malai kofta recipe, how to make malai kofta

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malai kofta recipe, paneer kofta recipe

malai kofta is a popular paneer dish. potato and paneer kofta in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet gravy.

4.52 from 64 votes
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malai kofta recipe with step by step photos. these are delicious melt in the mouth paneer koftas in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet onion tomato based gravy. malai kofta is a popular as well as most sought after vegetarian indian dish in restaurants.

malai kofta recipe, malai kofta, paneer kofta

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 koftas are made with paneer and potatoes. they are crisp as well as melt in the mouth. these tasty paneer koftas 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 paneer 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 or roomali 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. 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.

the recipe below will make 6 to 7 paneer koftas 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 koftas would be enough per serving.

for more paneer gravy recipes on blog are

  1. shahi paneer
  2. paneer butter masala
  3. palak paneer
malai kofta recipe, paneer kofta recipe
4.52 from 64 votes

malai kofta recipe

malai kofta is a popular paneer dish. potato and paneer kofta in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet gravy.
course main course
cuisine indian, north indian
prep time 45 minutes
cook time 45 minutes
total time 1 hour 30 minutes
servings 3 to 4 servings
rough calories per serving 414 kcal
author dassana amit

ingredients (1 cup = 250 ml)

for making paneer kofta

  • 100 grams paneer (cottage cheese) - grated
  • 2 medium size potatoes (aloo) - boiled, peeled and grated
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch 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 making malai kofta

  • 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 (haldi)
  • ¾ teaspoon red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
  • 1 inch ginger (adrak) + 4 to 5 garlic cloves (lahsun) - 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 for malai kofta

  • 1 tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 1 inch cinnamon (dalchini)
  • 1 or 2 black cardamom (badi elaichi)
  • 2 to 3 green cardamom (hari elaichi or choti elaichi)
  • 2 to 3 single strands of mace OR a light pinch of mace powder (jayitri)
  • 2 to 3 cloves (laung)

for garnish

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

how to make malai kofta recipe

making paneer kofta for malai kofta recipe

  1. mix all the ingredients mentioned under "for making paneer kofta" ingredient list except oil in a bowl.

  2. make medium sized balls and fry the paneer koftas in medium hot oil till golden.

  3. keep the fried kofta aside.

making malai kofta

  1. remove extra oil from the same pan and keep about 1 or 1.5 tbsp oil.
  2. add all the whole spices and fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
  3. first add the onion paste and brown it.
  4. now add the ginger-garlic paste and fry for some seconds till the raw aroma of the paste goes away.
  5. add the tomato puree and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  6. add the turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and cashew paste.
  7. stir and saute till the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala paste. add water and stir.
  8. simmer till the gravy begins to thicken. takes approx 11-12 minutes on a low flame.
  9. towards the end add crushed kasuri methi leaves and salt.
  10. you can also add sugar if you want a light sweet taste in the curry. simmer for 1-2 minutes more.
  11. 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.
  12. garnish the malai kofta with some cream, grated paneer and coriander leaves.
  13. serve malai kofta hot with rotis, naan, steamed basmati rice or jeera rice.


making kofta for malai kofta recipe

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 paneer 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. 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 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 napkins 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

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

dassana amit
Founder, Designer, Recipe Developer, Food Photographer ||

i started in feb 2009. it is a pure vegetarian blog and shares recipes with step by step photos that will help you to make delicious and tasty vegetarian food easily.

i am passionate about cooking from childhood and learnt cooking from my elders. having a home science degree surely enhanced my cooking & baking skills which i now share as fool proof recipes on the blog. i am trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.


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238 comments/reviews

  1. Your reciepes are excellent.. when ever I try they come out superbly.. thank you so much for such an informative blog. Request you to update the reciepes for dal batti, Malai kofta in white gravy

    • thanks a lot shraddha. sure, i will try to add dal bati recipe as has been requested by many readers. will also try to add malai kofta in white gravy.

  2. Your recipes are awesome. I have tried your recipes of North indian and south indian foods. Your way is easy to follow. Plus step by step photo guide is the best I have ever seen. Keep sharing such lovely recipes. Love

    • thank you sneha. glad that you have liked the recipes and the format of presenting the recipe. best wishes and warm regards.

  3. Nice and simple recipe. Appreciated by all in family.

    • Thanks Komal. Glad to know that everyone liked the malai kofta.

  4. Nice and simple appreciated by all

    • Thanks Komal

  5. Hello, i am going to make this dish for around 12 people ( need about 20 koftas).. how should i increase the proportion?

    • for the koftas you can increase proportionately. for the gravy increasing all the ingredients proportionately may not work well. so while adding the ingredients the method of approximation or andaaz should be used.

  6. Malai Kofta has become my new favorite dish. I followed the recipe exactly, and have to say the taste was up there with the best I ever had. My only issue was that the kofta fell apart slightly when trying (only some of them) and then REALLY started to fall apart when adding them to curry.

    After asking around, I hear a lot of restaurants coat their kofta in flour before trying, so that’s something to try for people that are having similar issues. The temperature of the oil is of utmost importance, as well. What temperature do you use to fry?

    • thanks bryan. as you mention frying at the right temperature is very important. i fry at a medium flame. i have not measured the temperature, but next time when i make malai kofta, i will measure the temperature and update in the post. if there is too much moisture in the mixture or if it has not bound well, then they can break in the oil. so before frying the entire batch, check a small tiny piece of the kofta in hot oil. if it does not break, then you can easily fry the remaining koftas. if it breaks, then add some more binding agent like corn starch. mix and shape again.

  7. Hii Dassana..I made this today and to my surprise one of my three years old twin ate it happily which usually he doesn’t do..thanks a lot for the great recipe once again..hope to write again soon!!stay blessed

    • Welcome Zainab. Thanks for sharing this sweet feedback. This is one of best feedback i have received on this malai kofta recipe. thanks for your best wishes.

  8. Malai kofta is the traditional indian international food. We can give first mark to this ever. its very good to speaking about malai kofta. it is my favourite food.

    • thanks richard. good to know this.

  9. I must say, absolutely fantastic recipe! My craving for excellent malai kofta has finally been satisfied! My first round of koftas fried well whereas the second batch broke up unfortunately and being 8 months pregnant, it was so hard to see so much effort disintegrating in the oil 🙁 I don’t know if it is because the oil became too hot by then. My mixture consistency was exactly like in your pictures. In any case, the taste of the koftas and the gravy was nothing less than 5 star! I’ve even tried the dahi puri recipe from here including making the puris from scratch and my family and I enjoyed authentic five star chaat at home and away from India thanks to you!

    • thanks a lot zainab. while frying koftas the oil has to be at the right temperature. less hot oil or too hot oil can spoil the texture. this is also true while making cheese balls or potato balls. i can understand how you must have felt 🙂

      take care and i wish you all the best.

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