Paneer jalfrezi! It sounds like foreign cuisine, something absolutely different & special. Special spices will be added and some secret instructions must be followed to prepared this. What is your opinion about such name of a food? Did you ever hear about this? Did you taste this ever?
Jalfrezi sounds like a surname of an unknown region, haha. “Mr Jalfrezi is coming here.” 😀 Paneer is desi but before Jalfrezi it sounds something unknown. I think most people never heard of this food. Of-course if you are a real foodie and travel a lot & often try different cuisine, read many magazines, articles on food then you should know about this food. Otherwise, it is not a common paneer based food.
I never heard about this paneer based food till 2010. I first time encountered with this food at a wedding reception party in Delhi. There were a lot of different paneer based dishes and paneer Jalfrezi was one of those items. I took one full spoon of that and tried it with peas rice. It was awesome. Then I tried this with kulcha too. I liked that too. I asked the person who was serving that food but I found he was clueless. Actually, I wanted to know the meaning of the food. But he did not know the meaning.
After that, I forgot about the incident. But after a few years, I read somewhere about that food. I tried that myself at home to get that awesome taste but I failed. My first attempt was not successful. Then I tried to make restaurant-style paneer Jalfrezi at home but those were not satisfactorily but not bad also.
Till then I thought it was a North Indian dish. I never tried to find out the meaning of the name after the first time when I tried it in a wedding reception party. But a few days back I read a Wikipedia post on such food. Then I came to that it is not a typical North Indian dish rather it is more closer to Bengali cuisine. Here Jal means ‘Jhal’, a Bengali word which means hot/chilli or spicy. But frezi came from ‘parhezi’, a Persian word which means a suitable diet. I boost me to cook this restaurant style paneer jalfrezi again at home and the final result was excellent.
Restaurant style paneer Jalfrezi recipe
- 150 gm paneer
- 1.5 capsicum, cut into long thin pieces
- 1 carrot, cut into long thin pieces
- 1 medium-size tomato, (remove seed) cut into long pieces
- 2 small onion, cut into 4 pieces each, separate layers
- 1 tbsp tomato puree
- 2 tsp ginger paste
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1.5 tsp cumin powder
- 1.5 tsp red chilli powder
- Salt as needed
- 1.5 tbsp oil for cooking
- ½ cup water
- Heat oil in a cooking pot, add ginger & garlic paste, saute till raw aroma goes away
- Add cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt, stir
- Now pour tomato puree and fry for next 2 mins over low fire, stir occasionally
- Add pieces of capsicum, carrot, tomato and onion, cook another 4-5 minutes
- Pour water, then stir and allow it to start boiling for next 2mins
- Then add medium size paneer cubes and again boil till gravy almost dried up
- Serve this paneer jalfrezi with roti or peas rice