Malai kofta in creamy tomato gravy /melt in mouth paneer and potato dumplings in tomato gravy.

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Malai kofta is a fried paneer and potato dumpling that is crisp from the outside but soft inside. Its texture is melt in the mouth. It’s a famous North Indian dish and people normally serve this with any type of Indian bread which is Naan, Paratha or Phulka.

There are so many variations of Malai Kofta. We often see Malai Kofta on the menu of Indian restaurants. Though I am sure many are from really famous restaurants I have not come across any kofta recipes in restaurants which I have liked. Personally, I prefer homemade melt-in-mouth kofta simmered in fragrant tomato gravy. 

Traditionally we put cashew or almond paste in the gravy which gives it a hint of nutty taste, with that, we add a little bit of cream for an added hint of sweetness. Since nowadays people are becoming more calorie-conscious they just don’t want to add these things. I would say, guys, a few things are meant to be indulged. We don’t eat kofta every day. So if we don’t have any diet restrictions, once in while we can have rich Indian gravies which are suitable to serve in Nawab’s platter.

Let’s come straight to the recipe,

Here I have made kofta /dumpling sufficient for six to eight people. For this, I have taken,

Boiled Idaho potatoes—2

Grated paneer -one cup

Grated ginger-one teaspoon

Salt- according to taste

Cornflour-one to two tablespoon

Kashmiri red chilli powder-one teaspoon 

We will mix everything together and we need to check that there are no lumps in the mixture. Then, we will make balls out of this dough.

Size of the dough depends on personal preference but I suggest since we need to deep fry them we should make them medium in size.

While frying we need to check the temperature before putting the balls inside. A few things to keep in the mind while frying the kofta balls:

1- Don’t overcrowd the wok/pan or our koftas will break easily.

2- Fry them on medium to slow flame to give them the desired crunch and weightless feel.

Now that our koftas are ready we will keep them on a paper towel to drain the oil.

Time to make creamy tomato gravy,

You will need:

Four medium Roma tomatoes

Two red onions

1/2 cup of soaked cashews

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

1 teaspoon of Kashmiri red chilli powder

Salt-according to taste

Sugar-one tablespoon.

Fresh ginger garlic paste-1 tablespoon. 

Whole garam masala: 

Bay leaf-2-3,cinnamon-1 long stick ,green cardamom-2 ,black cardamom-3,star anise-2

We will boil tomatoes and onions. Many people will be surprised that we are boiling onions but I like this step because then our onions don’t give us that strong pungent smell and that gives a sweet taste which enhances the flavour of the gravy.

After boiling we will make a paste of the boiled tomatoes and onions.

We will also make a paste of soaked cashews.

Now in a pan or wok, we will take one tablespoon of oil and we will heat it.

Drop all the whole garam masala spices in the oil. Wait for them to splutter.

Now we will add ginger garlic paste and we will saute it for few minutes till the raw smell goes away.

Then add the tomato-onion paste and fry it for few minutes. Next, we will add tomato paste in this.

Saute for few minutes and then add two cups of water in this. Let it come to a boil.

Now comes a very important step which is not very common but one that my husband and I use at home regularly. We feel that it gives a silky texture to the gravy and another reason is that we all hate when while eating whole spices come into our mouth.

So for this, we will strain the cooled gravy.

Now for the finishing touch,

We will take again a pan/wok. We will put one tablespoon of desi ghee or butter into that. Wwill add all the strained tomato gravy in that pan. Then we will take one tablespoon of Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaf and we will crush that in our palm and add to the gravy. Again, we will add cashew paste, sugar and salt. On a slow to the medium flame, we will boil it for few minutes. Then we will add Kashmiri Mirch and saute the gravy for a few times. Now is the time to adjust the consistency and check whether we need to more salt. In my opinion, it should be of the consistency of not very thick or thin gravy at the same time we should refrain from adding too much salt. Because this gravy is mild we need to very careful how much salt we are putting into it. Last step if we want to add cream. We can add a little now or we can add while serving. I added just before the serving.

Now we can add our koftas in it. simmer for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the stove and serve it.

Tip -Normally I store all the koftas and gravy in different containers because kofta has a tendency to soak all the gravy. just before serving I add kofta into the gravy and serve.

In my last blog post, I have told you all how I have struggled in making roti/phulka. So here I will let you all know how to make a perfect dough for soft phulka that will puff like a ball and its texture will be so soft after applying little ghee that no one will be able to resist it.

Take two cups of whole wheat flour and:

Mix less than one and a half cup of water into this. we will knead the dough for a few minutes to release the gluten. Now we will see that our dough feels really light and we add a few drops of oil and make a round ball. We will cover it and leave this for at least 15 minutes. Remember, leaving dough is really important to make soft phulkas.

Now we will roll the dough. I prefer to make small to medium size phulkas while my sister has expertise in making baby phulkas. Moral of the story it doesn’t matter what is the size it only matters that you are making it with love.

Now we will put a flat tawa or griddle on the stove and wait for it to heat. Then we will roll our phulkas on it. We will roast both sides for around one minute each and the most important part is here, we will puff the phulka by putting it directly on the fire. It should puff like a ball. Then we put a dollop of ghee or butter on it and serve.

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