This jalfrezi is specifically for paneer, the Indian cheese, and is little more than a stir-fry.
According to a poll featured in the British Curry Club’s in-house magazine, the jalfrezi is now the most popular choice in Britain’s Indian restaurants. In many Indian restaurants, however, they list ‘jalfrezi’, ‘rogan josh’, ‘dopiaza’, and then simply change the main ingredient from mutton to chicken to vegetable, so you get the impression it’s always the same sauce. This paneer curry recipe is perfect for its main ingredient. This meal, if served as four portions, provides 258kcal, 16g protein, 13g carbohydrate (of which 11.5g sugars), 15g fat (of which 5g saturates), 4g fibre and 1.3g salt per portion.
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1½ tsp cumin seeds
- 1 dried Kashmiri chilli, whole with seeds
- 5cm/2in piece fresh root ginger, finely shredded
- 3 small onions, thinly sliced
- 1 fresh green chilli, chopped, with or without seeds
- 1 red or yellow pepper, seeds removed, cut lengthways into 5mm/¼in-thick strips
- 1 green pepper, seeds removed, cut lengthways into 5mm/¼in-thick strips
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground turmeric
- 1½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
- 250g/9oz paneer, cut into 3cm/1¼in x 1.5cm/¾in pieces
- 3 tomatoes, cut into strips
- 1 tsp wine vinegar
- ½ tsp toasted ground cumin seeds
- ¾ tsp garam masala
Heat the oil in a heavy-based saucepan or karahi over a medium heat and add the cumin seeds, whole dried chilli and about two-thirds of the shredded ginger, and fry for 30 seconds until aromatic.
Add the onions and green chilli and fry for 5–6 minutes, or until the onions are just softening but not browned and still have a little crunch. Add the peppers, salt, turmeric and chilli powder, and fry for a further 3–4 minutes.
Lower the heat, add the paneer to the pan and gently stir everything together for about five minutes, then add the tomato and heat through. Stir in the vinegar, ground cumin and garam masala, scatter with the remaining shredded ginger, and serve.
Paneer is easier and easier to get now, and available in most larger supermarkets. I have on occasion used the Cypriot cheese halloumi, which is similar though saltier.