Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi

Paneer Jalfrezi is probably one of the most popular restaurant dishes of all times! Paneer Jalfrezi is a spicy smoky stir fry prepared with paneer, peppers, tomatoes and onions in a spiced tomato base.

Jalfrezi (also known as jhalfrezi, zalfrezi, zalfraizi, jaffrazi) is believed to be originated in Calcutta or Kolkata in India as the word ‘Jalfrezi’ is the colloquial Bengali word jhālpharezī. In Bengali, ‘jhāl’ means spicy food and in Urdu/Persian, ‘parhezī’ means suitable for everyone as it is a versatile recipe.

Paneer Jhalfrezi is one of those nutritious, comforting, simple recipes which can be concocted quickly, making it perfect for a busy weekday. When you want to treat yourself to something delicious and healthy but don’t want to sweat it out then this recipe is the perfect ‘to go to’ recipe! My other ‘to go to’ recipes during the busy week are Vegetable Jalfrezi, Palak Paneer, Mixed Vegetable Dal, Bhindi do Pyaza, Matar Paneer amongst others. What I love about this recipe is that it is really forgiving. Prepare the base of the curry and then add the paneer, peppers and onions and that’s it! Moreover, this recipe is cooked without cream, butter or milk making it lighter and healthier.

Jalfrezi is usually a dry curry, but if you want more gravy, add half a cup of water or vegetable stock. Flexible but still tasty!

Ingredients

250gm paneer cut lengthways
1-2 onions thinly sliced
½ -1 pepper cut lengthways
1 tomato cut into strips

For The Gravy
1 tablespoon oil
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1-2 dried red chillies
½ teaspoon grated garlic
½ teaspoon grated ginger
2 green chilli split lengthwise
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 cup tomato puree
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1-inch julienned ginger
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon kasuri methi
2-3 tablespoons finely chopped coriander

Directions

Step-1

Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and red chillies. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add the finely chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Sauté on medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until the onions turn translucent.

Step-2

Next add the green chillies, tomato puree, salt and turmeric and mix.  Cover and cook on low heat for 4-5 minutes.

Add the red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and kasuri methi and let the tomato puree cook with the spices for a couple of minutes.

Add ½ cup water and cover and cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes.

Step-3

In a non-stick pan sauté the paneer for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown on all sides.

Step-4

Add the julienned ginger, onions, peppers and paneer to the gravy and toss to coat with all the spices. You can add some more water if the gravy is too thick. Cover and cook on medium heat for 2-3 minutes.

Step-5

Finally add the tomatoes and coriander and mix. Mix and cook the jalfrezi on medium to low heat for 2-3 minutes.

Serve hot with rice and/or any Indian bread!

Tips & Variations

  1. All vegetables in this recipe are cut thin and lengthwise to cook them quicker like a stir fry.
  2. Do not overcook the vegetables or else it will get mushy.
  3. I have used green peppers as that’s what I had at home but red peppers, yellow peppers, orange peppers all work well.