Go Back Email Link
+ servings
vegan sana thongba or vegan paneer curry click from up in a white serving bowl.

Vegan Sana Thongba Recipe | Instant Pot Vegan Paneer Curry | Traditional Manipuri Sana Thongpa Recipe

Sana Thongba is a traditional mild Manipuri dish prepared with paneer and milk. Having milk based gravy and minimal spices, Sana thongba is a perfect dish with rice, roti or paratha. I made this popular Manipuri food in instant pot with tofu and coconut milk to create vegan sana thongba.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 Servings
Author Bhawana


  • 2 Cup cubed tofu (225 gram)
  • 2 Cup frozen vegetables (used carrot, beans, peas)
  • ½ Cup onion chopped finely (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger (fresh is better for flavors)
  • 1 teaspoon grated garlic (fresh is better for flavors)
  • Salt as per taste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 Green chili chopped finely
  • 1 Cup coconut milk
  • Handful coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 2 Tblsp cooking oil


How To Make Manipuri Sana Thongba (vegan version) In Instant Pot

  • Switch on the instant pot and set in SAUTE MODE. Set it HIGH, once the screen displays HOT add 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Add cubed tofu and saute for one minute. You need just slightly golden color. Transfer them on a serving plate and keep it ready.
  • Add another 1 tablespoon oil in the same pot. Once the oil is hot enough add cumin seeds and let them crackle.
  • To this add ginger-garlic paste and chopped green chilies. Saute for a minute or until garlic is golden in color.
  • Now add chopped onion and cook till color changes to golden.
  • Once onions are cooked add mixed vegetable and tofu, give a nice stir.
  • Finally add coconut milk, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes without covering lid. Adjust salt as per taste.
  • After two minutes cancel the SAUTE MODE and switch off the instant pot. Garnish with chopped green coriander and serve hot.
  • Traditional Manipuri vegetarian dish Vegan Sana Thongba is ready to serve.

How To Make Manipuri Sana Thongpa (vegan version) In Pressure Cooker or In A Pan

  • First of all, heat a kadhai or a pan on medium flame and add 1 tablespoon oil.
  • To this add cubed tofu and saute for a 1-2 minute. You require a slightly golden color. Transfer the tofu cubes on a cleaned surface.
  • Now add last 1 tablespoon oil in the kadhai/pan and once it is hot add cumin seeds. Let them splutter.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste along with chopped green chilies. Saute for a minute.
  • To this add chopped onion and cook until onion changes its color to golden color.
  • Once onion is golden in color add sauteed tofu and mix vegetables. Stir nicely.
  • Finally add coconut milk, turmeric powder, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes on medium heat. Adjust salt accordingly.
  • After two minutes switch off the flame and garnish with chopped green coriander. Serve with Indian flatbread or rice. I served it with boiled quinoa.


  1. You can easily replace tofu with paneer/cottage cheese and Soya chunks.
  2. Any seasonal vegetable can be used. So feel free to use either one single veggie or a combination of vegetables along with tofu.
  3. At any point in time, you can adjust the spice level as per your taste buds. But traditionally sana thongba is mildly spicy with lesser hot spices.
  4. This recipe is created in a 6qt Instant Pot DUO60 Multi-use Programmable Pressure Cooker.


Serving: 0g | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg