Vegetable Jalfrezi for DMBLGIT - April 2008

One of the earliest dry curries I learnt to prepare is the version of 'vegetable jalfrezi' I am giving here. The reason why I like jalfrezi is the look! The curried vegetables retain their vivid colours, texture and looks even after the cooking! All right, the truth is it doesn't take much time either!

I thought it will be nice to give a short description of what jalfrezi means, not that I am very knowledgeable about the dos and don'ts but because blogging has also brought with it a curiosity to know more about food - not only in terms of ingredients and methods of cooking, but also an interest in its origin and history. Earlier only catchy words or new ingredients caught my eye - but now almost every aspect be it the name, colour or texture of food items intrigue me! I end up browsing more about the history then the recipes, and so many times I find myself in sites which have nothing to do with where I started!

About jalfrezi:
Have you heard of 'Chettinad Chicken', 'Pindi Chhole' - Yeah!!! common enough, who hasn't - it does give an idea of the nomenclature. Probably originated in Chettinad and Rawalpindi (It's true!). I wondered whether 'Jalfrezi' had any relation to 'Jabalpur'? I was wrong! The similarity in the ends with the sound.

'Jalfrezi' actually means 'hot-fry' or 'stir-fry' and was actually a method of cooking leftover meat or veggies during the British Raj in India. Well! Wikipedia just gave me another way to use leftovers!

I have made jalfrezi using fresh vegetables (from the fridge of course!). I wondered whether the recipe was correct, but now I think it is - I did stir fry and hot fry!

This recipe is from my diary of recipes copied from various magazines when I used to stay in a hostel, so I am afraid I cannot credit the magazine or the author! Here's the recipe:


3 cups full of assorted vegetables julienned thickly (Fat matchsticks!)
I used carrots, potatoes, beans, mushrooms, and cauliflowers. (You may use capsicums - to be added towards the end and tomatoes but I don't as they make the curry a little mushy)
Onion - Thickly sliced - 1 big
Green chillies - slit lengthwise - 2
Ginger - Julienned - 1"
Salt - to taste
Dhania-jeera (Coriander cumin) powder - 1/4 tsp.
Tomato ketchup (I used salsa sauce) - 2 to 3 tsp. (Depends on your taste)
Vinegar - 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Oil - About 1 tbsp.
Ajwain (Aniseeds) - 1 tsp.
Sugar - 1/4 tsp.(Optional - I do not add)


Steam the vegetables (Except capsicum) in microwave for 1and 1/2 minutes on powersteam till the veggies get just cooked. Let them remain crunchy. (It is usually hot fried but I prefer this!)

Heat oil. Add ajwain (Aniseed). When they splutter add onions. Saute till they turn transparent.

Add half done veggies alongwith the masalas (Powders) and salt.

Stir fry till the masalas are mixed well. Add sauce, sugar(Optional) and capsicum and cook till the capsicum is slightly done. Add vinegar after removing from fire. Mix well and serve with rotis, parathas or even rice!

It is a quick and nice dish. My children love it for the taste, and I for the time and the look!!

The veg. jalfrezi displayed above is my entry for my first ever photography contest (since the last entry was incorrect - I had sent a March photo for the March 08 event!!) 'Does my blog look good in it - DMBLGIT - April 2008' hosted this time by Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy. I hope it looks good as it is as I have not played around with the settings except for adding the name of the dish, and the copyright thing!!

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