Malai Kofta, one of the most luxurious Indian curries. Paneer and potato balls stuffed with a nut mixture are deep fried and served with a beautiful and luscious creamy tomato gravy. It's the perfect dish to serve on any special occasion. Goes well with rice or Naan.
If you go to any Indian restaurant and check their menu, the vegetarian part always has the the top three most popular North Indian dishes. Dal Bukhara, Paneer Butter Masala , and finally, Malai Kofta. All these dishes are so popular back home that I don't remember a single party or marriage ceremony in North India without these curries.
North Indian curries are known for their rich and creamy taste and texture. Most of the time, paneer, mawa, lots of nuts, cream and butter are used. These are usually meant for special occasions, however, if you want to indulge everyday, you are more than welcome. In addition, these curries are truly royal in nature and while enjoying the dish, one thinks of themselves no less than royalty.
Restaurant culture was not very prominent back home when we were growing up. I remember that my mother used to make a malai kofta that was really delicate and delicious. Also, she used bread in making the balls instead of corn flour. It was so delicious that she always made a double batch to feed us. Furthermore, she always used yellow gravy. Here, I am sharing a Malai Kofta with a red, tomato based gravy. However, using both type of gravies is perfectly fine. It depends on your preference and taste!
What is Malai Kofta ?
It is quite a popular North Indian Curry. Kofta is a term used mainly for meatballs in the Middle East and several Asian countries, however the vegetarian version which was started in India as a trend has also been referred to as kofta. Malai kofta is made of paneer, potato, and sometimes mawa too. It is rich and has a stuffing of dry fruits.
There are several types of vegetarian kofta recipes in India. We have almost mastered the art of kofta making by using many vegetables and lentils. The gravy of malai kofta is tomato, cashew, and cream based. In addition, the gravy color could be different depending on an individual's preference, but the luscious, creamy texture is always there.
What Can You Serve with Malai Kofta?
You can serve different types of rice and bread with kofta. In addition, you can also have sides of salad, dal, raita, and papad.
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Tips For Making the Perfect Malai Kofta-
- Always use grated boiled potatoes. It gives a far smoother texture compared to mashed potatoes.
- Try to use homemade paneer. If using store-bought paneer, grate that as well.
- Try to use less cornstarch for a softer texture of kofta.
- Fry on medium /less heat.
- Do not leave kofta balls dipped in gravy for a long time. They will break.
- Dip kofta balls in the gravy just before serving.
- Do not cut down on ghee /butter or cream. Malai kofta is not a low calorie dish. For the amazing taste and texture, you need to use the required amount.
Malai Kofta/Restaurant Style Malai kofta
- 250 Gms Paneer
- 2 Medium Potatoes
- 4 Tbsp Corn Flour
- 2 Green Chilies
- ½ Tbsp Grated Ginger
- 1 Tsp White Pepper Powder
- Salt (according to the taste)use mild.
For kofta filling
- 1 Tbsp Crushed Almond
- 1 Tbsp Raisin
- 1 Tsp Cashew Nuts
- 1 Tsp Crushed Pistachio
- ½ Tsp Chopped Green Chili
- 3 Cups Pureed fresh tomato
- 1 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 Tbsp Ghee /Oil
- 2 Black Cardamom
- 1.5 Tbsp Kasoori Methi
- 1 Tbsp Kashmiri red Chili Powder
- 2 Tsp Honey
- ⅓ Cup Heavy Cream
- ¼ Cup Grated Mawa/Mawa Powder
- Salt According to the taste
- 4-5 Cashew paste (soak into warm water for 30 minutes and grind them into a paste)
- Boil potatoes.(do not over boil them)Grate them for a smooth texture.
- Grate paneer. If using fresh paneer ,mash it nicely with your palm.
- Using your palm and fingers make a nice smooth dough of paneer ,potato ,pepper ,ginger ,and pinch of salt .
- Add corn flour 1 tbsp at a time to get a better texture .
- Make the nuts mixture and add 2 tbsp of dough mix to it for a smooth stuffing.
- Make golf size balls of dough and make a small dent for filling .Now roll the dough into a perfect ball or any desired shape .
- Keep prepared balls in the fridge for 30 minutes before frying .
Preparation of Tomato Cream Gravy
- Heat ghee/oil in a pan .
- Add Cinnamon and cardamom to it .Let them crackle.
- Add ginger garlic paste and saute them till the raw smell is gone.
- Add tomato puree ,red chili powder,and salt to it.
- Saute it for 3-4 minute on medium /low flame .
- Add cashew paste ,mawa to it and let cook for 2-3 minutes again.
- Add 1.5 cups of water to it .Let it cook on medium flame for 1-2 minute .Add honey to gravy .
- if the gravy looks thick for your taste add little water ,if its thin let it cook foe 1-2 minute.
- Taste the seasoning .If you want to add something do it now. Add cream now and cook for 1 minute on slow flame . Crush fenugreek leaves between your palms and mix in the gravy .
- SWitch off the flame and keep it aside.
- Take a wok or pan for frying the kofta.
- Add oil for deep frying.Alternatively you can air fry as well .
- Deep fry kofta on low flame till it looks crispy and golden from all sides.
- Remove in a plate lined with paper towel.
How to assemble malai kofta
- Just before serving add kofta to the gravy .Let it soak the gravy for 1 minute .
- Serve it in a bowl and garnish with little cream and kasoori methi .
- Enjoy with naan or rice.