What’s The Matar?

No longer than 5 minutes after getting my hands on a super-firm block of tofu did it end up on the stove. Most excited to try using this uniquely textured bean curd as a paneer replacement, ideas and inspiration for different Indian dishes were limitless, and I just couldn’t make up my mind.

Instead of making a traditional meal, I decided to make a mash up of my two top picks, matar paneer and dahl. Creating a completely inauthentic but highly delicious one-pot meal with little effort to speak of, this is one that will definitely be a staple for those cold winter nights ahead.  It may not win any beauty contests, but it definitely hit the spot.

I served mine up with lightly toasted pita for a quick carb, but it would be the perfect sort of thing to pile on top a hill of rice or quinoa, too.

Yield: Makes 4 - 6 Servings

Matar Tofu Paneer Dahl

Matar Tofu Paneer Dahl

In a completely nontraditional mashup of matar paneer and lentil dal, this Indian-inspired entree is a simple, comforting, and flavorful one-pot meal.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes


  • 1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
  • 1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 3 Cups Vegetable Stock
  • 1 Cup Mung Dal (Split Mung Beans) or Red Lentils
  • 1 Roma Tomato, Diced
  • 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
  • 1 Pound Extra-Firm Tofu, Pressed for at least Two Hours
  • Salt and Pepper, to Taste


  1. In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the coconut oil and begin to saute the onion in it. After a minute, add in the garlic and spices, and stir well. Allow the mixture to cook for 5 – 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the spices are highly aromatic. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock, scrapping the bottom to make sure nothing is sticking, and then introduce the beans/lentils as well. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to a low simmer, and let it sit, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes.
  2. The if using mung beans, they will still be somewhat firm at this point, but red lentils will be nearly done. Stir in the diced tomato, tomato paste, peas, and pressed tofu, and let cook, covered, for another 5 – 10 minutes. Give the whole mixture a good stir to encourage your legume of choice to break down a bit, and test to see if its fully cooked. The lentils should be done, but mung beans will probably take another 15 minutes or so. Just be patient, and keep a close eye on the pot, making sure there is still enough liquid for everything to cook without burning on the bottom; add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
  3. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 154Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 485mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 12g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.

22 thoughts on “What’s The Matar?

  1. I have yet to win anything on a blog. I think this means that should, I mean when it happens, it will be over the top exciting. For now I’ll consider myself a winner for getting this awesome veganariffic dahl recipe. Nothing better in the winter than heating with Indian cooking.

  2. I’ve been meaning to make some tofu “paneer” for awhile and this recipe looks awesome! Definitely approachable Indian food!

  3. EEEEK! I can’t believe it, I never win anything! Maybe my luck is changing….? Thank you so much for doing this AWESOME giveaway Hannah, I will definitely be putting the press to good use. I love me some tofu! And you are so right, what better to use as a sub for paneer? I think this recipe might have to be the first I try out. :-) Thank you for sharing another wonderful recipe with us.

  4. Congrats to the Voracious Vegan. I’m sure she will put her new press to good use! :) Hi Hannah! Just wanted to wish you happy holidays! Hugs to you!

  5. Hannah! Love your blog ;) I miss working with you at Health in a Hurry! Gonna ask Sue to pass along your number so maybe we can finally hang out!

  6. That looks yummy! I have some red lentils I need to use up as well and this looks ideal – just without the chilli =P

    I’m assuming the coconut oil can be substituted for ground nut or garlic oil perhaps? I don’t have much experience with coconut oil, so not sure if it would produce a different result! Either way, I’ll have to try this some time this week!

  7. I made this a few nights ago with some basmati rice and it was delicious, easy, and filling. I used masoor dal and made a couple other substitutions: I added whole cumin seeds and cooked them for about 45 seconds in oil before adding the onion (and omitted the cumin powder), and used about 3/4″ of fresh ginger grated on a microplane instead of the ginger powder (and added it at the same time as the garlic). I also cut down on the initial amount of oil and added a tablespoon of Earth Balance before turning off the heat. Next time I might add black mustard seeds and curry leaves for a bit of a different flavor. Thanks so much for the recipe!

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