A specialty of Eastern India, Paneer Jalfrezi is a delicious vegetarian and gluten-free recipe made with Indian cottage cheese (Paneer) and vegetables. Serve it with naan, roti, paratha, or rice, it tastes amazing.
Paneer (Indian cottage cheese) is one of the most popular vegetarian ingredients in India. It is now gaining popularity in the Western world too- especially with more and more people inclining towards a meat-free diet.
Today I am sharing a very tasty Indian Paneer recipe- Paneer Jalfrezi which is from the Eastern region of India.
History and Origin of Jalfrezi
Paneer Jalfrezi is not the only Jalfrezi dish but many other similar dishes like Chicken Jalfrezi, Vegetable Jalfrezi, Mushroom Jalfrezi, etc.
In Bengali language Jhal means hot or spicy and that’s from where this dish got its name.
It’s said that the first Jalfrezi dish was created with Chicken by the Bengali chefs of the British in India during the colonial period.
They combined the techniques of Indian and Chinese cuisine to create this delicious dish. Though the ingredients, spices, tempering everything is Indian, stir-frying the vegetables and leaving them crunchy is the Chinese way.
Later, various vegetarian versions of it were re-created in India.
This Paneer dish can be served with any Indian bread like roti, paratha or naan. You can also enjoy it with some plain Basmati rice or Jeera rice.
The leftover can be stuffed inside the wraps or grilled sandwiches.
Tip & Tricks
- Generally, in Paneer Jalfrezi, paneer and vegetables are cut in long pieces. In Dubai, it’s tough to find fresh Paneer so I have used frozen which comes as small cubes. To make the dish in an authentic style you can make long pieces.
- If possible, use fresh paneer. It will be softer and creamier.
- Don’t overcook the vegetables, they should be slightly crunchy.
- Vegans may either skip Paneer or replace it with mushrooms or tofu.
- Adjust the chili quantity as per your heat tolerance.
- This dish tastes even better the next day when Paneer soaks all the flavors.
More easy Paneer recipes
Paneer is the favorite ingredient of many Indians- not only vegetarians but non-vegetarians too. If you too love Paneer and want to try more easy Paneer recipes then don’t miss to check the following recipes on my blog:
If you try any of my recipes then please don’t miss to rate it in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links shared in my blog are affiliate links and I will get benefited if you buy products from them at no extra cost to you. However, I have personally used most of these products hence recommending them to you. You are free to buy them from anywhere also.
How to make Paneer Jalfrezi at home?
- 1.5 cups Paneer cubes
- 1.5 cups diced bell pepper use any color of your choice
- 1 cup diced carrot
- 1/2 cup French beans cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium-sized onion thinly sliced
- 1 medium-sized tomato finely chopped
- 1 medium-sized tomato sliced
- 5 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
- 1 tbsp tomato paste optional
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (kalonji) optional but recommended
- 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/4 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves powder (kasoori methi)
- Salt as per taste
- 1.5 tbsp mustard oil/ any other cooking oil of your choice
- 1/4 cup water
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and nigella seeds.
- Once the seeds start spluttering, add chopped garlic and saute until the raw smell goes away.
- Add sliced onion and salt. Cook until onion turns golden brown.
- Next, add turmeric, red chili powder, and coriander powder. Saute for a few seconds. If you feel that the spices are burning add 2-3 tablespoons of water.
- Add finely chopped tomatoes. Cover the pan and cook till tomatoes turn mushy and change color.
- Add tomato paste, mix, and cook for about a minute.
- Add beans and carrot. Saute for 1-2 minutes and then add around 1/4 cup water. Cover the pan and let the vegetables cook for 3-4 minutes. They should be cooked but remain crunchy.
- Next, add bell pepper and saute for 3-4 minutes.
- Finally, add tomato slices, paneer, and ginger slices. Mix, and cover the pan. Cook covered for about 2 minutes and then switch off the gas.
- Add lime juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with roti/ naan or paratha.
- Generally, in Paneer Jalfrezi Paneer and vegetables are cut in long pieces. Since I have used frozen paneer that comes in small cubes, I have cut all the vegetables in a similar size. You can choose whichever shape you prefer.
- Vegan may skip paneer or replace it mushroom/ tofu.