Malai Kofta Recipe – How to Make Malai Kofta Curry

Kofta balls made of paneer and potato dunked in creamy gravy, that’s malai kofta curry. I always tell people that if you want to find out how good an Indian restaurant is, ask for their Malai Kofta. One who can make good malai kofta, can pretty much can cook any Indian food. A good kofta can raise the taste of table multifold. This malai kofta recipe is what I have been using for more than a decade and is hugely successful.

What is Malai Kofta

Malai = Cream and Kofta = dumpling. Hence malai kofta is literal translation of koftas dunked in a creamy gravy. Kofta term was largely associated to non-veg dumplings, either lamb or beef. However, in India, kofta has been re-invented to local needs of vegetarians. This Kofta is hence a vegetarian dish.

Kofta balls are made from paneer and potatoes primarily. Gravy or sauce here in this curry is tomato based which is topped with cream.

Malai Kofta Curry Recipe | Your Food Fantasy
Creamy Kofta Curry Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

My mum rarely ever made malai kofta at home, though it has always one of my favourite curry. This meant, that eating at a good restaurant or any party, was only way for me to eat malai kofta, at the time when I was kid. I was always intrigued how malai kofta is made. As soon as I graduated and left my home for job in Noida, I commenced tiny-winy cooking. I started experimenting on making this kofta curry, at that time there were only few recipes available online. Hence, I made a point that when I go out to eat, I ask chef how its made.

I tried my hand and I failed a few times. Sometimes my kofta were hard, sometimes gravy was runny, sometimes kofta was so soft that it crumbled. Now I am happy to share my fail-proof recipe of malai kofta. I hope this will help all those who had problems like me on making kofta at home.

Method to make restaurant style Malai Kofta


This recipe has two parts.

First is making kofta, and second is making curry, and then dunking the kofta in that gravy before serving.

For Making Kofta

  • In a mixing bowl add mashed potato, paneer, corn flour, milk powder, salt, kashmiri Red chilli powder, coriander powder, cashews, raisins, green chillies, and roasted cumin powder. Now mix it properly and knead it like a dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal parts and form a lemon sized balls of it. With your thumb, make a impression in the centre and put a cashew and raisin in it and seal the ball making it oval in shape. You can make round ball if you prefer round shaped kofta.
  • Heat the oil for deep frying in a pan and deep fry the koftas and take them out on a kitchen towel.
Fried and Ready Kofta for Malai Kofta | YourFoodFantasy.com
Fried and Ready Kofta

For Making Kofta Gravy / Sauce

  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. Once they become brown, add chopped onion and cashews to it. when onions are pinkish brown in colour, add ginger-garlic paste to it. once the raw smell goes off, add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cinnamon powder and sugar to it.
  • Saute this masala mix for few minutes and then add chopped tomatoes. Saute this again until the mixture start leaving oil.
  • Switch off the flame and let it cool for few minutes. Once cooled, transfer it into a blender jar and blend until its a smooth gravy.
Malai kofta gravy | yourfoodfantasy.com
Malai kofta gravy | yourfoodfantasy.com
  • Now transfer this again into the same pan and keep it on medium flame. Now add cream and 1 cup of water. Cook it until it reaches your desired consistency. Add crushed kasuri methi leaves and garam masala and switch off the flame.
  • Assemble the kofta in a serving dish and pour the hot gravy onto them. Garnish with cream and chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with butter naan, roti or jeera rice.

Pro Tips for Best Malai Kofta

  • Fry koftas on medium – high heat. If fried on low heat, koftas will break. Before frying, drop a bit of kofta mix in hot oil to check that the temperature is right. The tiny bit should float up immediately.
  • Magic of good kofta lies in its composition. Knead the paneer and potatoes properly. Try using fresh paneer where possible. Corn flour helps in binding, however too much corn flour can spoil the taste of kofta.
  • Stuff the kofta with cashew and raisin. This gives great taste to kofta. When you will eat the kofta it will be like entering Aladin’s cave to discover jewels of taste.
  • This kofta curry is about cream. Don’t shy off from using cream. Added taste comes from cashew rich gravy.
  • Adding milk powder to kofta is optional. I use this to bind my koftas and give them a little sweet taste. You can use breadcrumb instead of milk powder.  Similarly adding sugar to the gravy is also optional if you want little sweeter gravy.
  • Always fry just 2-3 kofta at a time so that they get enough space and is easy to turn them around.
  • Don’t add all the koftas in the gravy before hand, just add it while serving, else it will absorb all the gravy and turn soggy.
Malai Kofta Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com
Malai Kofta Recipe | YourFoodFantasy.com

Vegan Malai Kofta

You can make vegan malai kofta if you need to. Replace paneer with tofu. Replace cream with vegan cream.


