Curry House jalfrezi (vegan)


    1 large aubergine

    4 tbsp sunfl ower oil (or olive oil)

    1 onion

    1 red pepper

    small bunch coriander

    5 green bird’s-eye chillies

    12 cherry tomatoes

    3 tbsp curry powder

    1 tsp garam masala, plus extra to taste

    ¼ tsp hot chilli powder, plus extra to taste

    8 tbsp tomato purée

    For the stock:

    1 onion

    5cm piece fresh ginger

    5 garlic cloves

    ½ red chilli

    3 cherry tomatoes

    1 tbsp sunfl ower oil (or olive oil)

    ¼ tsp ground coriander

    ¼ tsp ground cumin

    ¼ tsp ground fenugreek

    ¼ tsp ground turmeric

    ¼ tsp paprika

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Main serves 3

“The spicy and flavourful jalfrezi has now overtaken tikka masala as Britain’s favourite curry!” write Henry and Ian. “This stock can be prepared in advance and frozen or kept in the fridge in an airtight container, so make a double batch to save time. Be sure to taste the curry as you go to get the perfect balance, as spices can vary in strength.”

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Preheat the grill to 200C/400F. Trim the aubergine and cut it into 2cm chunks, then spread them over the baking tray. Drizzle over 2 tbsp of the oil, season with a good pinch of salt, and toss to coat. Grill for 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Remove when golden brown all over but not burnt.


Meanwhile, make the stock. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon, then grate the flesh. Peel and grate the garlic. Put the ginger and garlic into a bowl and mix with 1 tbsp water to make a paste. Finely chop the red chilli and tomatoes.


Place a saucepan on a medium heat and pour in the oil. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes before adding 1 tsp of the ginger and garlic paste. Add the rest of the ingredients with 250ml water and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes until the mixture is browned and has reduced. Then, pour in another 250ml water, stir and transfer to a liquidiser. Blend to a smooth liquid and clean out the pan.


Back to the curry. Peel and thinly slice the onion, and then thinly slice the flesh of the pepper, discarding the seeds and stem. Pick the leaves from the coriander –finely chop the stems and roughly chop the leaves. Trim and thinly slice 2 of the chillies. Quarter the tomatoes.


Pour the remaining 2 tbsp oil into the clean saucepan. Place over a high heat and add the onion, pepper and sliced chillies and fry for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Stir in the chopped coriander stems and remaining ginger and garlic paste (from making the stock). Add the curry powder, garam masala, hot chilli powder, tomato purée, grilled aubergine and stock. Taste and add more salt, garam masala and chilli powder if needed. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until slightly thickened.


When ready to eat, transfer to a serving dish. Cut the remaining chillies in half lengthways and use them to garnish the curry along with the chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice.

Plant-based cooks Henry Firth and Ian Theasby have just released their second book, Bish Bash Bosh!, which is full of straightforward, imaginative meat-free meals. They recently rocked up in Bristol to show off this new vegan-focused tome at Waterstones, and gave us this flavour packed recipe from its pages.

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