Tofu Jalfrezi (Tofu cooked with Three Peppers)

tofu jalfrezi

"Jal" translates to spicy, "Frezi" translates to suitable for a diet.  Jalfrezi is a thick sauce that is typically prepared with onions, peppers, and tomatoes.  This dish is often made with Paneer or Chicken, I decided to make this dish with Tofu, a much healthier substitute of Paneer. 

I really enjoyed having this dish with Basmati brown rice... the look of this dish reminded me of Thai food... so brown rice seemed obvious.  My husband who dislikes both tofu and brown rice surprisingly enjoyed this dish. He didn't mind the brown rice at all, and actually said, "the brown rice is not bad."  Finally... I'm getting him to become healthier.  It isn't about dieting, it's about eating healthy at home, making some conscious choices, and choosing an overall healthier lifestyle.  Of course when I dine out, all my logic goes out the window, I indulge, just a little.  :-)  That's my philosophy on eating right, and it works for me!

NUTRITION: Tofu is an excellent source of Protein for vegetarians. It is also rich in Calcium and Iron.  Bell Peppers are a great source of Vitamins A, B6, and C.  Tomatoes are a good source of Vitamins A and C. 

for Tofu:

  • Oil - 1/2 tbsp
  • Tofu - 14 oz. (cut into small cubes and sauteed)
for Gravy:
  • Oil - 1.5 or 2 tbsp
  • Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Red Onions - 2 medium (finely chopped)
  • Green Chillies - 3 (sliced)
  • Garlic - 3 cloves (chopped)
  • Ginger - 1 inch piece (chopped)
  • Red Pepper - 1 (roughly chopped)
  • Green Pepper - 1 (roughly chopped)
  • Yellow Pepper - 1 (roughly chopped)
  • Plum Tomatoes - 2 (chopped)
  • Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1 - 1.5 tsp (I used 1.5 tsp)
  • Fresh Coriander Leaves - handful (chopped)
  • salt to taste

1. Here is the tofu I used.  

2. Chop into small cubes...  

3. Heat a pan on high heat (dial #7), add 1/2 a tbsp of oil, add tofu.   

4. Saute until golden brown.  

5. Set aside.  Turn off stove.  Save the pan.  

6. Chop the onions, ginger, garlic, and slice the green chillies.   

7. Heat the same pan on medium heat (dial #5), add 2 tbsp of oil, add the mustard seeds, once they start popping...  

8. Add the cumin seeds and turmeric powder.  Saute for 10 seconds or so.  

9. Add the ginger, garlic, and green chillies.  Saute for 20 seconds or so.  

10. Add the onions.  Lower the heat to dial #3.  Add salt after 3 minutes, and allow onions to become golden brown.  

11. In the meantime chop the bell peppers.  

12. Once the onions are golden brown, add the bell peppers.  Increase heat to dial #5.  Add salt.  Combine.  

13. Cover and allow this to cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.  

14. In the meantime, chop the tomatoes.  For more gravy, you can go ahead and add an extra tomato.  

15. This is what should be cooking after 10 minutes.  

16. Add the tomatoes, coriander powder, chili powder, and some more salt.  Combine.  

17. Cover and cook for 15 minutes.   

18. Add the tofu, NOT the garam masala ( I accidentally added the garam masala too early ).  Combine.  

19. Cover and cook for another 5-10 minutes until the bell peppers are very very soft, you shouldn't have to chew on it.  

20. In the meantime, chop the fresh coriander leaves.  

21. This is what you should have after 5-10 minutes, NOW ADD THE GARAM MASALA.  Adjust salt.  Stir and cook for a couple minutes.  

22. Add coriander leaves and turn off the stove.  

23. Wait about 20 minutes before serving.  Allow the flavors to combine.


  1. I tried the recipe and it turned out looks very colorful and totally irresistible!!!!

  2. Awesome. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Wow, the more I peek arpund your blog the more inspired I get! Now I just have to go about trying to find fresh coriander leaves in Sweden (=

  4. I tried this recipe and came out delicious. Extremely flavorful and colorful - I tend to get hungry with tofu dishes - but this was filling and super healthy! Thanks!

  5. That tofu jalfrezi was SOOO good. Tasted like something I would eat at Tamarind Restaurant in New York City (or some other fancy Indian restaurant). I think it may have been my favorite dish so far from all of your recipes (I've only tried 3 so far). I only made one minor adjustment - I don't think my tomatoes were watery enough so I added half a can of tomato paste to make the gravy gravier. It was delish. Thanks to you, Honey What's Cooking, I'm cooking!

  6. Well Nandini, you just made my day! First off, to compare my dish to something you would eat at Tamarind is a compliment in itself - I have yet to go there. And I'm soooo glad I got you cooking! :-)

  7. Great dish! Tastes like something my mom would make - and that's a compliment since she's a great cook! Your pictures and step by step directions were so easy to follow. Certainly going to try other dishes on your site!

  8. Huge success!! I LOVE this website. Just a few months ago, i couldn't even boil water, now thanks to this website I can whip up meals in not time..Thanks Honey =)

  9. @Anonymous - Your comment seriously MADE MY DAY! It's comments like this that inspire me to do what I love doing most - cooking, baking, and writing about it!!! Thank you!!! :)

  10. Cooked this with my 6 year old telling me the steps. It came out awesome. I used extra firm tofu.


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