Malai Kofta

Today we are revisiting malai kofta for the Diwali series.

If you are of North Indian descent, you probably have a love of malai kofta, especially if you’re vegetarian. I think pretty much everyone, no matter where they come from loves malai kofta. In this dish, malai refers to the rich and creamy curry sauce that the vegetable balls (koftas) are cooked with. The koftas consist of mixed veggies and paneer, which are rolled into balls and deep fried. At the last minute they are added to the curry. The combination makes for a really rich dinner, full of deliciousness.

Malai kofta is an extremely popular restaurant dish. It’s great for vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The koftas are extremely delicate and will melt in your mouth. This dish is perfect for special occasions or a fancy at home dinner date. Pair the malai kofta with a nice Chianti or Chardonnay, along with some tandoori naan, and you’ve got the perfect meal.

Ingredients For Koftas:

  • 1 cup of boiled mixed vegetables that have been grated (whatever you like), then drained of all liquid (using a muslin cloth will work extremely well)
  • 1 cup grated paneer
  • 1 cup of boiled potatoes immediately removed from water, then grated
  • 2 green chilis, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  •  1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • flour for rolling koftas (if frying)
  • oil for frying, or you can bake them in the oven at 375F for around 20 minutes.

To Make Koftas:

In a large bowl, add all the ingredients together (except for the oil and flour). Use your hands to mix together. Make sure all of your vegetables have been removed of moisture. This is where the muslin cloth comes handy. Drain potatoes with the cloth. Squeeze well. Drain the vegetables also. If there is too much moisture, the koftas will fall apart when frying.

Form into balls, the size of small golf balls. Not too big, but not tiny. You want the mixture to be firm and hold together. 

Roll the balls into the flour if you are frying. Heat oil to medium and fry koftas (making sure not to crowd pan) until golden. I baked mine in the oven at about 375 until golden brown.

Ingredients For Malai Sauce:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • kala jeera
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 3 tbsp cashew powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 1/3-1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup grated paneer
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • oil for sauteing
  • water

To Make Malai Sauce:

Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and saute till golden. Add turmeric and ginger garlic paste, stir till raw smell goes away. 

Add the tomatoes along with the spices (red chili, coriander, cumin). 

Mix well, then add a little bit of water, maybe about 1/4 cup. 

Cook till the tomatoes are nice and mushy, then add the mixture to a blender and blend till smooth.

In the same pan, heat some more oil. Add the kala jeera, and once it sizzles add the blended tomato mixture. 

Add the cream and bring it to a boil, then add the cashew powder and garam masala. Give it a stir. Adjust spices as necessary!

Boil for 2-3 minutes, then turn off the stove. You can either add the koftas now and then serve from the pan or you can add the koftas into individual bowls and pour the sauce over the koftas. Top with coriander and grated paneer. I added koftas to bowls then poured the sauce over, because I didn’t want the koftas to break. Serve with naan and eat up!

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4 responses to “Malai Kofta

  1. I adore kofta. I’ve never made any quite like these before though, the curry sauce sounds amazing! Definitely on my to-make list for when I get home! x

  2. Pingback: Diwali Recipe Roundup! | WhitBit's Indian Kitchen·

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