Malai Tofu Curry – Vegan Malai Paneer

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Malai Tofu – a simple Indian weeknight curry with tofu “paneer” in a thick spiced tomato coconut milk sauce. Serve with naan and/or rice for a delicious plant-based dinner. Soy-free option included.

overhead shot of a serving of malai tofu curry served with a side of quartered naan

This quick vegan malai Tofu curry is my spin on a regular restaurant-style creamy Paneer malai.  Another one to add to the options for Diwali! The word “malai” means cream and while traditionally, heavy cream is used for the cream component of the dish, I use coconut milk in this recipe. The sauce usually has some texture from soaked nuts and I use almond flour for the added texture which reduces all the steps for soaking and then blending the nuts. Another difference from the restaurant favorite would be that this recipe uses pan-fried tofu instead of paneer cheese to make this dairy-free. Crisped extra firm tofu is a great stand in in the delicious sauce!

Indian malai tofu curry with coconut cream in a sauteeing pan

Indian cooking isn’t hard once you get to set yourself up with all the required spices and this recipe is especially simple.  Tofu is so forgiving and there are no delicate veggies added so no need to be careful about overcooking anything. This meal is also great for making ahead of time.

I like to use extra-firm tofu for this malai tofu recipe and press it for an half an hour before cooking. If you want, you can even press overnight. Simply wrap the tofu in a towel and place a heavy object on top to press.

Once your tofu is pressed and cut into cubes, coat it with a mix of cornstarch, garam masala, garlic powder, and a pinch of salt and then pan fry to crisp.

tofu malai curry drizzled with coconut cream served with a side of naan bread

More Restaurant Style dishes from the blog

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