malai kofta

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.

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.

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malai kofta recipe, malai kofta, paneer kofta

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
STEP BY STEP PHOTOS ABOVEMany of my recipes have detailed step by step photos and useful tips to help you make it easily and perfectly.

Malai Kofta

4.78 from 72 votes
Malai kofta is a popular cottage cheese dish. Potato and paneer kofta in a creamy, rich, mild and lightly sweet gravy.
malai kofta recipe, paneer kofta recipe
Author:Dassana Amit
Prep Time:45 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:1 hr 30 mins
Course:main course
Cuisine:indian,north indian
Servings (change the number to scale):3 to 4 servings
(1 CUP = 250 ML)


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

Dassana Amitnamaste and welcome to which i started in feb 2009 and is a pure vegetarian blog. i have been passionate about cooking from childhood and began to cook from the age of 10. later having enrolled in a home science degree greatly enhanced my cooking & baking skills and took it to a different level which i now share as foolproof recipes. i was formally trained both in mainstream indian as well as international cuisines.

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252 comments/reviews

  1. Hi Amit Dassana
    Thank you for making my day !!5 stars

    • thank you ????

  2. I love cooking and keep experimenting and tinkering with the ingredients and proportions but this time I I followed every step diligently and the dish came out perfect. The whole family and our guests loved it.

    • thank you for this positive review. some variations can always be done in any recipe. but i am glad that the malai kofta recipe turned perfect with every step you followed. thanks again and happy cooking.

  3. i tried this recipe today . Really liked it . Malai kofta came out pretty well

    • thank you preeti for letting me know. glad to read. happy cooking.

  4. Thank you. Made this recipe for lunch today. Everyone liked it. I love your blog. Keep up the great work!5 stars

    • thanks, sakshi for this rating and feedback on malai kofta recipe. glad to know. welcome and happy cooking.

  5. Hii. Can we make koftas in advance? Like I want to prepare this in evening so can I prepare the koftas in afternoon?

    • yes you can do this way.

  6. Hi Dassana, my kid always regards me of being a great chef, however all credit goes to u. U simplify the cooking process to good extent. Continue posting ur recipes, they are simply great and worth following.

    • thank you so much sachin. happy to read your comment. yes sure i will keep adding more recipes. thanks again.

  7. Hello Dassana,

    Can we just grind Almonds and make almond flour? Or is there any other method?

    • yes, you can use just grind almonds and make the flour. another method is to soak almonds in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. then remove the skins. let them cool and then grind them to a fine powder.

  8. 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 gravy4 stars

    • 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.

  9. 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. Love5 stars

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

  10. Nice and simple recipe. Appreciated by all in family.5 stars

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

  11. Nice and simple appreciated by all5 stars

    • Thanks Komal

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

    • 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.

  13. 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?5 stars

    • 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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!5 stars

    • 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.

  17. I bought powered mace and will add it with the powered ingredients. Should I have bought whole mace and added it with the whole spices. I love this site. One recepie leads to another. Thank you.

    • kent, just add a light pinch of mace as it is a very strong spice. in any recipe, mace powder can be substituted with whole mace. depending on the recipe servings, you can always increase the amount of mace powder accordingly. and thanks.

  18. Hi Dassna,

    Can I fry the koftas and keep in fridge in advance in the night as I will make it early morning for my sons tiffin.

    • Nilu, yes you can do this way.

  19. Hi Amit, I am big fan of yours. I’ve tried many recipes of yours and every time my husband appreciated my cooking. Thank you thank you thank you so much.
    Your blog is very convenient for guidance. Thank you again5 stars

    • Welcome Deepa. Glad to know this. Thanks for sharing positive feedback on recipes.

  20. Best website ever!! I am a vegetarian and I never knew I could try these many dishes in my life time.. Your website is so handy that I always refer it for any questions !! Thank u very much !! Keep going 🙂 Love u and omg your photography!!! That’s just awesome and makes me try all the dishes as soon as I read it .. U r a genius <3

    P.S- My husband loved all the dishes I tried 🙂 It is just because of you 🙂 Tku tku tku <35 stars

    • Welcome Sudha. Thanks a lot for your positive feedback on recipes and also for your appreciation. Glad to read your words full of positivity and praise.

  21. Hi… .. Iove ur blog…. The recipies are simple but yet very tasty….Thanks for sharing your
    magic ☺️5 stars

    • Welcome Nupur. Thanks for your positive feedback on recipes.