malai kofta

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Malai kofta recipe With step by step photos. These are delicious melt in the mouth paneer kofta in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet onion tomato based gravy.

malai kofta recipe, malai kofta, paneer kofta

What is malai kofta

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, mix vegetables or paneer.

In this delicious restaurant style malai kofta recipe, the kofta are made with paneer and potatoes. They are crisp as well as melt in the mouth. These tasty paneer kofta are dunked in a smooth, mildly sweet and lighted spiced curry. The combination of the kofta with the curry taste awesome. This is one of the best malai paneer kofta you can make at home. The recipe is for keeps.

There are many variations of the Malai kofta Recipe. in this recipe the curry or gravy 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 only making the Aloo paneer ka kofta as a snack just a few days back. In this snack version, I have added dry fruits and nuts. So you can either make stuffed dry fruit & nuts koftas for snacks or make them the way I have shown here without stuffing with dry fruits and nuts. In the recipe shown in this post, the koftas are not stuffed with dry fruits.

malai kofta recipe

Malai kofta is best served with roti or paratha or naan or roomali roti. 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. To make any paneer dish its always better to make paneer at home.

The recipe below will make 6 to 7 paneer kofta with a curry for 3 to 4 people. Let me tell you that Malai kofta is a heavy meal. so even 1 to 2 paneer kofta would be enough per serving.

How to make malai kofta


1: take all the ingredients mentioned under “For making paneer kofta” except oil in a bowl.

The ingredients needed are 100 grams grated paneer, 2 medium size potatoes (boiled and grated), ¼ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 to 2 tablespoons cornflour (corn starch), ⅛ teaspoon garam masala powder, salt as required and 1 tablespoon almond flour. Instead of almond flour, you can also use 1 tablespoon milk powder OR 1 tablespoon khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids).

malai 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 in this Aloo paneer ka kofta recipe. Do note that before shaping and frying the entire batch, check a small tiny piece of the paneer kofta in hot oil (step 4 below). If it does not break, then you can easily fry the remaining koftas. If it breaks, then add some more binding agent like corn flour (corn starch). You can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of corn flour. Mix and shape into koftas.

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. It is quick unlike a chutney grinder and very easy to clean.

pastes for malai kofta

Frying paneer kofta

4: heat oil for shallow or deep frying. I always shallow fry. Add the paneer kofta in medium hot oil. Fry them till golden on both sides.

frying the malai kofta

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

frying malai koftas

Making malai kofta

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 recipe

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 recipe

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

add tomato puree for malai kofta recipe

10. Now add the cashew paste. Also add red chili powder and ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder.

dry spice powders for malai kofta recipe

11. Stir and saute till the oil starts to leave the side of the masala paste. This will take approx 9 to 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, the way I have done.

malai kofta gravy recipe

13. Add crushed kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) and salt as required. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more.

add kasuri methi to malai kofta gravy

Serving malai kofta

14. Lastly add the fried kofta. If serving malai kofta later, you can just prepare the gravy and add kofta while serving. These paneer kofta 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

15: garnish malai kofta with coriander leaves and Serve the Malai kofta with rotis, naan or jeera rice or saffron rice or chapatis.

malai kofta recipe

Few more Paneer gravy recipes for you

  1. Shahi paneer
  2. Matar paneer
  3. Paneer tikka masala
  4. Paneer butter masala
  5. Palak paneer

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malai kofta recipe, paneer kofta recipe

Malai Kofta

4.8 from 79 votes
Malai kofta is a popular cottage cheese dish. Potato and paneer kofta in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet gravy.
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins

Cuisine Indian, North Indian
Course: Main Course

Servings 3 to 4 servings


for kofta

  • 100 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - grated
  • 2 medium size potatoes - boiled, peeled and grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cornflour (corn starch)
  • teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tablespoon almond flour or 1 tablespoon milk powder or 1 tablespoon khoya (mawa or dried evaporated milk solids)
  • salt as required
  • oil for frying paneer koftas

for gravy

  • ½ cup onion paste or about 2 medium to large onions, pureed
  • 1 cup Tomato Puree or about 2 large tomatoes pureed
  • ¼ cup cashew paste or 12 to 15 cashews soaked in warm water for 30 minutes and then blended to a smooth paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 inch ginger + 4 to 5 garlic cloves - made in to a fine paste in a mortar-pestle
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • salt as required
  • sugar as required (optional)
  • oil for shallow or deep frying the koftas

whole spices

  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 or 2 black cardamom
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom
  • 2 to 3 single strands of mace or a light pinch of mace powder
  • 2 to 3 cloves

for garnish

  • 1 tablespoon grated paneer (cottage cheese)
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon cream
  • a few chopped coriander leaves (cilantro leaves)


making paneer kofta

  • Mix all the ingredients mentioned under "For making paneer kofta" ingredient list except oil in a bowl.
  • Make medium sized balls and fry the paneer koftas in medium hot oil till golden.
  • Keep the fried kofta aside.

making malai kofta

  • 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.

serving malai kofta

  • Lastly, add the fried paneer kofta. If serving later, you can just prepare the gravy and add kofta while serving. These paneer kofta are really soft. So if you add them before and serve them later, they will break. 
  • While serving, garnish with some cream, grated paneer and coriander leaves.
  • Serve malai kofta hot with rotis, naan, steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Malai Kofta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 414 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Fat 24g37%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 1624mg71%
Potassium 1116mg32%
Carbohydrates 40g13%
Fiber 7g29%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 685IU14%
Vitamin C 30.9mg37%
Calcium 273mg27%
Iron 7mg39%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Dassana Amit

Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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Comments are closed.


  1. Hi

    Finally made these today, using home made paneer, and keeping in mind your tip about it!

    I made them as a snack, just the kofta without the gravy. And they were so so so yum!!! Just perfect to liven up this rainy weekend evening 🙂

    Thank you so much for yet another amazing and fail proof recipe!

    Warm regards
    Shubhi5 stars

    1. Great and thanks for letting me know and taking the time to respond back. Thanks for the rating too. Most welcome.

  2. Hi. In this malai kofta recipe can I use maida in place of corn flour. I don’t have..

  3. Ooops.. your name got misspelt in my comment due to auto correct! Apologies!

  4. Hi Dasaana

    Can I use home.made chenna (by curdling milk) instead of grated paneer? I intend to crumble the chenna finely.

    Also.. thank you for all the lovely recipes, each one I have tried has been fail proof !

    Much Love

    1. Hi Shubhi, yes you can do that. But just make sure the moisture or whey from chenna is well drained or else the kofta can break due to more moisture – then you may need to add some more cornflour to bind the mixture. Thanks for the feedback on the recipes and most welcome.

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