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Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer

This recipe is a vegan version of the Indian spinach curry, Palak Paneer, that uses tofu instead of the typical Indian cheese ‘paneer’: Palak Tofu. It’s rich, creamy and delicious!

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer with basmati rice and naan
Palak Paneer was always my #1 choice in Indian restaurants (before I went vegan, obviously). It’s a creamy spinach curry (Palak) with the traditional Indian cheese (Paneer).

To make this dish vegan, we’re using tofu instead of paneer. Firm tofu is actually consistency-wise very similar to paneer, so it’s the perfect substitution! We’re adding kala namak (Himalayan Black Salt) to the tofu to give it a similar taste. Delicious!

For this dish, we’re going to use a LOT of spinach, which is rich in iron and calcium. The Palak Tofu Paneer uses 4 large handfuls of spinach, so I’d say this dish is the most delicious way of getting an iron boost.

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer with basmati rice and naan

How to make Vegan Palak Tofu

The ingredients

You will need: 

  • firm tofu
  • lots (!) of spinach
  • coconut milk
  • tomato
  • oil
  • spices
    • kala namak (black salt; can be subbed with regular salt but use less of it)
    • curry powder
    • ginger powder
    • garam masala
    • salt

The basic steps

tofu in panStep 1: Cut the tofu in cubes. Cook the tofu cubes in a large pan with oil, add kala namak and curry powder, until they are crispy, then set them aside.

spinach in panStep 2: Cook all the spinach until it’s wilted.

wilted spinach in panStep 3: You might have to work in 2 batches because we’re using a lot of spinach.

wilted spinach, coconut milk and spices in panStep 4: Reduce heat. Add the coconut milk, ginger powder, salt, and garam masala.

mixing spinach and coconut milkStep 5: Use a handheld blender to blend the spinach curry. 

spinach curry and tomatoStep 6: Add one chopped tomato to the curry. Let it cook until it’s hot and until the tomato is soft.

golden tofu and spinach curryStep 7: Now let’s combine the cubed tofu with the spinach curry.

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer in panStep 8: A quick stir and it’s ready to serve!

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer with basmati rice and naan

Serve the Palak Tofu with …

I’ve had this Palak Tofu with homemade naan and fluffy basmati rice. What a feast!

More vegan curry recipes you will love

I hope you will enjoy this vegan Palak Tofu Paneer Curry as much as I did! Let me know if you give it a try!

And don’t forget to rate the recipe if you like it, this helps other users figure out if it is worth a try! 

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Cheers, Bianca

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer with basmati rice and naan

Vegan Palak Tofu Paneer

Bianca Haun | Elephantastic Vegan
This is a vegan version of the indian spinach curry "Palak Paneer". It uses tofu instead of the traditional indian cheese. The spinach curry is creamy & delicious and rich in iron!
4.62 from 13 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Fusion, Indian, Vegan
Servings 2 people
Calories 437 kcal


Tofu 'Paneer'

  • 12 oz firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil (or any other neutral plant-based oil)
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon kala namak

Spinach Curry

  • 4 large handfuls spinach fresh
  • 1 cup full-fat canned coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tomato diced


  • Cut the tofu in cubes. Bring a large pan to high heat, add the oil, cubed tofu, curry powder, and kala namak. Give it a stir. Let it cook until the tofu is golden and with slightly crispy edges. Set aside the tofu in a bowl.
  • In the same large pan, add the spinach and cook it until it wilted (you might have to work in 2 batches because it's a lot of spinach). Then reduce the heat and add the coconut milk, ginger powder, salt, and garam masala.
  • Use a handheld blender to blend the spinach curry.
  • Add the chopped tomato to the curry and let it cook (bring up the heat again) for another 3-4 minutes until hot and until the tomatoes are soft.
  • Then add the tofu paneer to the spinach curry, give it a quick stir, and it's ready to serve! Basmati rice and homemade naan are THE perfect side dishes!


Calories: 437kcalCarbohydrates: 13gProtein: 20gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 23gSodium: 2107mgPotassium: 729mgFiber: 4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 6138IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 299mgIron: 8mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @elephantasticvegan or tag #elephantasticvegan!
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Recipe Rating


Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Is there any alternative to the coconut milk? I assume the fat is important, but I've been trying to mostly eliminate saturated fat due to cancer. ūü•ī


Wednesday 3rd of February 2021

Hi Sarah, another alternative would be to make your own cashew cream. I have been using the cashew cream instead of coconut milk lately (also this palak tofu) and it's an excellent alternative. But I don't know if the fat from the cashews is better suited for your diet. Cheers! :)


Monday 23rd of September 2019

How wonderful.... I'm sure my family and friends will love it. Thank you very much


Saturday 4th of May 2019

Tastes really good, thanks!


Wednesday 31st of October 2018

This is so delicious! I have made it several time since finding it. I made it for my free range eating parents and my mom loved it and said it was the first time she had ever taken seconds on tofu! Thank you for sharing! One question though how do you get yours to stay such a beautiful green? When i add the tomato paste it gets quite dingy looking. Still taste great though so i am not complaining, just that green is so awesome.


Friday 2nd of November 2018

Are you using tomato paste or tomato purée? I'd definitely recommend using tomato purée it's not as concentrated as paste and it won't add that much red color and flavor. But you can absolutely use less tomato purée as well if it adds too much redness. Lately, I've been skipping the tomato purée completely and used a fresh tomato instead. This works well too and keeps a beautiful green color :)


Friday 5th of August 2016

August 2016 - I made this and it is definitely a keeper for our household! We are not vegan but eat a lot of vegan dishes because I can't have dairy products and just want to up our veggie intake in general. A few of my changes (due to using what was in the house before going on vacation) - I had no coconut water so I just used more cashew water. I used a whole block of tofu 14oz. I did not have Kala Namak (just added more salt). I added a whole 14oz can of petite tomatoes, and used half a can of coconut milk (froze the other half). Seems it could be flexible and it was quite delicious. Thank you for sharing!


Saturday 6th of August 2016

Glad you and your whole family liked it, Shannon! Curries (and stews) are great for using up leftovers and they really do allow a lot of adaptions. Thank you for your detailed feedback, I'm sure other readers will appreciate it in case they don't have all the ingredients at home. Have a great trip! :)