I have never tried the vegan version myself, however I do intend to make it and will update the details when I have myself made it. I suppose vegan malai kofta should taste good too.

This Malai Kofta Recipe

  • Is gluten-free. However, check the corn flour you use. Mostly corn flour is gluten-free.
  • Gives one of the most delicious kofta curry.
  • Has mild flavour and is kid friendly due to reduced spiced levels. Kids and adults will love this malai kofta.
  • Is a sure shot party hit. This kofta curry will stand out as winner any day.

Storage and serving suggestion

You can keep this refrigerated as well as freeze too. You must store the kofta balls and gravy separately. Before serving heat them separately, and then dunk the koftas gently in gravy.

Serve this malai kofta curry with butter naan, or steamed rice.

If you love koftas, you may like to try Lauki Kofta and Cabbage Kofta curry too.

Recipe card

Malai Kofta Curry Recipe | Your Food Fantasy

Malai Kofta Curry

Meenu Gupta
Soft melt in mouth kofta balls dunked in the creamy sauce giving a mouth watering curry. Pair with naan and make a lush meal.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Lunch & Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 5
Calories 466 kcal

Ingredients
  

For Kofta

  • 2 Boiled Potatoes Medium size, mashed
  • 200 Grams Paneer / Indian Cottage Cheese Grated
  • 1/2 Tbsp Corn Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Milk Powder Optional
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 Tsp Coriander Powder
  • 8 Cashews
  • 7 Raisins
  • 2 Green chillies Chopped
  • 1/2 Tsp Roasted cumin powder
  • 100 Ml Oil For deep frying (100ml used for nutritional purpose)

For Gravy / Sauce

  • 2 Onions Medium Size, Chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes Large Size, Chopped
  • 1.5 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 Tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 2/3 Cup Double Cream / Full Cream
  • 12 Cashews
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 Tbsp Brown Sugar Optional
  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Fenugreek Leaves / Kasuri Methi Crushed
  • 10 Grams Fresh Coriander Leaves For garnishing

Instructions
 

For Making Kofta

  • In a mixing bowl add mashed potato, paneer, corn flour, milk powder, salt, kashmiri Red chilli powder, coriander powder, cashews, raisins, green chillies, and roasted cumin powder. Now mix it properly and knead it like a dough.
  • Divide the dough into equal parts and form a lemon sized balls of it. With your thumb, make a impression in the centre and put a cashew and raisin in it and seal the ball making it oval in shape. You can make round ball if you prefer round shaped kofta.
  • Heat the oil for deep frying in a pan and deep fry the koftas and take them out on a kitchen towel.

For Making Kofta Gravy / Sauce

  • Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a pan and add cumin seeds to it. Once they become brown, add chopped onion and cashews to it. when onions are pinkish brown in colour, add ginger-garlic paste to it. once the raw smell goes off, add salt, chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cinnamon powder and sugar to it.
  • Saute this masala mix for few minutes and then add chopped tomatoes. Saute this again until the mixture start leaving oil.
  • Switch off the flame and let it cool for few minutes. Once cooled, transfer it into a blender jar and blend until its a smooth gravy.
  • Now transfer this again into the same pan and keep it on medium flame. Now add cream and 1 cup of water. Cook it until it reaches your desired consistency. Add crushed kasuri methi leaves and garam masala and switch off the flame.

For Assembly

  • Assemble the kofta in a serving dish and pour the hot gravy onto them. Garnish with cream and chopped coriander leaves and enjoy with butter naan, phulkas or jeera rice.

Notes

  • Don’t add all the koftas in the gravy before hand, just add it while serving, else it will absorb all the gravy and turn soggy.
  • Adding milk powder to kofta is optional. I use this to bind my koftas and give them a little sweet taste. You can use breadcrumb instead of milk powder.  Similarly adding sugar to the gravy is also optional if you want little sweeter gravy.
  • Knead the kofta mixture very well so that it binds properly. Before frying kofta, just fry a small fraction of mixture just to check that its not getting splattered in hot oil and is binding properly. If it is getting broken, just add little more binding agent and check again.
  • Always fry just 2-3 kofta at a time so that they get enough space and is easy to turn them around.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Malai Kofta Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 466 Calories from Fat 351
% Daily Value*
Fat 39g60%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 5mg2%
Sodium 529mg23%
Potassium 400mg11%
Carbohydrates 21g7%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 564IU11%
Vitamin C 19mg23%
Calcium 42mg4%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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