Vegetable Jalfrezi (Curry)

c/o Jamie Oliver, this recipe yields a boatload of DELICIOUS curry that seems to taste better and better each time you reheat the (many!) leftovers from the freezer.


• 1 medium onion
• 1 fresh red chili
• a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
• 2 cloves of garlic
• a small bunch of fresh coriander
• 2 red peppers
• 1 cauliflower
• 3 ripe tomatoes
• 1 small butternut squash
• 1 x 400g tin of chickpeas
• peanut or vegetable oil
• a pat of butter
• ½ a 283g jar of Patak’s jalfrezi curry paste or my jalfrezi paste (see below)
• 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
• 4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 2 lemons
• 200g natural yoghurt


The great thing about this curry is the slightly sweet and sour flavor from the peppers. Do experiment with other combinations of vegetables such as courgettes, aubergines or potatoes once you’ve mastered this version – bigger, chunkier veggies need longer cooking times, so add them at the start, and delicate veggies like peas and spinach need only minutes, so they can go in right at the end. This will serve 8 people – just halve the recipe if your pan isn’t large enough, or else freeze any leftovers.

To prepare your curry:
1. Peel, halve and roughly chop your onion. Finely slice the chilli. Peel and finely slice the ginger and garlic. Pick the coriander leaves and finely chop the stalks. Halve, deseed and roughly chop the peppers. Break the green leaves off the cauliflower and discard. Break the cauliflower into florets and roughly chop the stem. Quarter the tomatoes. Carefully halve the butternut squash, then scoop out the seeds with a spoon and discard. Slice the squash into inch-size wedges, leaving the peel on but removing any thick skin, then roughly chop into smaller pieces. Drain the chickpeas.

To cook your curry:
2. Put a large casserole-type pan on a medium to high heat and add a couple of lugs of oil and the butter.
3. Add the onions, chilli, ginger, garlic and coriander stalks and cook for 10 minutes, until softened and golden. Add the peppers, butternut squash, drained chickpeas and jalfrezi curry paste. Stir well to coat everything with the paste. Add the cauliflower, the fresh and tinned tomatoes and the vinegar. Fill 1 tin with water, pour into the pan and stir again.
4. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and simmer for 45 minutes with the lid on.
5. Check the curry after 30 minutes and, if it still looks a bit wet after this time, leave the lid off for the rest of the remaining 15 minutes. When the veg are tender, taste and add salt and pepper – please season carefully – and a squeeze of lemon juice

To serve your curry:
6. Delicious with poppadums or my Light and fluffy rice recipe, and with a few spoonfuls of natural yoghurt, a sprinkle of coriander leaves and a few lemon wedges for squeezing over.

To make your own jalfrezi curry paste:
2 cloves of garlic a thumb-sized piece of fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons groundnut oil
2 tablespoons tomato purée
1 fresh green chili a small bunch of fresh coriander

1. First peel the garlic and ginger.
2. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the spices for toasting to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat.
3. Add the toasted spices to a pestle and mortar and grind until fine, or put them into a food processor and whiz to a powder. Either way, when you’ve ground them whiz the toasted spices in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients until you have a smooth paste.


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Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

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