I have been asked a few times for a soya tofu alternative, so I thought I had to share this family secret. Meet the Jimmikand. It is my soy-free, gluten-free, and dairy-free paneer or tofu alternative. Like traditional tofu or paneer, this is a great blank canvas for your dishes. It has a similar texture and marinades well. It could become your go-to soya tofu alternative for vegan and vegetarian dishes.
Now, if you google jimmikand, you may get a recipe for yam. However, in my family, we call this soya tofu alternative Jimmikand. In certain parts of India, it is also called "Rasaje." I can assure you there is no yam in this recipe! Then why the confusion with the name? In India, the names of utensils and vegetables, among other things, change due to the different languages and dialects regionally.
Gram flour is such a versatile ingredient. Indeed, it is a staple in India, especially in the north, central and western regions. The combination of gram flour, yoghurt and water create many unique dishes. Please look at my kadhi recipe or my Jimmikand In Gravy recipe.
There is always a bag of gram flour in my cupboards.
You can use this soy tofu alternative in any dish that calls for tofu or paneer. I have also used this in bao buns instead of tofu or phad thai.
- Gram flour
- Dairy-free yoghurt
- Kala namak
First, place the gram flour, yoghurt and kala namak into a bowl and mix into a thick paste.
Then slowly add the water while you mix, Don't worry about lumps forming. If they do, pass the mix through a sieve to break down the lumps. The consistency is watery.
Find a small baking tray about one inch deep that you can pour the cooked batter into so it can set. It should allow you to mould a "slab" of paneer when you pour the cooked batter into it. Oil the baking tray and set aside.
Pour the batter into a saucepan over medium heat and cook for five minutes, whisking continuously. The batter will thicken towards the end of the five minutes. The consistency will be like a thick porridge.
Immediately pour the batter into the oiled baking tray. Use a spatula to spread the batter to form a slab about an inch thick. Work as quickly as you can because the batter starts to set. Smooth over the top.
Place the baking tray containing the gram flour paneer slab into the refrigerator and chill for 30 minutes so that it sets. Once set, remove from the fridge, flip onto a chopping board, and cut into your desired shapes.
How To Video
You can use dairy yoghurt for this recipe; replace the same amount of dairy-free yoghurt with the dairy yoghurt.
I haven't tested the recipe with chickpea flour. However, it should work.
This recipe is for plain gram flour tofu/paneer. You can add herbs and spices to give it your twist.
You can keep this gram flour paneer/tofu in the fridge for up to three days. It doesn't survive longer than that. It will get slimy and discoloured, and I wouldn't advise you to consume it.
Also, when in the fridge, you will notice that it will release some water, which is alright and expected.
When you are whisking the batter, ensure you reach all the corners so that it cooks evenly and you have a smooth batter in the end to set.
Ensure your baking tray is oiled and ready before cooking the batter. You will need to work as quickly as possible when you pour the cooked batter into the baking tray because it starts to set straight away.
When forming the slab of gram flour paneer, use a spatula with as big a surface area as possible, like a burger spatula. A dough scraper or cutter will also work.
Jimmikand Gram Flour Paneer. Soya Tofu and Paneer Alternative
- Digital scales
- Baking tray
- Spatula as wide as possible
- 75 gms Gram flour
- 125 gms Dairy free yoghurt I used coconut yoghurt
- 225 gms Water
- ½ teaspoon Kala namak
- Mix the gram flour, yoghurt, and kala namak until you have a thick paste.
- Slowly add the water and whisk to combine. If you have any lumps, then pass through a fine sieve.
- Oil a small baking tray (essentially a flat surface with a rim where you can pour the cooked batter to set) and set aside.
- Pour the batter into a pan over a medium heat. Cook for about five minutes. Whisk continuously while cooking to ensure no lumps form. The consistency should become similar to a smooth, thick porridge.
- Once the batter has thickened, remove it from the heat and immediately pour it into the oiled tray. Work as quickly as possible! Smooth out the top and lightly press down to ensure there are no air pockets in the bottom. Press inwards from the edges to ensure you have a clean edge and a rectangular or square shape. Aim for a slab about one inch thick.
- Transfer the tray into the refrigerator for about thirty minutes to allow the batter to set.
- Once set, turn out onto a chopping board and cut into your desired shape, such as cubes.
In a professional kitchen, food hygiene and safety are a top priority, and from the beginning of training, I practised good habits and routines. Of course, it is also essential to practice good food hygiene and safety at home. Here are some fundamental practices to adopt in the kitchen.
- Wash your hands regularly while preparing, handling and cooking food
- Wipe down countertops and high contact points regularly
- If you cook meat and fish, do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat. Use separate chopping boards for meat and fish. Wash your chopping boards immediately after use.
- Thoroughly cook food to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods (more than 2 hours)
- Store food correctly
For more details on food hygiene and safety in the home, visit the UK Government's Food Standards Agency webpage.
Author note: This post has been republished following an extensive update.