Vegetable jhalfrezi with pomegranates

Vegetable jhalfrezi with pomegranates

Anjum's Indian Vegetarian Feast
Emma Lee

This is a tomato-based curry where the vegetables take centre stage, retaining their own textures and flavours. You really can make a jhalfrezi with any vegetables as long as you use the same volume; I have listed a few options just to give you some ideas. Look for a good mix of colours, shapes and textures. If you can find baby vegetables, it will make this even more special. Only use pomegranate seeds if they are ripe, otherwise they add too much sourness. I like this quite spicy, so like to add crushed chillies at the end, but I leave that up to you and your palate. Serve with naan.


Quantity Ingredient

For the sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 large ripe tomatoes, quartered
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
15g root ginger, half grated, half sliced into fine julienne, (peeled weight)
4 fat garlic cloves, peeled and grated
4-5 green chillies, whole but pierced with the tip of a knife
2 rounded teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon garam masala
salt, to taste
1/2 small red pepper, finely sliced
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red chillies, (optional)
2 tablespoons single cream, (optional)
good pinch dried pomegranate powder, (optional)
handful pomegranate seeds, (optional)

For the vegetables (you need 3 handfuls of prepared vegetables)

Quantity Ingredient
fingerling or baby potatoes, cooked, peeled, then halved or quartered lengthways
carrots or parsnips, peeled, halved lengthways, then sliced at an angle
wedge butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, cut into wedges
japanese aubergines, quartered lengthways
courgettes, sliced at an angle
broad beans, trimmed
or french beans, trimmed and halved
or sugar snap peas, trimmed


  1. Using a stick blender, blend the tomatoes until smooth. Heat the oil in a large non-stick saucepan. Add the grated ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is cooked and starts to colour, around one minute. Add the green chillies, tomatoes, ground coriander, garam masala and salt. Bring to the boil and allow to simmer until the tomatoes have completely reduced and the sauce releases oil on the base of the pan. Taste; it should seem harmonious.
  2. Meanwhile, cook your chosen vegetables. Bring a pot of water to the boil and salt lightly. Add your vegetables in order of how long they take to cook. I add the starchier vegetables first (here the potatoes, carrots and squash), then follow five minutes later with the aubergines and courgettes, then one to two minutes later with the beans and peas. Cook until they are ready, another two minutes or so. Check as you cook. Drain, but reserve the cooking water.
  3. When ready to serve, add the red pepper strips, ginger julienne, fenugreek leaves and 150 ml of the vegetable cooking liquor to the sauce and return to a boil. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding the crushed chilli, if using. Add the vegetables and stir well to coat them in the light tomato sauce. Splash in a little water if the sauce is too thick; it should be of coating consistency. Ladle into a warmed serving dish, spoon over the cream in a circular pattern, sprinkle the pomegranate powder over the cream so you can see it and then do the same with the pomegranate seeds, if using. Serve.
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