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Paneer jalfrezi recipe – Sauted vegetables and paneer pieces are coated with thick, spicy gravy. This is semi-dry curry recipe.
Many of you may wonder, what does the jalfrezi means? I am one of those too. I had eaten paneer jalfrezi or vegetable jalfrezi in restaurants many times. But never knew the meaning of it. When I tried this recipe at home, I have done enough research on net about it. Thanks to the food-blogging, I have gained so much knowledge.
Jalfrezi is the Indian version of Chinese stir-fry. During the British rule in India, they have came up with it by stir frying leftover veggies with meat in thick, spicy, tangy sauce. (source link)
Jal (jhal) means spicy, hot in Bengali language. As the same says, this is spicy dish made with mix of vegetables and paneer.
Addition of vinegar and tomato puree give slight tang to the dish.
For making this paneer jalfrezi, I have added few vegetables like onion, green beans, carrot and capsicum along with paneer. Traditionally, blanched vegetables are used and quickly stir-fried in the dish.
But to make it in a one pan instead of boiling them in water in separate pan, here I have cooked the veggies in the pan with spices and tomato puree. Hence it is quick and easy to make.
How to make paneer jalfrezi recipe (Step by Step Photos):
1) Prep all the veggies and rest of the ingredients before you start making the dish.
2) Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat. Once hot place the paneer pieces in it. Lightly fry them.
3) Once you get light golden color on one side, flip them fry other side. Most important, do not over fry them (meaning they get crispy or brown), otherwise paneer will get chewy and dry. Remove the fried paneer in plate and keep it aside. You can dip fried paneer in warm water for some time and squeeze it very gently to remove excess water. This way you will get very soft paneer.
Here I have used fresh homemade paneer, so I have not soaked in water. If using store bought or frozen paneer, It is highly recommended to soak in warm water after frying to get soft texture
4) Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan and let it heat up. Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
5) Then add dried red chili and saute for about 30 seconds. The chili will get darker color.
6) Now add all the prepared vegetables (onion, carrot, beans, ginger, both capsicum).
7) Mix well and saute for 2-3 minutes.
8) Then add salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and garam masala.
9) Again mix well so all the masala is coated to the vegetables. and cook for a minute.
10) Now add tomato puree.
11) Stir well.
12) Cover the pan and cook till vegetables are cooked (about 10-12 minutes).
13) Now add sugar and vinegar. Stir well.
14) Add ¼ cup of water, fried paneer and chopped coriander leaves.
15) Gently mix till the thick gravy is coated well to paneer pieces. Make sure that paneer pieces do not break. Cook for 2 minutes and turn off the stove.
Remove paneer jalfrezi to a serving bowl and enjoy. This is semi-dry curry where thick, spicy gravy is coated to paneer and veggies.
- 2 tablespoons Oil
- 3.5 oz or 100 grams Paneer cut into 1 ½ inch long strips
- ½ teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 1 Dried red chilies
- ½ cup Onion sliced
- 1/3 cup Carrot thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup Green beans (French beans) cut into 1 inch pieces
- ¼ cup Capsicum (Green bell pepper) sliced, green bell pepper
- ¼ cup Red pepper sliced
- ¼ inch Ginger Julienned
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons Red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon Garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 medium or ¾ cup Tomato pureed
- ¼ cup Water
- ¼ teaspoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon White distilled vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Cilantro or coriander leaves chopped finely
- Prep all the veggies and rest of the ingredients before you start making the dish.
- Heat one tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat.
- Once hot place the paneer pieces in it. Lightly fry them.
- Once you get light golden color on one side, flip them fry other side.
- Remove the fried paneer in a bowl of warm water and kee in that for 10 minutes.
- Then lightly squeeze the water and keep the paneer aside.
- Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in the same pan and let it heat up.
- Once hot add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
- Then add dried red chili and saute for about 30 seconds.
- Now add all the prepared vegetables, mix well and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- Then add salt and all the spice powders. Again mix well so all the masala is coated to the vegetables. and cook for a minute.
- Now add tomato puree. Stir well.
- Cover the pan and cook till vegetables are cooked (about 10-12 minutes).
- Now add sugar and vinegar. Stir well.
- Add ¼ cup of water, fried paneer and chopped coriander leaves.
- Gently mix till the thick gravy is coated well to paneer pieces.
- Cook for 2 minutes and turn off the stove.