This restaurant-style Paneer Jalfrezi is a melange of Indian Cottage Cheese or Paneer and Vegetables in a spicy onion tomato sauce. Try it at home using my easy recipe.
Here are some more Paneer Recipes, that are perfect to include in your festive meals – Palak Paneer, Paneer Tikka Masala, Mughlai Paneer Korma, Paneer Masala, and Kadai Paneer.
About This Recipe
Paneer Jalfrezi is one of the Paneer dishes that you will find on the menu of most North Indian restaurants, where soft Paneer Cubes are added in a rich tomato curry along with onions and capsicums.
Jalfrezi is a curry dish originating in the Indian subcontinent and popular throughout the region and beyond. Due to its phenomenal taste and easy process, it is getting popular all over the world.
It consists of the main ingredient such as meat, fish, paneer or vegetables, stir-fried and served in a thick onion tomato-based spicy sauce that includes green chili peppers. And as we are preparing the recipe using Paneer or Cottage Cheese, this recipe is called Paneer Jalfrezi.
Jalfrezi recipes appeared in cookbooks of British India as a way of using up leftovers by frying them with chili and onion.
Jalfrezi word is derived from the colloquial Bengali word jhāl porhezī: in Bengali, jhāl means spicy food; porhezi comes from the Persian word which means suitable for a diet.
This curry is,
- High in Protein
- Easy to make
- Perfect for festive meals
- Popular in North Indian Restaurants
Paneer – High in Protein, you can either use homemade paneer cubes or store-bought paneer cubes.
Oil – You can use any vegetable oil to make this dish. You can even make this dish in mustard oil, ghee, or even in olive oil.
Veggies – Thinly sliced Onions and Capsicum are cooked and then added into the gravy at the end along with Paneer. These veggies add a nice bite along with the soft paneer.
Tomato – The base of this curry is prepared mainly with tomatoes, which adds a tangy-sweet taste. We will add tomatoes in three forms, tomato paste, tomato puree, and tomato ketchup.
Whole Spices – In the beginning, we will temper the curry with some whole spices such as cumin seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom, which adds a nice flavor in this dish.
Spice Powders – When it comes to adding more taste, we will use everyday spice powders such as coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt.
Other Ingredients – Apart from the above ingredients, we will also need garlic, onion paste, green chilies, ginger, Kasuri methi, lemon juice, and fresh coriander.
Kasuri Methi is optional, but it does add a nice flavor and restaurant-style touch to this Jalfrezi curry.
Step By Step Recipe
Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan.
Add sliced onion, capsicum and garlic and fry until onion turns translucent.
Remove the onion and capsicum on a plate and keep aside.
Heat the remaining 3 tablespoon oil in the same pan. Add cumin seeds, cinnamon, and cardamom and fry for a few seconds.
Add onion paste and fry until it turns slightly brown.
Now add tomato, tomato puree and tomato ketchup and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add green chilli and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder and cook until oil starts to separate from the sides.
Now add little water if the masala is too dry.
Add the cooked onion and capsicum, paneer, salt and garam masala and mix well.
Add kasuri methi, lemon juice and fresh coriander and mix well.
Frequently Asked Questions
You might think that kadai paneer and paneer jalfrezi are one and the same thing, but that is not the case.
In jalfrezi, everything is stir-fried and then mixed in an onion-tomato based gravy. It is spicy hot gravy and no cream is used to make it. In kadai paneer, fresh coriander seeds and red chili powder is added which gives it a unique flavor.
Onion and capsicum are the basic requirements to make this curry. You can also add vegetables like carrot, baby corn, and bell peppers of your choice. You can even make baby corn jalfrezi by replacing paneer with baby corn. However, in Kadai Paneer, only capsicum is added along with paneer.
The gravy in paneer jalfrezi is vegan friendly. To make the dish vegan, just replace the Paneer cubes with Tofu cubes.
Yes, if you want to make a Non-Vegetarian version of the same, just add in the cooked chicken in the curry instead of paneer cubes. This dish is popularly known as Chicken Jalfrezi.
Yes, apart from onions and bell peppers, you can even add carrots, baby corn, cauliflower, mushrooms, etc.
To make the Jain version, just skip adding onion and garlic and continue with the same process to make No Onion No Garlic Paneer Jalfrezi.
Paneer Jalfrezi will last in the refrigerator for 2-3 days if prepared using fresh Paneer. Store it in an airtight container. While reheating if you the gravy is a little dry, add in a little water and give it a mix.
If you want to freeze the same, I will suggest you freeze the curry in a freezer-safe sealed container for about a month or two. Thaw in the fridge overnight and while reheating, add in the fresh paneer cubes, mix and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
Paneer Jalfrezi tastes great with almost every Indian Bread such as Roti, Tawa Paratha, Laccha Paratha, Naan, Garlic Naan, Missi Roti, Tandoori Roti or even with Rumali Roti.
It even tastes great with Steamed Rice, Jeera Rice, Matar Pulao or any slightly spiced Pulao.
I love to include it my festive meals with a Dal, Roti, Pulav, Raita, Salad, and an Indian Mithai on the side.
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
- 5 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- ½ cup Onion (Thinly Sliced)
- 1 cup Capsicum (Thinly Sliced)
- 2 teaspoon Garlic (Chopped)
- ½ teaspoon Cumin Seeds
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Green Cardamom
- 1 cup Onion (Paste)
- 1 cup Tomato (Grated)
- ¼ cup Tomato Puree
- 2 tablespoon Tomato Ketchup
- 2 Green Chilli (Slit into half)
- 1 teaspoon Ginger (Chopped)
- 2 teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ½ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoon Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 400 g Paneer
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
- 2 tablespoon Kasuri Methi
- 1 tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoon Fresh Coriander
- Heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil in a pan.
- Add sliced onion, capsicum and garlic and fry until onion turns translucent.
- Remove the onion and capsicum on a plate and keep aside.
- Heat the remaining 3 tablespoon oil in the same pan.
- Add cumin seeds, cinnamon and cardamom and fry for a few seconds.
- Add onion paste and fry until it turns slightly brown.
- Now add tomato, tomato puree and tomato ketchup and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add green chilli and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and cook until oil starts to separate from the sides.
- Now add little water if the masala is too dry.
- Add the cooked onion and capsicum, paneer , salt and garam masala and mix well.
- Add kauri methi, lemon juice and fresh coriander and mix well.
- Serve hot.
Hi Neha, I tried this recipe last night and the masalas were on point except my paneer came out a little chewy/tough – could you tell me what I could have done wrong? I used frozen paneer as that’s the only thing I had available at the time.
Hi Sherbano, quality of paneer is very important. I suggest, if your paneer is hard and chewy, soak it in warm water for 10 minutes before using. It should make the texture slightly better.