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The past few weeks, I have been slammed with homework. I appreciate the quiet campus in the summer, but the fast-paced classes mean I haven’t had any time to cook. It seemed like a great time to break out the crockpot. Most slow cooker recipes want you to cook your ingredients before adding them to the crockpot, but I didn’t even bother with that in this Tofu Makhani.
The Indian restaurant in my hometown serves the best Paneer Makhani. No other restaurant can even begin to compare to the greatness of this restaurant’s version. However, it’s filled with cheese and heavy cream, which doesn’t work so well for a vegan diet. So I re-worked it vegan style, subbing tofu for the paneer and coconut cream for the heavy cream. It isn’t quite like the restaurant version, but it’s a pretty close second.
While I don’t think it’s worth the effort to cook the onion in advance, I highly recommend pressing the tofu. You could leave it pressing in the fridge overnight and add it to the crockpot in the morning. This way the tofu will be nice and dense and absorb more of the flavors. You could actually mix everything else the night before as well. Add the tofu in the morning, pop the crock into the heating unit, and forget about it until dinner.
If your crockpot doesn’t have a built-in timer (mine doesn’t), get a cheap appliance timer so that you don’t overcook the tofu makhani and you’ll have a perfect meal ready to go when you get home.
It’s best when served over basmati rice. You can make the rice in advance or you can actually cook the rice in another slow cooker. You can find directions here. If you go the slow cooker route, you might want to test drive it first so that you don’t come home to rice paste. I adapted this recipe from The Slow Cooker Gourmet’s Paneer Makhani. You can check out the original version here.
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