Vegan Indian Tofu Jalfrezi – this one-pan dinner features pan-seared tofu, onion and bell peppers simmered in a spicy smoky sauce flavored with a blend of fresh ginger and garlic, along with Indian spices. Serve with naan! Nutfree, Glutenfree. Option for Soyfree and onion garlic free.
Fans of spicy food will LOVE this easy Vegan Tofu Jalfrezi. This is a popular Indian dish and one of the spicier curries you can find on a restaurant menu. I already have a vegetable jalfrezi recipe on the blog so think of this as a heartier version with big chunks of pan-seared tofu added to the gravy. The flavorful sauce makes for an excellent match for tofu.
Jalfrezi loosely translates to hot stir fry. This dish evolved to use up leftovers and spice them up over high heat with onion and peppers. The seared peppers add smokyness. Some tomato adds the sauce. This is a versatile recipe, use veggies or beans or other additions and use whichever spices you have!
Tofu is such a versatile plant-based addition to curries(although there have been shortages because of the pandemic and I’ve started using soy curls as well) I love how it takes on the flavor of any sauce or marinade in many different cuisines and trust me, this Smoky bell pepper tofu stir fry is amazing!
The jalfrezi sauce is spicy and smoky and flavored with smoked paprika and coriander and garam masala. Your home will be filled with a tantalizing aroma while your curry simmering away. All in all, this easy one skillet dinner takes only about 30 minutes to make, and trust me, you will be going back for seconds. Maximum flavor with minimal effort.
Serve this Jalfrezi with rice or some hot roti or naan or pita bread and mop up all the delicious sauce until the last drop of jalfrezi sauce is cleaned off your plate.
Why will you love this Tofu Jalfrezi?
- It’s a quick one pot weeknight meal
- Serve it with flatbread, bread or rice or add to tacos or wraps! Or over mashed potatoes
- It’s naturally Nutfree and Gluten-free
- options to make without tofu are listed in the recipe notes
- All the restaurant style flavor in your home
- option to make it without onion and garlic is also in the notes
MORE INDIAN COMFORT FOOD
- Baked Madras curry Tofu
- Baked Tofu Curry
- Vegan Navratan Korma
- Handi Lentils
- Baked Balti Veggies
- Veggie curry casserole
- Butter Tofu- GF
- IP Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce GF
- 15 minutes tofu spinach stir fry
Tofu Jalfrezi (One Pan Indian Smoky Tofu Pepper Tomato stir fry)
- 14 ounce (400 g) firm or extra firm tofu pressed at least for 15 minutes and cubed
- 2 teaspoons oil , divided
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 whole dried red chilies such as cayenne or Thai or Kashmiri chilies for mild Break the chilies into 2 only if you want extra heat
- 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 large red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1/2 large green bell pepper thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons minced ginger
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne less for less heat
- 4 ounces tomato puree
- 1/2 teaspoon or more salt
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 teaspoon fenugreek leaves
- cilantro for garnish
- Optional: 2 drops of liquid smoke
- Press and cube the tofu if you haven't already. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a large skillet over medium high heat. Then once the oil is hot, add in your tofu and toss and cook until tofu is golden on most of the edges. Then remove from the skillet.
- Add the other teaspoon of oil and cook at medium high heat.
- Once the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds and mix. Once the cumin seeds are sizzling and have changed color, add in the dried chilies and mix in.
- Add in the onion, half of the red bell pepper, half of the green bell pepper, and smoked paprika and mix well. Cook until the onion is golden on most of the edges.
- Then add in the ginger, garlic and mix well. Add in the coriander and cayenne and mix and cook for another minute or two to cook the garlic as well as to toast the spices.
- Then add in the tomato puree, lime juice, salt, liquid smoke if using, and toss well. Add in the reserved bell peppers and mix in and bring to a boil.
- Then add in the toasted tofu and fenugreek leaves and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.
- Reduce the heat to low and cover and cook for 3 minutes to meld the flavors , then remove the cover. Garnish with cilantro, lime juice, and serve with some flatbread, naan, pita bread or over rice. or add to tacos or wraps!
- Use chickpeas or chickpea tofu. You can use 1 can/1.5 cups cooked chickpeas or 2 cups of cubed chickpea tofu. With chickpeas, skip the first step.
- You can also use vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, potato, green beans, carrots. Cook them in the first step and instead of the tofu until they're al dente and set aside and then add to the sauce and cover and cook for at least 5 minutes.
