Jalfrezi or “dry fry” is an Indian curry in which marinated pieces of meat or vegetables are fried in oil and spices to produce a thick, dry sauce. You can use bell peppers, onions, paneer, French beans, or any of your favorite vegetables.
If you are making Paneer Jalfrezi, you can either use home-made paneer (cottage-cheese) or store bought fried paneer. Here’s how you can make panner at home:
You will need 1 gallon of milk and 1/3 to ½ cup fresh lemon juice. Bring milk to a boil in a large pan. Reduce the heat to low and, while gently stirring, add the lemon juice. When the milk separates into cheese curds and yellowish whey, remove the pan from the heat. Line a strainer with a triple thickness of cheesecloth 22 to 24 inches square. Using a slotted spoon gently transfer the large pieces of paneer into the strainer, then slowly pour the smaller bits and whey through it. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth and tie the cheese into a tight bundle. Rinse the paneer curds with a slow stream of water to remove the lemon taste. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Place the cheese into a slanted surface draining into the sink. Neatly fold the cheesecloth over the cheese to make a flat, square parcel and balance a heavy, flat weight on top of it. Drain and press the paneer until it is firm. Refrigerate it. You can cut the paneer into ½ or ¾ inch cubes and shallow fry them in ghee or oil. (Extracted from “India – The Vegetarian Table” by Yamuna Devi).
I used store-bought fried paneer. The recipe for Jalfrezi has been adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor’s “Simply Vegetarian”.
1.400 gms Paneer – cut into cubes
2.2 medium tomatoes
3.2 medium capsicums
4.2 medium onions
5.½ tsp ginger paste
6.½ medium bunch coriander leaves
7.2 whole red chillies
8.3 tbsp oil
9.1 tsp cumin seeds
10.1 ½ tsp red chilli powder
11.½ tsp turmeric powder
12.Salt to taste
13.1 ½ tbsp vinegar
14.1 tsp garam masala powder
1.Wash and cut tomatoes, onions, and capsicums into slices.
2.Clean, wash, and chop coriander leaves. Remove stems and break red chillies into two.
3.Heat oil in a pan. Add the cumin seeds. When they change color, add red chillies, ginger, and onions. Sauté till the onions turn golden brown.
4.Now, add the red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Stir well and add capsicum. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add paneer and toss. Add salt and vinegar and cook for 2-3 mins. Stir in the tomato pieces and garam masala powder
5.Serve hot with chapatis.
This is my entry for the letter “J” for Nupur’s A-Z series. Hope you like it!