One of my favourite Indian dishes is Paneer Makhani. It is a dish that originates in the north Indian region of Punjab and is extremely warming and hearty like many Indian dishes. Perfect on a cold day, as a snack, starter or a main. This dish usually uses the Indian cheese paneer but for this vegan version it is easy and actually tastier in fact to use tofu. Makhani means buttery in the Indian tongue and this dish is just that, a rich gravy style sauce that is made of butter and tomatoes. There seem to be variations of this dish even within India itself so experimenting a little seems almost expected and this dish in its design is very flexible.
This is the version I make according to my taste.
I, in fact, use just unweetened soy milk to make it lighter, that adds creamy texure and cuts up the spiciness of the chillies. Feel free to substiture with actual soy cream (that you can easily homemade by simply blending soy milk plus double the amount of vegetable oil and a pinch of sea salt), for an even rounder and creamier taste. And I’ve used curry powder instead of garam masala because I’m personally not keen of how the second tastes like. If you like it and you want to make this recipe the traditional way, just substitute the curry powder with garam masala.
280 gr Firm Tofu
1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
100 ml Soy Milk
2 tbs Vegetable Oil or Vegan Butter
1 tbs Golden Syrup
1 inch Fresh Ginger
1 Garlic Clove
1/2 tbs Hot Paprika
1/2 tbs Chilly Flakes
1 tsp Curry Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
1-2 Bay Leaves
1. Grate the garlic clove and the ginger and heat in a pan with oil and bay leaves until starts to sizzle.
2. In the meantime pour the chopped tomatoes into a blender and blend until smooth.
3. Add the tomatoes to the pan, cover with the lid and cook for 15 minutes. Note: if the sauce reduces add 1/2 glass of filtered water.
4. Season with salt and pepper, and add syrup and all the remaining spices.
5. Press the tofu, then cut it into cubes of rougly 1/2 inch per side.
6. Add tofu into the sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
7. Pour soy milk (or cream), stir well and heat for a couple of minutes.
8. Serve it warm accompanied with vegan naan, rotis, or rice and cumin seeds (jeera rice).