- I recommend firm or extra firm tofu for this recipe and you want this pressed at least for 15 minutes and cubed
- spices: hot oil is seasoned with cumin seeds and dried red chilies to get the gravy started
- red onions and, thinly sliced bell peppers are sauteed in this spiced oil
- smoked paprika, ginger, garlic, coriander, and cayenne are added for that authentic flavor
- we add tomato puree lends the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity, body, and color to the sauce
- lime juice helps with the heat
- dried fenugreek leaves are the traditional finishing ingredient and adds that authentic touch to the curry. I also like to add cilantro
- liquid smoke: be careful here – a little goes a very long way but I just love this here
- For a less spicy version, add less cayenne
- To make this tofu jalfrezi curry soy-free, you can use chickpeas or chickpea tofu. You can use 1 can of chickpeas or 2 cups of cubed chickpea tofu.
- To make this without soy, you can also use vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, potato, green beans, carrots. Cook them in the first step and instead of the tofu until they’re al dente and set aside and then add to the sauce and cover and cook for at least 5 minutes.
- You can also use chickpeas. You have to skip the first step to toast. Just add them when the sauce is ready and simmer for 5 minutes.
How to make Tofu Jalfrezi:
Press and cube the tofu if you haven’t already. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Then once the oil is hot, add in your tofu and toss and cook until tofu is golden on most of the edges. Then remove from the skillet.
Add the other teaspoon of oil and cook at medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, add in the cumin seeds and mix.
Once the cumin seeds are sizzling and have changed color, add in the dried chilies and mix in.
Add in the onion, half of the red bell pepper, half of the green bell pepper, and smoked paprika and mix well. Cook until the onion is golden on most of the edges.
Then add in the ginger, garlic and mix well. Add in the coriander and cayenne and mix and cook for another minute or two to cook the garlic as well as toast the spices.
Then add in your tomato puree, lime juice, salt, liquid smoke if using, and toss well. Add in the reserved bell peppers and mix in and bring to a boil.
Now, add in your toasted tofu , fenugreek leaves, and mix well. Taste and adjust salt and flavor.
Reduce the heat to low and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes then remove the cover then garnish with cilantro, lime juice, and serve with some flatbread, naan, or over rice.
Like most stews and Indian curries, the flavor of this tofu Jalfrezi will be even better the next day. So feel free to make a double or triple batch so there are plenty of yummy leftovers for later in the week.
Store refrigerated for upto 3 days. Freeze for upto a month.
Thank you so much for this delicious and healthful recipe. Was a perfect way to use the peppers and fresh tomatoes I had on hand. Very lovely summer/fall dish. I added a handful of cooked string beans. I usually bake my tofu rather than frying.
Vegan Richa Support
This receipt is so quick and easy to make.
It’s sweet, tangy, spicy and goes well with paraths. Hits all the taste buds.
Vegan Richa Support
Oh, my goodness! This is so good. My son isn’t a huge bell pepper fan, but he loves this. Thanks, Richa!!!
Vegan Richa Support
wow! he’s a super fan now
I made two servings of this last night, served with boiled brown basmati, seasoned with a few curry leaves.
I used Burmese (chickpea) tofu, and took much longer to prepare the meal because I really wanted to be sure the tofu was crisp and brown. (Incidentally, Richa’s Burmese tofu recipe has less water to flour than most of the recipes I have seen, which produces a much firmer tofu. I could have probably been less careful with it. I don’t have a fridge and it really didn’t matter).
I used lemon instead of lime juice and pureed a fresh tomato, not having a tin available.
The jalfrezi was really, really good and I ate the lot, which was a shame because I’d looked forward to having leftovers!
Yes that chickpea tofu is very sturdy!
This is easily one of my favourite Richa recipes already, I made it last night and it was delicious. So fresh tasting, the right amount of heat and clean bowls all round. I didn’t have whole chillies so subbed for hot chilli flakes and it worked. Will definitely be making this again. Thanks Richa!
Vegan Richa Support
wow! yes, chili flakes come in handy =)
Vegan Richa Support
wow! thank you
I made this for dinner tonight.. halved the tofu and substituted 4 big fresh fresh tomatoes from the garden for the tomato paste. (I live in Australia). Absolutely delicious. Thanks for the recipe. ♥️♥️♥️
I love Jalfrezi and will make this tomorrow night with some yeast-free naan. I will make it with tofu the first time (I’ll be convection ovening the squares to make it oil-free) and then experiment with soy curls as well.
I love your recipes. Thank you for sharing them, we appreciate you. 🤍
I did make it tonight, so delicious! The tofu worked great in the convection oven. Another great recipe!
Vegan Richa Support