Instant Pot Shahi Tofu

Rich Shahi Tofu with a creamy curry made of white onions, cashews and non-dairy milk.

Flavored with cardamom, saffron, this dish is a vegan version of the Indian Shahi Paneer.

creamy shahi tofu curry served in a blue bowl with sliced red onion rings on one side and tandoori roti placed in the background

For someone whose husband won’t eat tofu, I share an awful lot of tofu recipes!

And the reason is you guys! You guys really enjoy my tofu recipes, especially the ones with Asian and Indian flavors and that motivates me to keep sharing more tofu recipes.

This Shahi Tofu is the vegan take on the popular Shahi Paneer. And of course I used my trusted Instant Pot to make it.

Surprisingly, this shahi tofu turned out very creamy even though I didn’t use any cream, yogurt or butter.

Cashews were enough to bring out that creamy texture.

Shahi means “royal” so this dish is rich and flavored with spices like saffron and cardamom.

This Shahi Tofu

✓ is made in one-pot

✓ rich and creamy

✓ vegan and gluten-free

✓ pairs well with naan or roti

The base for this curry is made with white onions, ginger, garlic and green chili.

Why white onion? Because I wanted that subtle sweet flavors and for that a white onion works better.

For the curry, I first puree the onion, ginger and garlic in a blender and then saute it in the IP.

Now, make sure to saute it well else the curry might have a raw onion taste. Saute for 5 minutes stirring constantly (you don’t want to burn the masala).

If you don’t want to puree the onions, that’s okay too. Chop the onions, ginger and garlic fine and then saute in the pot.

If you puree them, the resulting curry is way smoother, so that’s the major difference.

Once the masala is sauteed, it’s then flavored with spices like coriander, garam masala, chili powder.

I also use cardamom and saffron but add them once the curry is pressure cooked. This way these spices impart lot more flavor.

To make this curry creamy, I have used cashews which were blended with oat milk.

You may use any non-dairy milk here, I used oat milk because that’s what I am in my fridge and it is also quite creamy.

Almond or coconut milk would work too.

If you want a certain tang in your dish, you can add some non-dairy almond milk yogurt at the end.

That is totally optional and I did not add it.

Serving Suggestions

This Shahi Tofu pairs so well with garlic naan.

Or serve it with jeera rice.

Method

Press tofu with a heavy object to get rid of excess moisture for 15-20 minutes. Then cut into pieces and set aside.

1- Before you begin, soak the cashews in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then drain the cashews and add them to a blender along with oat milk.

2- Blend to a smooth paste and set aside.

3- To a blender now add chopped white onion, garlic, ginger and green chili.

4- Blend to make a puree. Set aside.

step by step picture collage of making shahi tofu in instant pot

5- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick. Saute for few seconds until the spices are fragrant.

6- Then add the pureed onion-garlic-ginger paste to the pot. Saute the paste for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly (you don’t want to burn the puree) until there’s no raw onion smell.

This is important, so have patience and don’t rush it else the curry will have raw onion taste.

7- Then add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala and red chili powder. Also add the salt, black pepper and sugar. Add around 1/4 cup (2 oz) water here so that the spices don’t burn. Stir and cook the spices for few seconds.

8- Then add remaining 1.5 cups (12 oz) water and de-glaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula making sure there’s nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot.

Add in the tofu.

step by step picture collage of making shahi tofu in instant pot

9- Close the pot with the lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.

10- Open the lid and press the saute button. Add the prepared cashew paste and stir. Let the curry simmer on saute mode for 1-2 minutes. It will thicken as it simmers after adding the cashew paste.

11- Add the cardamom powder.

12- And also the saffron strands (if using). Stir and unplug the instant pot.

step by step picture collage of making shahi tofu in instant pot

Serve Shahi Tofu with naan or rice!

creamy shahi tofu curry served in a blue bowl with sliced red onion rings on one side and tandoori roti placed in the background

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Shahi Tofu Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Shahi Tofu

creamy shahi tofu curry served in a blue bowl with sliced red onion rings on one side and tandoori roti placed in the background
Manali
Shahi Tofu- a creamy Instant Pot tofu curry made with white onions, cashews and flavored with spices like cardamom and saffron.
3.5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3

Ingredients
  

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews around 20-22, soaked for 15 minutes in hot water
  • 1/3 cup oat milk or almond milk or coconut milk, 80 ml
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 1.5 tablespoon oil 22 ml, I used avocado oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 1 3/4 cups water divided, 14 oz
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 8 oz extra-firm tofu cut into cubes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • saffron strands optional, slightly crushed

Instructions
 

  • Press tofu with a heavy object to get rid of excess moisture for 15-20 minutes. Then cut into pieces and set aside.
  • Before you begin, soak the cashews in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then drain the cashews and add them to a blender along with oat milk. Blend to a smooth paste and set aside.
  • To a blender now add chopped white onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Blend to make a puree and set aside.
  • Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. Once it displays hot, add the oil and then add the bay leaf, cloves and cinnamon stick. Saute for few seconds until the spices are fragrant.
  • Then add the pureed onion-garlic-ginger paste to the pot. Saute the paste for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring constantly (you don't want to burn the puree) until there's no raw onion smell.
    This is important, so have patience and don't rush it else the curry will have raw onion taste.
  • Then add the spices- coriander powder, garam masala and red chili powder. Also add the salt, black pepper and sugar. Add around 1/4 cup (2 oz) water here so that the spices don't burn. Stir and cook the spices for few seconds.
  • Then add remaining 1.5 cups (12 oz) water and de-glaze the pot, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula making sure there's nothing stuck at the bottom of the pot.
    Add in the tofu.
  • Close the pot with the lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 3 minutes with the pressure valve in the sealing position. Let the pressure release naturally for 2 minutes and then do a quick pressure release.
  • Open the lid and press the saute button. Add the prepared cashew paste and stir. Let the curry simmer on saute mode for 1-2 minutes. It will thicken as it simmers after adding the cashew paste.
  • Add the cardamom powder.and also crushed the saffron strands (if using). Stir and unplug the instant pot.
  • Serve Shahi Tofu with naan or rice!

Notes

  1. In place of cashews you have also use almonds. Or you can also use heavy cream if not vegan.
Keyword shahi tofu
Tried this recipe?Mention @cookwithmanali or tag #cookwithmanali!

3 thoughts on “Instant Pot Shahi Tofu

  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for all these recipes, especially those from Bihar, whose simple but tasty village cuisine I greatly appreciate.

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