malai kofta recipe with step by step photos. malai kofta is a popular as well as most sought after vegetarian indian dish in restaurants.
malai means cream and kofta are fried dumpling balls. usually they are made up of mashed potatoes-veggies, with or without grated paneer. other kofta gravy recipes on the blog are cabbage kofta curry and lauki kofta recipe.
in this malai kofta recipe the koftas are made with potatoes and paneer. these melt in the mouth koftas are dunked in a creamy, sweet and mildly spiced curry.
to make any paneer dish its always better to make paneer at home. if you have time then check this method to make paneer at stove top. or if you are in hurry then you can also make paneer in microwave. i personally prefer the stove top method of making paneer as its more healthy than making paneer in microwave.
there are many variations of the malai kofta curry recipe. here the curry is made from ground cashew paste, onion paste and tomato puree. i have not used cream in this recipe. for the garnish you can use cream if you prefer.
the cashew paste, makes the curry creamy, so need to add cream. you can also use soaked almonds instead of cashews or both soaked almonds and cashews.
i have already shared the aloo paneer kofta recipe just a few days back. you can make stuffed koftas they way i made them for snacks or make them the way i have shown here. in this version, the koftas are not stuffed with dry fruits.
the gravy or curry can be kept white or colored red or brown by using spice powders and tomato puree. both ways the malai kofta tastes good.
the recipe below will make 6-7 koftas with a curry for 3-4 people. let me tell you that malai kofta is a heavy meal. so even 2 koftas would be enough per serving.
long time back i had come across an interesting youtube video by chef harpal sokhi on malai kofta. i had then decided than whenever i write a post on malai kofta recipe, i will share chef’s video on the post. so here it is. i have not tried this version, but just looking at the ingredients and the way chef is making them, i am sure the malai kofta curry is bound to be good.
malai kofta curry recipe below:
- 100 gms paneer/cottage cheese, grated
- 2 medium size potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
- ¼ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
- 1 tbsp cornflour
- a pinch or ¼ tsp garam masala
- ¾ tbsp almond flour or ¾ tbsp milk powder or ¾ tbsp khoya/evaporated milk
- salt as required
- ½ cup onion paste, about 2 medium to large onions, pureed
- 1 cup tomato puree, about 2 large tomatoes pureed
- ¼ cup cashew paste, 12 to 15 cashews soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then blended to a smooth paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ¾ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
- 1 inch ginger/adrak - 4-5 garlic cloves/lahsun - made in to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle
- ¼ tsp garam masala
- 2 cups water
- 1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
- salt as required
- sugar as required (optional)
- oil for shallow or deep frying the koftas
- 1 bay leaf/tej patta
- 1 inch cinnamon/dal chini
- 1 or 2 black cardamom/badi elaichi
- 2-3 green cardamom/hari elaichi or choti elaichi
- a pinch of mace/jayitri
- 2-3 cloves/laung
- 1 tbsp grated paneer
- 1 or 2 tbsp cream
- a few chopped coriander leaves/dhania patta
- mix all the ingredients mentioned under kofta ingredient list except oil in a bowl.
- make medium sized balls and fry the koftas in medium hot oil till golden.
- keep aside.
- remove extra oil from the same pan and keep about 1 or 1.5 tbsp oil.
- add all the whole spices and fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
- first add the onion paste and brown it.
- now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds till the raw aroma of the paste goes away.
- add the tomato puree and saute for 2-3 minutes.
- add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and cashew paste.
- stir and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala paste. add water and stir.
- simmer till the gravy begins to thicken. takes approx 11-12 minutes on a low flame.
- towards the end add crushed kasuri methi leaves and salt.
- you can also add sugar if you want a light sweet taste in the curry. simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
- add the koftas in the curry if serving immediately or you can also add the curry first in the serving plate or bowl and then place the koftas.
- garnish the malai kofta with some cream, grated paneer and coriander leaves.
- serve malai kofta hot with rotis, naan, steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.
step by step malai kofta curry recipe:
a: preparing the koftas –
1: take all the ingredients for the kofta except oil in a bowl.
2: mix really well. the paneer and potatoes would both get mashed up in the process of mixing. shape them into medium sized balls. you can stuff them with dry fruits as shown here.
3: also prepare the cashew paste, onion paste and tomato puree. for preparing so many pastes and purees i always use magic bullet. its quick unlike a chutney grinder and very easy to clean.
4: heat oil for shallow or deep frying. i always shallow fry. add the koftas and fry them till golden on both sides.
5: fry all the koftas this way and drain them on a paper napkins so that the extra oil is absorbed.
b: preparing the malai kofta curry –
6: remove extra oil from the same pan and keep about 1 or 1.5 tbsp oil. add the whole spices and fry them till they release their aroma in the oil.
7: add the onion paste.
8. fry the onion paste till it gets browned. then add ginger-garlic paste or crushed ginger-garlic.
9. add the tomato puree and saute for 2-3 minutes,
10. now add all the dry spice powders and cashew paste.
11. stir and saute till till the oil starts to leave the side of the masala paste. this will take approx 9-10 minutes on a low flame.
12. add water and stir. simmer till the gravy becomes thick and creamy. malai kofta gravy is usually smooth, creamy and slightly thick. you can keep it medium consistency also… they way i have done.
13. add crushed kasuri methi and salt. simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
14. lastly add the fried koftas. if serving malai kofta later, you can just prepare the gravy and add koftas while serving. these koftas are really soft. so if you add them before and serve them later, they will break. since i was serving immediately, i added them to the gravy.