VEGETABLE JALFREZI | INDIAN STYLE STIR FRY
There are days when your refrigerator is brimming away with fresh vegetables that you procured from your favorite store and then there are days when the refrigerator puts on a brave face even though it is all empty and has nothing to offer. Now, Vegetable Jalfrezi is a recipe you want to make in the former scenario.
Contradictory to the common perception, Indian food is not all curry. As matter of fact, most dishes do not even include what you call the “curry powder” in it. Nevertheless, I understand how one could classify any Indian recipe as curry. A tiger and a domesticated cat are both cats, correct? So, anything with that that innate Indian-ness to it (the very same quality that reminds most Indians of home) is classified as curry. I don’t take offense when somebody says this. After all, what’s Italy if not pizza and what’s India if not curry? 🙂
So, if I HAD to, absolutely had to, I would call Vegetable Jalfrezi a dry vegetable “Curry”.
For a recipe that comes together from pan to plate in just under 30 min with any available ingredients, Vegetable Jalfrezi is surprisingly “Gourmet”. It is also wholesome and an ideal way to camouflage those vegetables which usually make your kids/family frown.
To make a perfect Jalfrezi, you have to ensure that the vegetables added in this curry maintain their crunch, yet roasted to a golden perfection. To achieve this, I have precooked my veggies in groups mixing only those with similar cooking times. Although this process does not take too long either and is definitely worth the visual appeal and taste, you can always adopt a shortcut if you are running low on time. Please check “My take section” for more instructions on the same.
Here’s the recipe for restaurant style
VEGETABLE JALFREZI | INDIAN STYLE VEGETABLE STIR FRY
- 3/4 cup julienned bell peppers (mix of red, yellow and green)
- 1/2 cup julienned carrots and string beans
- 1/2 cup cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup sliced onions
- 1/2 cup sliced paneer/tofu
- 1 cup diced tomatoes
- Few shreds of ginger
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
- 2 tbsp paprika/red chili powder (quantity varies as per taste)
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Few mint leaves
- 3 tbsp oil divided
- Add the carrots, string beans and cauliflower florets into boiling water and cook for about 5 min. Drain them and submerge in cold water to maintain their colour.
- Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the paneer/tofu slices and saute till golden.
- Once they are done, drain them onto some paper towels and set aside.
- Add another1/2 tbsp oil into the same pan; add the onions and bell peppers. Sauté them on medium high heat until they turn slightly golden.
- Take them out of the pan while they still have a crunch to them. Set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp oil into the pan. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and onion seeds.
- Add the diced tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy and the oil separates out.
- Add paprika, garam masala and salt. Mix well. Add the onion-pepper mixture and blanched vegetables (carrots, beans and cauliflower).
- Add the shredded ginger (optional) and vinegar. Add the sautéed paneer and mix them all together.
- Heat well. Add the mint leaves and serve.
If you are adopting the short-cut method, skip the steps of sauteing the paneer and bell peppers and continue with the rest of the recipe.
The onion seeds are optional to the recipe. Elimination does not change the taste of the recipe.
If you are not fond of ginger, refrain from adding them into the curry and use them for garnishing.