Soy-Free Tofu

My friend Delyn Chow, owner of the Daw Yee Myanmar Café in Monterey Park California, showed me how to make his soy-free tofu. You will absolutely love this tofu made from chickpeas. It’s quick, easy, and tasty! What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, did I mention it’s soy-free?


Delyn and Me


Enjoy the recipe courtesy of Delyn!

Soy-Free Besan Tofu


2 large bowls


Large pot

Wooden Spoon

Glass or metal storage container



2 cups Besan Flour (also called Gram or Chickpea Flour)

1/2 teaspoon Turmeric

1 teaspoon Salt

5 cups Water

2 Tbsp Oil (I used Canola but any mild flavored oil will work)



Divide the water in half. Put 2.5 cups in your large bowl and the other 2.5 cups in your pot to heat on the stove. Add the besan flour, turmeric, and salt to the water in the bowl. Mix well.

Strain the flour mixture through a sieve into your second bowl. Repeat, straining once again back into the first bowl, pushing the mixture through the sieve with the wooden spoon to get out all the lumps.

Add this mixture to the pot of hot water on the stove and stir. It will look very thin at first but keep stirring and you’ll see lumps start to form. As the mixture thickens, add the oil and keep mixing. Stir until the mixture looks smooth and thick. Then pour it into your storage container and smooth the top.

Let the mixture cool for a couple hours. You can use it just like “normal” tofu!

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There are 15 comments

  1. tammy

    I had no idea you could make tofu with soy. fantastic! I have been trying to keep tofu use to a minimum but my fav mayo recipe uses it. Now I dont have to. thanks a million. I assume I can also buy dried chickpeas and grind mine into flour in the blender too.

    1. Michaela Ballmann, MS RD

      Hey Tammy! Yes, it is incredibly tasty and great for a change from regular tofu or for those who can’t tolerate soy. Let me know if you try grinding your own. Otherwise, you can find it in Indian supermarkets (called Besan), Bob’s Red Mill sells garbanzo bean flour, or you can find it online. Enjoy!

      1. Tammy

        I did try grinding my own in a single serve cheap farberware blender for another recipe and it worked great. I was getting ready to give this recipe a try but I have another question. I am trying to eliminate oil from my diet. can this be made without the oil/

        1. Michaela Ballmann, MS RD

          Great to hear Tammy! To be honest, I’m not sure. The oil helps make the tofu smooth and creamy. Maybe try reducing it to just 1 Tbsp. It’s a pretty big recipe so there’s not very much fat per serving. If you try it oil-free, let us know how it turns out!

  2. William

    How long does the chickpea tofu last? I was also wondering if storing it with water would make it last longer. And my last question if the tofu waant strained do the flour lumps really make that much of a difference? I only ask because I have seen other people not strain it.
    Thanks again for posting this! I’m going to try this tomorrow!

    1. Michaela Ballmann, MS RD

      Hi William! It lasts about a week. I haven’t tried storing it with water like tofu made from soybeans, but it’s definitely worth a try! Straining will make sure it is extra smooth, but I’m sure it’s good enough without straining. Let me know how it goes!!

  3. William

    Hi Michaela, I decided not to mess with a masterpiece. I tried it and the first batch came out nice and firm. 2 ba5th came out mushy. Does the water in the pan mean that’s heating. How how do you mean by “heat the water” I ask only because I think that caused it to come out less firm than my first batch but I want to be sure.

    1. Michaela Ballmann, MS RD

      I’m so glad you tried it and had success the first time! Yes, the pan is over medium to medium-high heat so the water is hot but not quite boiling. Keep the heat on as you add the besan mixture so it all combines well. Did your second batch look like ours in the video?

  4. William

    I rewatched the vid and atempred medium heat and the tofu did come out like my first batch. I will confirm the second batch looked like the video but the firmness and texture was off. My third batch wih medium heated water came out as a success. One last thing. Does freezing this tofu have the same effect as freezing regular tofu?

    1. Michaela Ballmann, MS RD

      Great! Hopefully the right temperature does the trick from now on. I’ve never frozen this tofu but I would definitely expect it to change texture and maybe get a little spongy like freezing soy tofu (not a good thing in my opinion). Thanks for reporting back :)

  5. Alessandro

    Hello everybody,
    this kind of tofu is very very common in my city, Genova (Italy). Here its name is “Panissa” (find it on Google)
    Panissa is old like our town probably, but really it’s very far from tofu. Tofu is like cheese, the metod is the same, while Panissa is like a putting.
    Anyway, Panissa is very good and healthy, Tufu too, but very different. The only similar thing is the shape, cubic.

  6. julie

    I m very interested in making fermenting …chickpea tofu… Have you gotten recipe for it .

    I like your chickpea tofu pan fry or grill ! ( I fried them on cast ion with just greasing with oil) oh! it is yum! yum! I

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