Paneer Jalfrezi - a classic spicy curry made with Indian cottage cheese, mixed bell peppers and spices. It is packed full of flavours, perfect for get-togethers, curry nights or any special occasion.
This restaurant style paneer jalfrezi recipe gets ready in less than 30 minutes, makes a great choice for a weekend feast and pairs well with naan or rice.
What is Jalfrezi
Jalfrezi is one of the most popular dishes in Indian restaurants in the UK. In terms of heat levels(chilli-hot) Jalfrezi is generally misunderstood as 'medium hot curry' in most of Indian restaurants, but actually, it is a spicy curry. In fact, the word is derived from Bengali where 'Jhal' means spicy.
The vegetarian version Paneer Jalfrezi is a tangy and spicy semi-dry dish where paneer is cooked with onion, tomato, green chillies, bell peppers and spices. Jalfrezi is a delicious, crowd-pleasing curry for any special occasion and a perfect fuss-free dish to have as part of the party buffet spread. The base gravy can be made ahead and toss the paneer and sliced vegetables just before you plan to serve your guests. This paneer recipe will impress your guests and make them think you have spent hours in the kitchen!
Vegetables: onion (chopped and sliced), tomato puree and tomato (sliced), ginger-garlic paste, sliced ginger, sliced yellow, green and red bell peppers(capsicum), green chilli and fresh coriander leaves.
Paneer: I have used store bought paneer but you can use fresh homemade ones.
How to make paneer jalfrezi?
1. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add cumin seeds and saute for a minute or until it changes colour.
2. Add chopped onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli and saute for 5-7 minutes until the onion starts browning.
3. Put tomato puree, turmeric, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, salt, mix well and cook for 5 minutes or until oil separates from the onion-tomato gravy.
4. Mix in tomato ketchup and cook for a minute.
5. Stir in sliced onion, tomato, mixed peppers (capsicum) and saute for 2 minutes.
6. Now reduce the flame to low heat, add paneer and mix gently until well combined. finish off with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve spicy and tasty jalfrezi curry with rice or naan.
Variations and Substitutions
Fresh tomato puree can be substituted with canned chopped tomatoes.
For a vegan version, swap tofu for paneer.
You can substitute tomato ketchup with tomato paste, sugar and vinegar.
You can add a few red chillies to make the curry spicier. Break them into two or three pieces and then fry them with cumin.
You can use half oil and half butter to enhance the flavour of paneer curry.
I have used homemade tomato puree. You may use store-bought ones if you don't have enough time to make it at home.
Jalfrezi pairs well with naan, paratha, kulcha or any flatbread.
Tips and Tricks
Ensure mixed peppers (capsicum) are just half cooked so that the raw aroma vanishes and it retains its crunchiness.
The quality of paneer determines the texture and softness of paneer. Ensure the paneer is fresh and not expired.
If the paneer is hard, cut and soak it in warm water for 5-10 minutes to make it soft.
To save time pre-cut vegetables, make-ahead onion tomato masala and keep them in the refrigerator. Toss the sliced vegetables and paneer with onion tomato masala just before you plan to serve. Check the seasoning and adjust it to your taste.
Adjust spices as per your preferred spice levels. Jalfrezi is generally a spicy dish but feel free to customise it to suit your taste buds.
Scale up the measurements as per your required quantity.
Fridge: This easy paneer jalfrezi stays good for 2-3 days in the fridge if stored properly in a clean airtight container.
Freezer: Make a big batch ahead of time. Once the curry cools down, divide it into required portions in freezer-safe containers and store them in the freezer.
Defrost: Thaw the paneer curry the night before you plan to consume it. Take a portion out of the freezer and pop it in the fridge. Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop until piping hot.
Paneer Jalfrezi and Kadai Paneer are both tasty paneer dishes that include tomatoes, bell peppers, and onions, but they differ in cooking methods, appearance, and flavour profiles.
In Paneer Jalfrezi, paneer is cooked alongside colorful bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes in an onion tomato based gravy with spices.
Kadai Paneer is traditionally made in a kadai or a similar pan. Dried red chilies, coriander seeds, and cumin seeds are key ingredients used. Cooked in a thick, flavorful onion tomato-based sauce, the paneer is combined with onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The roasted and crushed whole spices give the dish its distinct flavour.
More Restaurant Style Paneer Curry
Bhindi Do Pyaza: It is a simple and delicious spicy stir-fried okra.
Aloo 65: It is a south Indian spicy starter, prepared with deep-fried battered potato cubes flavoured with red chillies, curry leaves and tossed in yogurt-based sauce.
Yogurt Mint Sauce: A classic condiment served with poppadum’s in Indian restaurants.
Jeera Aloo: A simple side dish that gets done in minutes and pairs well with chapathi, paratha and poori.
Paneer Majestic: A classic restaurant-style Hyderabadi appetiser made in a flavourful yogurt-based sauce.
KEEP IN TOUCH
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📖 Recipe Card
Paneer Jalfrezi | Restaurant style paneer curry
1 Cup = 250ml ; 1 Tablespoon = 15ml ; 1 Teaspoon =5ml
- 3 Tablespoon Oil
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
- 81 gm Onions finely chopped
- 1 Teaspoon Ginger garlic paste
- 1 Green chillies slit
- 95 gm Tomato puree
- ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric
- 1.5 Teaspoon Chilli powder/ Cayenne Pepper
- ½ Teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1 Teaspoon Garam masala
- Salt as required
- 57 gm Tomato ketchup
- 42 gm Onions sliced
- 56 gm Tomatoes deseed and sliced
- 118 gm Mixed bell peppers /Capsicum deseed and sliced
- 1 inch Ginger cut into thin strips
- 200 gms Paneer cut into 1 inch strips
- handful Coriander leaves chopped
- Heat oil in a pan over medium heat, add cumin seeds and saute for few seconds. Let them sizzle and change colour.3 Tablespoon Oil, 1 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
- Add chopped onion, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli and cook for 5-7 minutes or until the onion starts browning.81 gm Onions, 1 Teaspoon Ginger garlic paste, 1 Green chillies
- Put tomato puree, dry spices, salt, mix well and cook for 5 minutes or until oil separates from the onion-tomato gravy.95 gm Tomato puree, ¼ Teaspoon Turmeric, 1.5 Teaspoon Chilli powder/ Cayenne Pepper, ½ Teaspoon Coriander powder, Salt, 1 Teaspoon Garam masala
- Mix in tomato ketchup and cook for a couple of minute.57 gm Tomato ketchup
- Stir in sliced onion, tomato, ginger, mixed bell peppers (capsicum) and saute for 2 minutes.42 gm Onions, 56 gm Tomatoes, 118 gm Mixed bell peppers /Capsicum, 1 inch Ginger
- Add paneer and mix gently until well combined.200 gms Paneer
- Finally add chopped coriander and switch the flame off.handful Coriander leaves
- Serve spicy and tasty paneer jalfrezi with naan or rice.
Looking for other paneer curry recipes? Try these:
Welcome to Flavours Treat. I share vegetarian recipes made with wholesome, mostly fresh ingredients. Every recipe has easy-to-follow instructions with process shots (detailed step-wise pictures), a short video and lots of tips to help your cooking journey. Read more