Paneer Jalfrezi

In recent years Paneer Jalfrezi or Mixed Vegetable Jalfrezi has gained quite a rank in popularity charts of vegetarian dishes in India but like me most of the Paneer Jalfrezi lovers does not know what does the word “Jalfrezi means”, earlier I use to think Jalfrezi is some kind of special spice used to season this curry. The word “Jalfrezi” or “Jhalfrezi” or “zalfrezi”is a combination of two words Jhal + Pharezi, Jhal is a Bengali word for spicy and Pharezi in Urdu means suitable for diet so this means Jalfrezi has it’s roots in Asia.

Ingredients:

250 gms Paneer, cut into thin strips of 1″ pieces
1 Onion,cut into half ring julienne
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips of 1″ pieces
1 Capsicum,cut into thin strips of 1″ pieces
1 Carrot, cut into thin strips of 1″ pieces
2 – 3 Baby Corn, cut into thin strips
1 firm Tomato,seeded and cut into thin strips of 1″ pieces

For the sauce:
2 Tomato, blanched and pureed
2 Tbsp Tomato ketchup
2 Tsp. Ginger – Garlic Paste
Salt, as per taste
1 Tsp. Cumin seeds
1 Tsp. Nigella(Kalonji) seeds
Oil for cooking

Other Ingredients:
1 tsp Coriander powder
1 Tsp Garam Masala (see recipe here)
1 Tsp. Each Red Chilly Powder, Turmeric Powder, Coriander Powder and Mango Powder
2 Tsp. Kasuri Methi or Dried Fenugreek Leaves

Instructions:

Cut all the vegetables uniformly into 1″ thin strips along with the paneer and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and nigella seeds and let them splutter.
Add julienne onions and fry until they turn pink and then add ginger-garlic paste and fry well for a minute.
Add thinly cut carrot strips and fry on high flame for 1-2 minutes.
Add tomato puree, tomato ketchup, turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, mango powder, garam masala and salt. Fry them until the mixture is slightly dry.
Add the colored bell peppers,capsicum and fry again on high flame for 2 minutes.
At last add tomato strips(seeded and cut) and paneer strips and gently mix them until all the masalas coat all the vegetables and paneer.Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes but do not stir very frequently otherwise Paneer strips will crumble.
Sprinkle kasuri Methi and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

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