Tofu Paneer Steaks: A Spicy, Easy, Vegan & Gluten-Free Recipe
Image Credit: These Spicy Tofu Paneer Steaks make for sumptuous meals. Image courtesy: Tofu Paneer Steaks: A Spicy, Easy, Vegan & Gluten-Free Dinner Idea

If you are new to eating healthy, then you should know that tofu can be your new best friend. In the Indian market, many people still know tofu as tofu paneer, simply because the two ingredients look the same. White in colour, soft in texture, mild in flavour—tofu paneer are clubbed together because they are such great carriers of flavour while being absolutely healthy. Another reason why tofu paneer are spoken of in the same breath is because both are packed with protein—though paneer is animal-based and hence not vegan. 

Tofu on the other hand, is made out of soy and doesn’t have any animal ingredients at all—making it perfect not only for vegans but also those who are lactose intolerant. So, while we’ll continue to call tofu by the name tofu paneer, it’s essential to know that the ingredients are not the same. And yet, tofu paneer is just as versatile as any protein-packed ingredient. Predominantly used in Asian cuisines, tofu paneer easily fits in with Indian and European flavours too—just like paneer does.  

So, if you’re looking for an easy way to include tofu paneer in your meals because you want a healthy option, or because you are vegan, or because you are lactose- or gluten-intolerant, here’s what you need to know. Tofu paneer comes in many varieties ranging from the softest to the hardest: silken, regular, firm, extra-firm and super-firm. If you’re cooking a tofu paneer curry or want to include it in noodles or fried rice, then opt for the regular or firm versions.  

Tofu paneer, especially the firm, extra-firm and super-firm versions, can be a great centrepiece for the simplest of meals, just like a simple chicken or meat steak can for non-vegetarians. Cook this one ingredient right, and you can pair it with everything from a quinoa salad to cauliflower rice. Because firm tofu is easier to handle, making a beautiful Tofu Paneer Steak for dinner is one of the easiest things you can do. All you need is tofu paneer that’s on the firmer side, a few ingredients and a grill pan! 

Since we Indians love our spice, here’s a Spicy Tofu Paneer Steak recipe you can try out for dinner tonight. 

Image courtesy: Facebook/Kerry Ann Gray


500 g tofu paneer, firm or extra firm 

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar 

1 tbsp onion powder 

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste 

2 tsp salt 

1 tsp black pepper powder 

½ tsp red chilli powder 

½ tsp cumin powder 

¼ tsp nutmeg powder 

½ tsp honey 

2 garlic cloves, crushed 

½ tsp dried rosemary 

Oil, to grill 


1. Place the tofu paneer on a chopping board and press it down with a stack of plates or anything heavy and plain. This will help get rid of any extra moisture or water from the tofu. Do this for half an hour. 

2. While the tofu paneer is getting pressed, prepare the marinate. Place the onion powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt, black pepper powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder and nutmeg powder in a large bowl. 

3. Mix well, then pour in the balsamic vinegar and honey. You can also add a tablespoon of oil. Mix well to make a thick marinate. 

4. Once the tofu paneer is pressed, use a sharp knife to cut them into large steaks. 

5. Add the marinate to the steaks, rub them in well, then let the tofu rest for 10-15 minutes. 

6. Heat oil in a grill pan, then add the garlic and rosemary to it. Now place the tofu paneer steaks and cook them for 2-3 minutes. 

7. Flip the tofu paneer steaks, then cook the other side for 2-3 minutes too. 

8. Remove from the pan and serve with a mash and salad of your choice.