Vegetable Jalfrezi Curry

One thing you might know about me is that I’m really passionate about our environment and working towards a sustainable future. And, as sad I am to admit this, the meat industry, unfortunately, is too big a factor in today’s pollution that we can ignore. Hence, you are seeing more and more articles about the ‘planet diet’ and such. I don’t believe in being preachy, and I won’t be – so meat eaters don’t worry! But I did decide to make some changes in my lifestyle to start doing my bit beyond using reusable cups and avoiding plastic and such. I might write a proper post on the changes I’ve made if you would be interested but for now just a quick one: I’ve stopped eating meat every other week, therefore massively reducing my consumption. This is one of the best recipes I’ve made in this period (and in general!)

More in vegetable curries: Yotam Ottolenghi’s Hawaij root vegetable stew with whipped fenugreekChickpea, tomato and spinach curryQuick spinach, sweet potato and coconut stew + bonus Korma Paste recipe

Vegetable Jalfrezi

Serves 4 | Prep 25 mins | Cook 50 mins
Easy | Gluten-Free | Vegetarian


Tip: I made my own Jalfrezi paste, but if you’d like to make this even simpler, just use 175g. Jalfrezi Paste from a jar.

You’ll need

For the Jalfrezi Paste:

  • 2 cloves garlic, pealed;
  • 5 cm piece of fresh root ginger, pealed;
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric;
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil;
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree;
  • 1 fresh green chilli;
  • 15g fresh coriander;
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds;
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds.

For the Curry:

  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil;
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced;
  • ½ butternut squash, cut into chunks;
  • 1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets;
  • 1 vegetable stock cube;
  • bunch coriander leaves, picked and stalks finely chopped;
  • 500ml passata;
  • 1 red pepper, sliced;
  • 1 yellow pepper, sliced;
  • 400g can chickpea, drained and rinsed;
  • 100g natural yogurt;
  • 1 fresh green chilli, sliced;
  • boiled rice, to serve;
  • naan bread, to serve.

First make the Jalfrezi paste. Put a frying pan on a medium to high heat and add the cumin, fenugreek, coriander and mustard seeds to the dry pan. Lightly toast them for a few minutes until golden brown and smelling delicious, then remove the pan from the heat. 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 and ½ a teaspoon of sea salt until you have a smooth paste.

For the curry. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onions and cook over a low heat for about 8-10 mins until soft, stirring them often and adding a splash of water if they start to stick. Add the Jalfrezi paste and mix well, then add the squash, cauliflower, stock cube, coriander stalks, passata and 500ml water. Simmer for 20 mins, adding some more water if it gets too thick.

Add the peppers and chickpeas, and cook for 15-20 mins more, until all the veg is tender. Stir in the yogurt and most of the coriander leaves. Serve scattered with the rest of the coriander and the sliced chilli, with rice and naan bread on the side.

Original recipes: Jalfrezi Paste by Jamie Oliver, available online here. Vegetable Jalfrezi recipe from BBC Good Food magazine, issue May 2013, available online here.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Veganuary might be almost ending but vegan isn’t going anywhere. More and more friends and people I know are turning to more plant based foods in a bit to save the environment. While we need more change in the world to support sustainability and reduce pollution, I do believe, in the words of Tesco, that every little helps. While I’m not planning to go vegan (sorry, I can’t live without cheese…) I am looking to introduce more veggie and plant-based meals at home, by my meat from sustainable sources and doing little things like reducing dairy intake like swapping milk for oat milk in my coffee..

Anyway, back to this recipe. This chickpea curry is just great in all fronts! With just around 150 kcal per serving (according to BBCGoodFood), low fat, containing 2 of your 5 a day, AND it costs around £6 to make (that’s under £2 per serving!). You guessed it, it’s also really quick to make. You just can’t go wrong with this one. If you need to dial down the heat, halve the chillies.

Chickpea, tomato and spinach curry

Serves 4 | Prep 10 minutes | Cook 25 minutes
Easy | Vegan | Gluten and Dairy Free

Chickpea tomato and spinach curry 1

You’ll need:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ finger length piece fresh root ginger, shredded
  • 2 mild red chillies, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 4 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato purée
  • 400g can chickpea, rinsed and drained
  • 200g baby spinach leaves
  • rice or naan bread, to serve

Heat the oil in a large, deep pan or a sauce pan, and fry the onion over a low heat until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger and chillies and cook for a further 5 mins until the onions are golden and the garlic slightly toasted.

Add the turmeric, garam masala and cumin, stirring over a low heat for a few secs. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and add the tomato purée, then simmer for 5 mins.

Add the chickpeas to the pan with 300ml water (fill the can three-quarters full). Simmer for 10 mins before stirring in the spinach to wilt. Season well and serve with rice or naan.

Nutrition: per serving

kcal 145, fat 6g, saturates 0g, carbs 17g, sugars 6g, fibre 5g, protein 7g, salt 0.56g

Original recipe and nutritional information from BBCGoodFood issue December 2009, available online here.