paneer jalfrezi

This dish, also known as kadai paneer, is a combination of paneer, capsicum, tomato, onion, and spices cooked in ghee. Paneer jalfrezi is the Bengali way to prepare paneer.

When cooking this, you must keep the texture of the onions and capsicums. Undercooked is much better than over-cooked in this recipe.

You could make this recipe with supermarket-bought paneer, and it will taste OK. You could get fresh paneer from your Indian grocer, and it will taste immeasurably better. Or you could make the paneer yourself from our paneer recipe and you will be amazed, as will your guests.

This is a recipe that deserves great paneer.

The British appropriated jalfrezi to make use of leftovers. They would take the remains of the last night’s roast dinner, add onions and capsicums, and a lot of green chillies then fry it. This was known as jal fry and is a staple of Anglo-Indian cuisine. A proper jalfrezi, like this one, is quite different.

It is usually served with breads like roti, naan, kulcha or paratha. Due to its exotic taste and looks, it often features in festive occasion menus.

For appearance, use two different coloured capsicums. Our family favourites are red and green.

the recipe

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ingredients

  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • 250 g paneer - cut into 1cm cubes

for tempering

for cooking

  • 1 brown onion - halved and thickly sliced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 green chilli - finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes - pulp removed and cut into small pieces
  • 1 red capsicum - seeds removed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 green capsicum - seeds removed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder

for finishing

instructions 

  • Heat the ghee in a heavy-based saucepan, wok or kadai over medium heat. Add the paneer and toss to cover the pieces in ghee. Fry, stirring gently and often, until the panner becomes golden brown on the edges. Use a slotted spoon to remove and drain the paneer. Set aside.

to temper

  • Add the panch phoran, whole dried chilli and about two-thirds of the shredded ginger, and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic.

to cook

  • Add the onions, salt and green chilli, then fry for five minutes, or until the onions are just softening but not browned and still have crunch.
  • Lower the heat, add the tomato, and bring to a simmer for five minutes, or until the tomato starts to soften, and the ghee starts to separate.
  • Add the capsicum, turmeric and chilli powder and fry for a further three minutes.
  • Add the fried paneer and half a cup of water to the pan. Turn heat to high and gently stir everything together for about five minutes. The sauce should thicken as the paneer absorbs the moisture.

to finish

  • Stir in the vinegar, jaggery powder, garam masala and scatter with the remaining shredded ginger and the coriander leaves. Cook for another two minutes, stirring continuously.
  • Remove from heat, sprinkle with the coriander leaves, and serve immediately.

private notes

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nutrition

Serving: 100 g | Calories: 343 kcal | Carbohydrates: 14 g | Protein: 10 g | Fat: 27 g | Saturated Fat: 16 g | Cholesterol: 70 mg | Sodium: 661 mg | Potassium: 391 mg | Fiber: 3 g | Sugar: 6 g | Vitamin A: 1900 IU | Vitamin C: 74.3 mg | Calcium: 329 mg | Iron: 1.5 mg

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