Paneer Jalfrezi is a delicious stir-fry curry that has the heavenly combination of paneer with peppers. This vegetarian restaurant style dish can be made within 20 minutes and is a perfect accompaniment for naan.
Growing up, paneer was a staple in our home. Paneer is indian cottage cheese, and a widely used ingredient for Indian curries.My mom made a variety of dishes with paneer, such as Palak Paneer and Matar Paneer. However Paneer Jalfrezi was something we only ate at restaurants. I really don't know why, considering this is such an easy dish to make.
I love paneer and always keep paneer in the refrigerator, so I can make many quick curries such as Paneer Butter Masala and Saag Paneer. If you like to do meal prep and have this Indian Curry Sauce ready, paneer recipes are even easier to make. However I prefer to make this Paneer Jalfrezi from scratch as it takes just 20 minutes.
What is Paneer Jalfrezi?
Paneer Jalfrezi is stir fry curry having chunks of paneer with onions, tomatoes, and bell peppers. The paneer along with the vegetables are well coated with the thick and spicy gravy.
The word Jalfrezi originated from the local eateries of West Bengal, India. It means a stir-fry of vegetables in sweet and tangy gravy. As paneer can absorb the spices well, this dish well-liked in many countries and is a favorite at many restaurants.
How to make Paneer Jalfrezi?
The main prep work in this dish the cutting of the veggies and paneer. After you are done, it hardly takes any time to make this restaurant-style paneer jalfrezi at home.
- Take a heavy bottom pan and heat oil in medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let it sizzle a bit.
- Then add the sliced up onions, garlic and fry them for a bit.
- Add the spices and sauté the onions and garlic till they are coated with spices evenly. Make sure to not burn the spices.
- Just sprinkle some tablespoons of water on the pan if the spices and onions start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Then add the yellow and red bell peppers and stir them till they also get well coated with spices.
- Now you can add the chopped tomato along with the tomato puree until the puree mixes well with the curry.
- Add the paneer cubes after you see that the curry has become a semi-solid gravy. Make sure the paneer blends well and becomes soft by stirring in between intervals.
- Finally, add the lime juice and mix well for a tangy surprise
- Garnish with cilantro and serve with roti, paratha or naan.
Tips to make perfect Paneer Jalfrezi
Here are some tips that will help you in making authentic restaurant-style Paneer Jalfrezi at home.
√ Paneer Jalfrezi can be made using normal paneer or fried paneer cubes. I have used fresh paneer cubes for this recipe. If you like fried paneer cubes, follow these steps:
- Heat oil in a large pan
- Add the paneer cubes and lightly fry them
- Remove the cubes from the pan after they become golden brown on all sides
- Then follow the same steps as above and then add the fried paneer cubes.
√ You can also use any color bell pepper for this recipe, I used red and yellow peppers as that is what I had in my pantry.
√ Do not over cook the paneer, as the paneer can become chewy. You want to just mix in the paneer, let it soak the flavors and take it off heat.
√ If you want to make this curry vegan, you can make it with extra firm tofu.
What to serve with Paneer Jalfrezi?
Paneer Jalfrezi makes up for a sumptuous side for roti, paratha or naan. We usually have it with yogurt or dal along with this dish. Dal recipes like green moong dal, yellow dal fry, and so on pair well this dish. I also love to use this Paneer Jalfrezi to make these delicious Paneer Frankie Rolls (also called Kathi Rolls).
Check out other delicious Indian curry recipes you might enjoy -
Paneer Jalfrezi Recipe
- 2 tbsp Oil I used avocado oil
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Onion medium, about 3/4 cup, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves Garlic minced
- 1/2 Yellow Bell Pepper medium, thinly sliced
- 1/2 Red Bell Pepper medium, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup Tomato puree
- 1/2 cup Tomato chopped
- 9 oz Paneer diced in cubes
- 1 tbsp Lime juice
- Cilantro leaves to garnish
- Heat oil in a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium heat. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add sliced onions, garlic and fry them for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add all the spices and stir them with the onions for a further minute. Add a couple of tablespoons water if the spices stick to the pan.
- Add the yellow and red bell peppers and mix with all the spices for about 5 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomato and tomato puree and cook for about 2 minutes until the tomatoes mix well with the curry.
- Add the paneer cubes and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the paneer softens.
- Add the lime juice & mix into the curry.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with naan, roti or paratha!
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.