Restaurant Style Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe | How to make Paneer Jalfrezi
Paneer Jalfrezi is an easy and quick vegetarian side dish made with Paneer(Indian Cottage Cheese), Bell peppers. A semi-dry curry made which is best paired with any bread of your choice like rotis, parathas or naan.
Paneer Jalfrezi is one such dish that you can make for your weekly lunch or dinner parties. It is super easy and quick and you can get accolades from your guests without sweating in the kitchen on hot summery days.
Soft Paneer pieces with crunchy bell peppers and onions in tomato based gravy is a lip smacking delicious dish that takes very less time to come together from start to finish.
This Paneer Jalfrezi is just like the one that your get in your favourite dine-in. The only difference is that I like to cut paneer and bell peppers in cubes whereas the restaurant ones are the signature long thinly cut striped veggies and paneer.
Checkout the collection of Paneer dishes from the blog– Paneer Dishes
I learned to make this delicious curry from a TV show by our world renowned Chef Sanjeev Kapoor when I was in my teens. Since then I have made it umpteen times.
What is Jalferzi
As per the Wiki.. JALFERZI (JHAL PHORZI) dishes originated in West Bengal during the British period. Jhal means ‘SPICY’ and Phorezi is ‘SUITABLE FOR DIET’. These dishes came up as way to use the leftover curries and meat and frying it with onions and chilli.
Jalfrezi dishes have main part as meat, fish, paneer or vegetables coked in spicy tomato gravy with onions and bell peppers. Other popular variations of Jalfrezi dishes are Chicken Jalfrezi, Mixed Vegetable Jalfrezi.
These dishes are prepared by stir frying the vegetables to keep the crunch of onions and bell peppers and also it doesn’t use any cream or nut paste, which makes it a light meal and protein rich dish suitable for everyone.
How to make Paneer Jalfrezi
Ingredients for Paneer Jalfrezi
Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese– Fresh and firm paneer pieces. You can cut in cubes like I have or cut in stripes like the ones served in restaurants. Use HOMEMADE or Store-bought Paneer.
Bell Peppers– Use a mix of colored bell peppers, it makes the dish very appealing to eyes. But if you can’t find all three then use any which is availabe to you. Cube or cut in strips as preferred.
Onions– Dice or cut in stripes. Red onions are the best for this recipe.
Tomatoes– Ripe Firm diced tomato and pureed tomatoes. Adding tomato puree is a personal choice, I prefer adding it as it gives more texture to the masala for coating the veggies and paneer.
Tomato Ketchup, the magic ingredient of this subzi. It adds a tanginess with a bit of sweetness to the jalfrezi.
Herbs- Garlic Cloves, Fresh Ginger, finely chopped Coriander/Cilantro, Kasuri Methi / Dry Fenugreek Leaves.
Kasuri Methi is dried Fenugreek leaves. It is commonly used in Indian cuisine to enhance the flavour to curries. You can get it online or at any Indian Grocery stores.
I have also added juice of half lemon you can skip if you want. It brings out the sharp taste of tomatoes with the hint of sweetness from the ketchup.
Spices– Very few spices are used in the recipe. Coriander Powder, Gram Masala, Red Chilli Powder/Paprika, pinch of turmeric and salt of course!! as per taste.
Detailed ingredients with measurements and stepwise method is in the recipe card below.
Substitutions for the ingredients-
Paneer can be substituted with TOFU for the vegan version.
Substitute fresh tomato puree with canned puree.
If you do not want to add tomato ketchup or ran out of it, then add canned tomato sauce with additional tsp of sugar and a tsp of vinegar/half lemon juice.
How to make Paneer Jalfrezi
In Jalfrezi curries the veggies should be stir fried on high flame and not cooked at low or medium flame. Sautéing them at high flame retains the crispness of bell peppers and onions.
There are many versions of Paneer Jalfrezi online, different ways of making the masala. I have adapted the recipe as per my preferences.
Checkout the detailed recipe in the Recipe card an The Video (will be soon uploading it). Hope you will like my way of making this delectable Paneer curry.
My kids love it and I also make wraps with the left over subzi either for dinner or for their school lunch.
Related recipe Paneer Rolls
Also, the leftovers can also be used as topping for pizzas and filling for sandwiches, or simply reheat it and enjoy it just like that!
Tagging my Paneer Jalfrezi to my Facebook Group, Foodies Monday Bloghop, where the theme this week is Bell Pepper Creations. Wonderful theme was suggested by Preethi who blogs at Preethi’s Cuisine. She suggested that fellow bloggers make dishes using bell peppers. I love adding bell peppers to my dishes. There are so many various dishes that we can make or enhance a dish using bell peppers. Bell Peppers not only add crunch and beautiful color to the dish but also, add numerous health benefits also.
Recipe Card for Paneer Jalfrezi
- 300 gm Paneer
- 1 Cup Diced Mixed Bell Peppers or cut in stripes(1")
- 1 Onion(medium)
- 1 Tomato(Medium)
- ¼ cup Tomato puree
- ¼ cup Tomato Ketchup
- 6-7 Garlic Cloves
- 1" Fresh Ginger
- 1-2 Green Chillies
- 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
- 1-2 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½-1 tsp Red Chilli Powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1+1 tsp Kasuri Methi
- Juice of half lemon optional
- 2-3 tbsp Oil
- Salt as per taste
Preparations to Make Paneer Jalfrezi
- Cut Paneer into ½ cubes. Or, you can cut in 1" stripes.
- Peel and cube onion.
- Cut tomato in cubes and take out the pulp/fleshy part with seeds.
- Puree 1-2 tomatoes to get ¼ cup of fresh tomato puree or use canned puree.
- Coarsely crush ginger, garlic and green chilies. You can also use store-bought ginger garlic paste and finely chop green chilies if adding.
Making masala and the Jalfrezi
- In a kadhai/heavy bottomed pan, heat 2 tbsp oil.
- Once the oil is hot add cumin seeds. The seeds will crackle, now add the ginger garlic and green chilli paste.
- Sauté and cook it for a few seconds on low flame.
- Next add diced onions and bel peppers and ½ tsp of Kasuri Methi.
- Sauté on high flame for 2-3 mins. Keep on stirring the veggies.
- Take out the veggies in a separate plate.
- If there is little oil left you can add a tsp in the same pan, and then add tomato puree and again ½ tsp of Kasuri methi.
- Cook tomato puree for 1-2 minutes till it starts to thicken.
- Now add the spices-coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and gram masala and sugar.
- Cook spices for 1-2 mins. Keep on stirring the tomato masala and keep the flame to low.
- Now add tomato ketchup and mix well.
- Next add the sautéed bell pepper and onions. Lightly mix everything.
- Now, add paneer cubes and salt and mix nicely everything with light hands coating the veggies and paneer cubes.
- Finely take remaining half of the Kasuri Methi and crush between your palms and sprinkle on the curry,
- Lightly mix again and switch off the flame and keep the veggie covered before serving.
- Serve with bread of your choice like roti, paratha or naans.
Substitutions for the ingredients-Paneer can be substituted with TOFU for the vegan version. Substitute fresh tomato puree with canned puree. If you do not want to add tomato ketchup or ran out of it, then add canned tomato sauce with additional tsp of sugar and a tsp of vinegar/half lemon juice.
Do try Paneer Jalfrezi my way. Make for your guests or family evening snack time. Enjoy the monsoon rains or chill winter evenings with a cup of ginger tea.
Share your feedback whenever you make this. I am sure you and your family will love it as much my family loved it.
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