaspoon chili powder Kashmir

  • 2 tablespoons cashew cream

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped palm sugar

  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon of garam masala

  • 250 ml coconut milk

  • 125 ml of water

  • 1 teaspoon dried kasuri methi fenugreek leaves

  • 1 tablespoon vegan butter

  • Smidge sea salt
  • Fresh chopped coriander leaves


  • Cut the tofu into cubes and fry in a pan until golden. Withdraw and reserve.

  • While the tofu is browning, pour the minced onion, ginger, and garlic into a food processor or high-speed blender for a couple of minutes, until a thick paste is obtained. Remove from the processor and set aside.
  • Add the tomatoes to the processor and mix for a few seconds, until you have a thick puree.

  • Heat the oil in a wok or kadai (or similar), add the bay leaf and green chili, and fry over medium heat for one minute.
  • Add onion, garlic, and ginger paste, and fry, stirring all the time, until the raw smell is gone and the pasta begins to brown. This should take around 5-7 minutes.

  • Add turmeric and sauté for another 30 seconds or so.

  • Add the Kashmir chili powder and cashew cream, and continue to sauté for a couple more minutes.

  • Add the puréed tomatoes and palm sugar, mix well, reduce the heat slightly, and continue cooking until the oil begins to separate (about 5 minutes).

  • Mix the ground coriander and the garam masala and cook for another 2 minutes or so.

  • Add the coconut milk and water, mix well, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, until the oil comes to the surface of the sauce.

  • Add tofu and methi leaves, stir, reduce heat to its lowest setting, and simmer for 5 minutes to heat tofu.

  • Turn off the heat, taste, add the vegan butter and season with salt.

  • Place on a serving plate and sprinkle the chopped coriander on top.


  1. If you don't have Indian Bay, don't use it, don't go up to Mediterranean Bay – it's a completely different beast and it won't work in this recipe.

If you like this paneer butter masala, why not take a look at these other delicious indians while you're here?


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