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Easy Tofu 65. Tofu Paneer 65 is a spicy, sweet, savory Indian entree with influence from chinese flavors. Serve it with rice or as is. Vegan Nut-free Recipe. Gluten-free, Soy-free Options Jump to Recipe

Our Tofu 65 in a white bowl

Don’t ask me why this dish is called tofu 65. There are several theories on why the sauce combination, initially used with chikin was called chicken 65. From there vegetarian versions picked up the flavors for paneer 65 and cauliflower 65(gobi 65 is in Indian Kitchen book).

The flavors have influence from Chinese sweet and sour profile and southern Indian flavors for this delectable thick sauce that is spicy, savory, sweet, with hints of flavors from curry leaves and chilies. It all works! You have to try it #trustindianflavors !

Tofu is battered in a spiced curry leaf and soy sauce batter, then baked. The sauce has large slices of onion and bell pepper with ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sriracha. A bit of sweet to balance it out.

Don’t like Tofu? Use Cauliflower or soy curls! Lots of substitute options in the recipe notes.

Our Tofu 65 in a grey skillet

Ingredients for Tofu 65 – Vegan Paneer 65

  • Tofu is the protein of choice as a substitute for Paneer cheese in this dish. To make this without Tofu, use cauliflower or seitan or rehydrated soycurls or even chickpeas.
  • The batter for the tofu has flour, cornstarch and spices such as paprika, cayenne, salt and curry leaves, and some fresh minced ginger, garlic, lemon and soy sauce for the fusion indo-chinese flavor.
  • The Sauce has Green chilies, curry leaves, onion, garlic, bell pepper,
  • The sauce is flavored with sriracha, soy sauce, black pepper, salt and sugar.
  • Gluten-free: Use rice flour
  • Soy-free: Use coconut Aminos.

How to make Tofu 65 with Step Pictures

Mix the all purpose flour, cornstarch, salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder and curry leaves in a larger bowl. Add the wet ingredients and mix to make a batter.
Ingredients for Our Tofu 65 in bowls

Batter for our Tofu 65 in a white bowl
Add the tofu and toss to coat. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet or dish. Bake for 20 mins.

Batter for our Tofu 65 in a white bowl
Battered Tofu for our Tofu 65 in a white bowl
Battered Tofu for our Tofu 65 in a white bowl
Our Tofu 65 in a white bowl

For the Sauce:
Heat oil over medium heat. Add chilies and cook for a min, then add curry leaves and garlic and cook for 2 mins or until translucent
Add onion and pepper and cook until onion is golden. Add sauces, black pepper and mix well.

Sauce for Tofu 65 in a grey skillet
Sauce for Tofu 65 in a grey skillet

Add water cornstarch slurry and bring to a boil to thicken. Carefully taste and adjust flavor with salt, sweet, heat.
Fold in tofu lightly and take off heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice.

Sauce for Tofu 65 in a grey skillet

Can I substitute Tofu and soy sauce?

Yes, to make this without Tofu, use cauliflower for Cauliflower 65 (bake cauliflower for 30 mins) or seitan or rehydrated soycurls for chickin 65.

Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.

Can I make this Tofu 65 gluten-free?

Yes, use rice flour in the batter instead of all purpose flour. Use tamari instead of soy sauce.

Can I double this recipe?

Yes, this recipe s easily sealed up. Just use lesser heat ingredients when scaling and add more as needed,

Our Tofu 65 in a grey skillet

More Indo-chinese dishes

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Our Tofu 65 in a white bowl

Tofu 65 (Vegan Paneer 65)

5 from 8 votes
By: Vegan Richa
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Indian-Chinese
Easy Tofu 65. Tofu Paneer 65 is a spicy, sweet, savory Indian entree with influence from chinese flavors. Serve it with rice or as is. Vegan Nut-free Recipe. Gluten-free Soy-free options

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Ingredients 
 

For the Tofu:

  • 14 oz firm or extra-firm tofu
  • 3 tbsp all purpose flour, , use rice flour for gluten-free
  • 3 tbsp corn starch
  • 6 fresh or frozen curry Leaves, , chopped (see notes)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce, , tamari for gluten-free
  • 1/3 tsp salt
  • 3-4 tbsp water

