malai kofta recipe, how to make malai kofta | malai kofta curry recipe

by dassana amit updated April 22, 2014

malai kofta

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. another kofta gravy recipe on the blog is cabbage kofta curry.

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.

malai kofta recipe

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.

malai kofta is best served with tandoori naan, garlic naan or tandoori rotis. even steamed basmati rice or jeera rice goes well with it. i served with phulkas.

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.

lets start step by step malai kofta curry recipe:

a: preparing the koftas -

1: take all the ingredients for the kofta except oil in a bowl.

kofta ingredients

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.

shape the kofta

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.

pastes for malai kofta

4: heat oil for shallow or deep frying. i always shallow fry. add the koftas and fry them till golden on both sides.

frying the malai kofta

5: fry all the koftas this way and drain them on a paper napkins so that the extra oil is absorbed.

frying malai koftas

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.

spices for malai kofta

7: add the onion paste.

frying kofta onion paste

8. fry the onion paste till it gets browned. then add ginger-garlic paste or crushed ginger-garlic.

ginger garlic paste for malai kofta

9. add the tomato puree and saute for 2-3 minutes,

add tomato puree for malai kofta

10. now add all the dry spice powders and cashew paste.

dry spice powders for malai kofta recipe

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.

stir malai kofta paste

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.

malai kofta gravy

13. add crushed kasuri methi and salt. simmer for 1-2 minutes more.

add kasuri methi to malai kofta gravy

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.

malai kofta recipe

14: garnish malai kofta with coriander leaves and serve the malai kofta with rotis, naan, phulka or chapatis.

malai kofta

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.

if you are looking for more paneer recipes then do check paneer butter masala, shahi paneer, palak paneer, matar paneer, paneer makhani and kadai paneer.

malai kofta curry recipe below:

4.9 from 7 reviews
malai kofta
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
malai kofta - potato and paneer koftas in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet gravy.
Recipe type: main
Cuisine: indian, north indian
Serves: 3-4 servings
for the kofta:
  • 100 gms paneer/cottage cheese, grated
  • 2 medium size potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
  • ¼ tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • a pinch or ¼ tsp garam masala
  • ¾ tbsp almond flour or ½ tbsp milk powder or ¾ tbsp khoya/evaporated milk
  • salt as required
for the gravy/curry:
  • ½ cup onion paste
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • ¼ cup cashew paste
  • ¾ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • 1 inch ginger - 4-5 garlic cloves - 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
whole spices/garam masala
  • 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
for garnish:
  • 1 tbsp grated paneer
  • 1 or 2 tbsp cream
  • a few chopped coriander leaves
  1. mix all the ingredients mentioned under kofta ingredient list except oil in a bowl.
  2. make medium sized balls and fry the koftas in medium hot oil till golden.
  3. keep aside.
  4. remove extra oil from the same pan and keep about 1 or 1.5 tbsp oil.
  5. add all the whole spices and fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
  6. first add the onion paste and brown it.
  7. now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds till the raw aroma of the paste goes away.
  8. add the tomato puree and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  9. add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and cashew paste.
  10. stir and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala paste.
  11. add water and stir.
  12. simmer till the gravy begins to thicken. takes approx 11-12 minutes on a low flame.
  13. towards the end add crushed kasuri methi leaves and salt.
  14. you can also add sugar if you want a light sweet taste in the curry.
  15. simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
  16. 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.
  17. garnish the malai kofta with some cream, grated paneer and coriander leaves.
  18. serve malai kofta hot with rotis, naan, steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.

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Delphine April 20, 2014 1

My husband and I are so looking forward to trying this recipe today! We got all the ingredients and are looking at the instructions. We noticed that in the ingredients list, the sauce calls for tomato paste, but the instructions call for tomato puree. Can you please clarify which should be used? Tomato paste and puree taste very differently. We bought tomato paste per the ingredients list, but looking at your picture, it appears we should have bought puree?
Thank you!


dassana amit April 20, 2014 2

delphine, actually its tomato puree. i have used both the words interchangeably. thanks for pointing out. i know in abroad tomato puree is different from tomato paste but in india, we use both these words for puree. have changed the word paste to puree.


Delphine April 21, 2014 3

We made it last night with the puree and it was divine! I’ve been searching for a good malai kofta recipe for decades with no luck. This is just what I was looking for! Thank you! We liked it so much, we linked to your website from our blog:
P.S. Also made your suji halwa recipe last night and that was delish too!


dassana amit April 21, 2014 4

welcome delphine and thanks a lot for the link and for giving this positive feedback. keep visiting.


Barr Hogen February 5, 2014 5

Lovely site. Can’t wait to try your recipe for Mali kofta. I am glad yours isn’t toally white like the one in the video.


dassana amit February 5, 2014 6

thanks barr.


jay December 15, 2013 7

looks mouthwatering.i have a birthday party. i want to make the koftas in advance a day or two maybe. can I do that?


dassana amit December 16, 2013 8

yes jay, you can make the kofta one day in advance (but not 2 days in advance as they are made of paneer). refrigerate the kofta, once the temperature comes down after making them.


