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It’s a loaded title, I know. I call it ‘mock paneer’ because it’s similar to the Indian paneer in texture and taste, but uses tofu instead of cheese. It has an oriental flare because the vegetable choice reminded me of a Chinese stir fry, not an Indian dish. But I thought it all went very well together.

There is one ingredient that you’d need to pick up pre-made, aside from the tofu, which I know can be challenging. My recipe calls for butter chicken seasoning. If you don’t have a store around you that sells some sort of butter chicken seasoning such as an Asian grocery, many of the recipes online for butter chicken specify what types of spices go into it. I’m sure you’d have similar results if you made the spice blend yourself.

Mock Indian Paneer with an Oriental Flare


1/2 cup white onion, sliced
1/4 cup canned mushroom, slices
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup green beans
1 small romaine tomato, finely chopped
1 package extra firm tofu
3 cups coconut milk (I used Original Silk Pure Coconut Milk – note that it DOES have sugar. Use pure coconut milk if this is an issue for you)
1/4 cup finely ground brown rice flour
2 tablespoons butter chicken seasoning (can get at your local Indian grocery store)
1 tablespoon cumin powder
2 teaspoons coriander powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger
Salt to taste, if needed


Start by cooking the 5 vegetables in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover it all. I recommend putting this on a back burner to cook while you work on the sauce.

Next, drain the tofu and place on a cutting board. I started by cutting the tofu length ways, so that there were two large yet thin rectangular pieces. It doesn’t really matter how you cut them really, as long as the pieces are about 1/2″ by 1/2″. Otherwise they won’t soak up the flavor as well I don’t think. Once the tofu is sliced, set it aside.

In a large saucepan, not yet on the stove or on heat, add 2 cups of coconut milk and the brown rice flour. Wisk together until there are no clunks of flour. Put the pan on to the stove on medium heat. Mix until the liquid starts to thicken, then add the 3rd cup of milk.

(Here is is ‘pre-spice’)

Add the tofu chunks and continue mixing for about ten minutes. The continual mixing ensures that things won’t stick to the bottom of the pan, especially as the liquid continues to thicken. Then mix in the cooked veggies and cook for an additional five to ten minutes. Also add the butter chicken seasoning and other powdered seasonings. Mix well.This is when you should test the flavor and add anything additional you think it needs. I ended up adding about a teaspoon of salt.

Serve hot, although it’s good left over as well; unlike most Indian dishes where the ghee separates and it looses it’s texture – this keeps the same texture when re-heated!. This made enough to feed 6 to 8 people, accompanying rice or something similar. Since there are only 2 of us, this fed us for multiple meals!

This recipe is also linked to Sugar Free Sunday, Seasonal Sunday, Meatless Mondays, Just Another Meatless Monday, Mouthwatering Mondays, Midnight Madness Meatless Monday, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Delicious Dishes, Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday at the Table, Made From Scratch Tuesday.

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3 Responses to Mock Indian Paneer with an Oriental Flare

  1. Oh yum – I need to look into making my own butter chicken seasoning. The INdian stores near me are not the greatest sadly, especially in terms of cross-contamination when they package stuff.

  2. Great use of spices, Yumm…

  3. Kristin says:

    This looks delicious! I bookmarked this so that I can make it in the fall when it cools down here some.
    Holy Cannoli Recipes

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