Just make do Jalfrezi – Vegetarian of Course!

The wonderful thing about curry is that curry is a wonderful thing! In the frugal kitchen blends of Indian spices can be used in so many ways. We love a good curry and whats more whatever vegetables are left in the bottom of the veg box or even bagged up in the freezer can be turned into a delicious dinner.

Tonight’s diner is going to be Vegetable Jalfrezi. I read somewhere recently that the rich dry tomato curry Jalfrezi has now taken over as the favorite curry in the UK. I decided to call it “Just Make do Jalfrezi” as you can use what ever vegetables are to hand, forgotten in the fridge or lurking in the freezer.

My favored spice blend for Jalfrezi has developed from a number of recipes I have tried over the years. Feel free to tweak it as you please.  The recipe below is enough for 4 servings.
Jalfrezi spices

1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp corriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic and ginger paste
2 large red chilies chopped (these aren’t very hot hence using two)

Other ingredients needed

2 tsp of tomato paste
1 tsp of oil
1 large onion sliced thickly
1 tsp of lemon juice
1/4-1/2 pint of water (only use as much as is needed to keep the pan wet)

(The just make do bit
the choice of vegetables below are today selection)

8 medium sized mushrooms
2 parsnips, chopped and par boiled
2 cups of frozen broccoli and cauliflower (defrosted and chopped)


  • Warm the oil in a large frying pan
  • add the sliced onion and all the spices, fry lightly but be careful not to burn them
  • once the onions are starting to look transparent, add a generous splash of water the lemon juice and tomato paste
  • turn the heat down and simmer the tomato/spice mixture for a few minutes
  •  add the mushrooms and parsnips to the pan, if the mixture is drying out splash in a little more water- cook for 5 minuites
  • add the broccoli and cauliflower stir and cook on a low heat for a further 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve the curry with your side of choice ours was brown rice with peas and spinach


As you can see from the picture the Jalfrezi curry is quite dry, the vegetables should be quite crisp and not over cooked but the flexibility of this dish means you can really use the basic spice blend with any combination of vegetables. Ideally it would be topped with chopped coriander leaves, but hey I was just making do so I grabbed some parsley from the garden.

Other combinations I would recommend are…

Peppers (I use frozen as they are budget friendly) with green beans and new potatos

Mushrooms with spinach and courgettes (zucchini)

This post has been the latest post in the April A to Z Blogging challenge. I hope you have enjoyed the read.


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