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tsp Oil
  • 1-2 hot green chilies, , such as serrano , sliced thin
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic , , finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced
  • 1 tbsp sriracha or sambal oelek or a mix of both, (use less for less heat)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce, , tamari for gluten-free
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, add flour, cornstarch, curry leaves, paprika, cayenne, garlic, salt and ginger. Add lemon, soy sauce and water to make a thick batter.
  • Add tofu and toss to coat. Spread on parchment lined baking sheet or dish, Spray oil, bake at 400 deg F (205 C) for 20 mins.
  • Sauce: Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add chilies and cook for a minute, then add curry leaves and garlic and cook for 1 minute or until just about translucent.
  • Add onion and bell pepper and cook until onion is golden on some edges. Add sauces, black pepper, salt and sugar and mix well.
  • Mix cornstarch in 1/2 cup water. Add the water cornstarch slurry to the pan and bring to a boil to thicken.
  • Fold in the baked tofu lightly and take off heat. Garnish with cilantro and serve over rice or grains.
    Store: Refrigerate the cooked tofu 65 for upto 3 days.
    Make ahead: You can bake the battered tofu ahead. The sauce tends to thickene on sotring, so make the sauce fresh and add baked tofu or baked veggies to serve.

Video

Notes

Soy-free: To make this without Tofu, use cauliflower for Cauliflower 65(bake cauliflower for 30 mins) or seitan or rehydrated soycurls for chickin 65.
Use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce.
Gluten-free: Use rice flour in the batter instead of all purpose flour. Use tamari instead of soy sauce.
Scale up: This recipe is easily doubled. Just use lesser heat ingredients when scaling and add more as needed.
More Sauce: this is a sticky sauce version(dry-ish tofu 65). For saucier, double the sauce ingredients. Use 1.25 cups of water. 
Curry Leaves: fresh curry leaves can be found in Indian stores. Fresh and dried curry leaves can be found on amazon and some grocery stores. You can freeze fresh curry leaves for upto 1 year and use then instead of fresh. They retain more flavor than dried. Omit if you cant find them. 
Nutrition is for 1 serve, does not include rice

Nutrition

Calories: 180kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 653mg, Potassium: 58mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 3g, Vitamin A: 395IU, Vitamin C: 98mg, Calcium: 149mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this recipe? Rate and comment below!

 

About Richa

Hi, I'm Richa! I create flavorful plant based recipes that are inspired by my Indian upbringing, including many gluten-free, soy-free, and oil-free options.

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5 from 8 votes

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37 Comments

  1. VK says:

    5 stars
    Made this yesterday, it is a keeper

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      Awesome!

  2. Birdy says:

    5 stars
    Delicious! Many descriptions of the origins of this recipe say that it was the 65th item on the menu of a very popular restaurant, as in “65 – Chicken in sweet, spicy sauce”. It then became known as just Chicken 65, and the name was passed along to everything else cooked in the same sauce.

    1. Richa says:

      🙂

  3. Shoba says:

    5 stars
    I made this amazing recipe this evening for my son and daughter-in-law. It was a huge hit and my new favorite tofu recipe.
    Thank you so much. Very glad to have found your website

    1. Richa says:

      Awesome

  4. Sara says:

    I have powdered curry leaves. How much should i use in place of the curry leaves?

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      aprrox. 1.5 Tablespoons

  5. Simon Nightingale says:

    5 stars
    Made it tonight & straight to the favourites folder!
    Thanks Richa, delicious.

    1. Vegan Richa Support says:

      excellent Simon!

  6. Anu Harvey says:

    5 stars
    Recipe was easy and delicious. I made extra sauce and added asparagus and fresh green beans. The whole family loved it! Thank you for another wonderful recipe, Richa!

    1. Richa says:

      yay

  7. Tammy says:

    Can I substitute whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour?
    I also don’t have corn starch, is there a good substitute for that?
    Thanks!

    1. Richa says:

      wheat flour will make it a bit too earthy flavor, just use 2 tbsp of wheat flour. youll need less water as well

  8. Carol says:

    5 stars
    I really love your recipes. I just bought your cookbook. I visited India several years ago and fell in love with the food. I’ve been trying to replicate it ever since.
    The Paneer 65 turned out great!

    1. Richa says:

      awesome!