The secret behind one-pot meals is that literally no one likes washing up. Dumping everything together and walking away is the kind of cooking I dream about on most days. This vegan shahi paneer recipe is definitely more complicated than that, but not too different if you have your onion and garlic chopped.
(*whispers* we’re going to blend everything so you can be lazy with the chopping!)
You could either buy the paneer-style tofu or make it yourself at home using this easy vegan tofu paneer recipe on my blog. I highly recommend you try making this paneer to go with this sauce instead of storebought tofu. This is the softest and most paneer-like tofu I’ve ever had. It makes almost half a kilogram of paneer! Use 200g for this recipe and save the rest for another. Maybe you can even try making some vegan malai kofta with the leftover paneer!
Some people like their “paneer” to be crispy. In that case, I would recommend you fry the tofu in a separate pan before adding to the sauce. You could also coat the tofu in cornflour before frying for extra crispiness. I like my paneer a little soft so I skipped all of this.
Since ‘shahi’ means ‘royal’, the correct way to make this recipe is to pamper yourself like royalty while you dump the sauce ingredients in a pot and wait for them to cook. Blend it all up with a stick blender to avoid more washing up, add the chunks of tofu, and ! Vegan shahi paneer is ready! If you’re feeling extra fancy and want a silky smooth sauce then feel free to strain it before adding the tofu pieces, but I like my food to have a bit of texture. Besides, can you really wait any longer?
Shahi “Paneer”Course: DinnerCuisine: IndianDifficulty: 4
200g Block of paneer-style tofu
1 Tbsp vegan butter or margarine
1 Chilli, chopped
4 Cloves of garlic
Thumbsize piece of ginger
1 Medium onion
1 Tin chopped tomatoes
4 Cloves, or 1 tsp clove powder
2 Green cardamom pods, or 1 tsp cardamom powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 Bay leaf
1 cup water
A handful of cashews
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup non-dairy cream
- Add 1 Tbsp vegan butter or margarine to a saucepan, and let it melt. Once it is heated up add the ginger, garlic, and chilli.
- If you have cloves and cardamom pods, add them now.
- Add the onions and cook for 1 to 2 minutes before adding the chopped tomatoes along with a bay leaf.
- If you did not add the cloves and cardamom pods earlier, then add the clove powder and cardamom powder now.
- Add the cashews, along with 1 cup of water.
- Cover the saucepan and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the cashews are completely soft.
- Let the food cool down before blending it up into a sauce.
- Put the sauce back on the heat and add the sugar and smoked paprika. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add water to adjust the consistency of the sauce if needed.
- Add rectangular blocks of paneer-style tofu in the sauce and mix gently. Let them heat up and absorb all the flavours.
- Turn the heat off and add the cream. Serve hot with some Indian bread.
Header photo by Anya Bell on Unsplash