Neelam Sharma November 27, 2013 9

Superb recipe… Turned soooooo well….Thank you very much Dassana…


dassana November 27, 2013 10

welcome neelam


Parul November 22, 2013 11

Hi , can you tell me if I don’t want to use cornflour what can I use instead?? N if at all cornflour has to be used which one I should buy ??


dassana November 22, 2013 12

use besan instead of corn flour. first roast the besan in a small pan till its raw aroma goes away and then add it to the potato mixture. you can use any good brand of corn flour. i use either brown & polson or rex.


Heidemarie November 19, 2013 13

Oh, i couldn’t see the amount of turmeric in the ingredient list – about a teaspoon???


Heidemarie November 19, 2013 14

Hi, am about to try this. Can you give me rough idea of amounts of cashews, tomatoes, & onions i will need to make the pastes? Thanks.


dassana November 19, 2013 15

onions can be 1 medium.
tomatoes are about 2 medium to large tomatoes, pureed.
cashews would be 10-12 whole cashews .

will update the post about the turmeric powder. about 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder is added.


keertthana November 17, 2013 16

looks great ..wil definately try this…


Shalini October 23, 2013 17

Reading this, i nw cnt resist myslf frm having one. .:)


trupti October 18, 2013 18

thank u so much for the reply…..will incorporate these changes nxt time….one more thing…..i tried to shallow fry them wid enuf oil…..however they stuck the to bottom the moment i put it in n thts why they fell apart….they stuck bad….any tip?

n yeah forgot to mention…..luv ur blog….easy way of cooking….thank u so much….:-)


dassana October 19, 2013 19

okay. they stuck and thats why they broke. what kadai you use. nonstick or a thick bottomed iron or aluminium kadai. generally when frying, the kadai as well as the oil has to be hot. what i have observed is that if i don’t use a particular kadai for frying at all or use it for making sabzis or roasting etc, then when i fry in it, the pakoras sometimes get stuck. so usually i stick to one kadai for deep or shallow frying.


trupti October 17, 2013 20

Hi….I made this today, but y koftas weren’t as smooth s yours…..also they were breaking apart…where did I go wrong


dassana October 17, 2013 21

to get the smoothness you have to mix and mash the kofta mixture really well. did they break after adding the gravy or before. if before, then that means the mixture has not binded well. depends upon the quality of paneer and potatoes. so some extra cornflour added would have not allowed the koftas to break while frying. and if after when you added them to the gravy, then they have to be added just before serving. if the koftas are immersed in the gravy, then they absorb the gravy and break.


Kirti September 1, 2013 22

Dear Dassani

I really love your recipies. I love cooking but dont get a lot of time to do so. But i really enjoy your recipies as they are so easy & quick & come out very well, just the way u describe them. My son love s to try this one.



dassana September 2, 2013 23

thanks kirti


Sara August 7, 2013 24

Do you think that it is possible to replace the paneer with tofu to make a vegan version?


dassana August 7, 2013 25

hi sara. you can easily replace tofu with paneer. thats what i do with all the paneer recipes that i make at home now. i use tofu :-)


Sara August 8, 2013 26

Super! Thank you for the quick reply :-)


dassana August 9, 2013 27

sara, you are welcome.


MOTISH MEHTA July 19, 2013 28



dassana July 19, 2013 29

thanks Motish


Steph June 13, 2013 30

Hi! This looks AMAZING! I can’t wait to try it. Malai kofta is one of my favourite foods ever so I would love to make it.
I’ve made the red thai curry recipe from your blog and it’s fabulous so can’t wait to try this one.
Keep up the great cooking!


Shruthi June 13, 2013 31

Really good! Love koftas and this is really yummy!


Nancy Desai May 22, 2013 32

Hello. Lovely recipe. An all time favourite !!
A quick question though. Almond flour is same as almond powder?
In case I don’t have khoya or milk powder what do I use? Thank you!


dassana May 22, 2013 33

hi nancy, it is same. then no need to add them. the milk powder or khoya or almond powder just gives a nice sweet tinge to the koftas.


Pushpa May 10, 2013 34

Excellent recepie . Love it. Really wonderful


dassana May 10, 2013 35

thanks pushpa


meena May 5, 2013 36

looks stunning,never tried your version so this is so amazing.


meena May 5, 2013 37

wow before i started blogging i always craved for koftas in restaurants
now we know with little or more effort we can make it at home and get even more for less price

i love ur version here and what is magic bullet thing.. can u pls share the pic of it. wud try to get it here if i can


dassana May 6, 2013 38

magic bullet is mini chopper & blender. good for making small batch of chutneys, masala paste purees and even chopping. i purchased from flipkart. you can search on amazon or flipkart. btw i have the chinese version purchased in error. but still going good.


Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb May 4, 2013 39

oh wow with cashew paste!! =P You have awakened the gourmande in me Dassana. ;)


Swasthi May 4, 2013 40

you have given a very good shape to the koftas. looks yum. great photography too Dassana


dassana May 4, 2013 41

thanks swasthi.


Siva May 4, 2013 42

This is very good….wondered about this recipe…thanks for the pics…it makes this recipe easy to make….


aparna May 4, 2013 43

Can’t expect a much more rich gravy :) drooling !


archana March 11, 2014 44

awesome recipe…my family loved it :)