Jalfrezi (also jhal frezi, zalfrezi, jaffrazi, and many alternative spellings) is a Bengali dish that involves frying marinated pieces of meat, fish, paneer or vegetables in oil and spices to produce a dry, thick sauce.
The other main ingredients are green chilli, capsicum, onion and tomato. Because of the green chilli, a jalfrezi can range in heat from a medium dish to a very hot one. Typically those eating jalfrezi cool it down by serving it with raita.
Jalfrezi recipes originally appeared in cookbooks of the British Raj in the early 1800s CE as a way of using up leftovers – a practice taboo to Hindus – by frying them in chilli and onion. This English language usage is derived from colloquial Bengali, where the word jhāl means hot or spicy food. The Raj term is often jal fry.
In a BBC survey in 2020, jalfrezi was rated the most popular dish in UK Indian restaurants.