I have been meaning to post this recipe for a while but never got around do doing it. We absolutely love this dish, Malai Kofta. It’s more like a special occassion dish so maybe it will be on our menu for Diwali.
What is Malai Kofta?
Malai Kofta is a popular dish in India. Malai means “creamy” and Kofta means “fried balls”. The vegetarian balls are made with potato and paneer and it’s served in a rich, creamy sauce.
For the sauce it is cooked very similarly to the creamy sauce you find in Butter Chicken or Paneer Makhani. It is a tomato based sauce cooked with cashew nuts and spices with the addition of fresh cream.
The sauce is cooked and blended until smooth.
Potato, Paneer Koftas
These Koftas are so delicious I could eat it all on it’s own. It is usually made with minimal spice as it is added to the sauce which is already spicy enough,
Potatoes and Paneer form the base of the koftas. Some chilli and coriander is added to it, however I added some mint to mine. It gives the Koftas a lovely fresh taste and pairs so well with the rich and creamy sauce.
Some cornflour is added to the Koftas so they don’t fall apart when frying them. However, I did not deep fry mine. I shallow fried them and although they may not have been as crisp as deep-fried they were still delicious.
You can deep fry them if you prefer. I also did not add a whole lot of paneer because I didn’t have a whole lot of paneer, I used just a half a cup but you can also use more paneer in the recipe if you wish.
If you decide to cook this dish ahead of time I suggest you cook the sauce and only fry the Koftas and add it when serving. The Koftas need to be warm and crisp when serving.
You also don’t submerge the Koftas in the sauce or it will be all mushy and not very appealing.
Serving the Malai Kofta
We love eating it with Naan Bread but it also works well with Cumin Rice or just plain rice will do too.
This amount was enough for the four of us as I had cooked another dish with it, if you are going to eat it without another side I suggest you double the recipe.
If you do try this recipe please drop me a comment and a star rating. It is always appreciated.
Crispy Potato and Paneer Balls served in a rich, creamy sauce makes a heavenly special occassion dish
- 3 medium potatoes, 1&1/2 cup mashed boiled
- 1/2 cup paneer crumbled
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tbsp chopped corainder
- 1 tbsp chopped mint
- 1 green chilli finely chopped
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil for frying
- 1 tbsp butter ghee
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 10 cashew nuts
- 3 cloves
- 3 elachie/cardamom
- 1 x 3cm cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaf
- 2 green chillies (optional)
- 2 roma tomatoes roughly chopped
- 1 tsp ginger/garlic paste
- 1 cup water
- 1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp ground soomph/fennel
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp dried methi leaves
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup fresh cream
Scrub the potatoes and boil them until tender. Do not let them disintergrate, they just need to be soft or it will be too mushy when making the Koftas
At high altitude the potatoes took about 30 minutes to cook
Peel the potatoes, use a masher to mash them and allow them to cool
Mix in the cumin, coriander, mint, crumbled paneer and cornflour. Roll them into equal sized balls. Set aside
Once sauce is ready, heat the oil in a pan and fry the koftas, ensuring all sides are brown and serve with the sauce.
Heat the vegetable oil in a pot. Add the cinnamon stick, bay leaf, cloves and elachie and fry until fragrant
Add the onion and cashew nuts and allow them to fry until the onion is golden brown
Add the chillies and ginger/garlic paste and fry for a minute
Add the chopped tomatoes and the water. Allow it to simmer until the tomatoes are cooked, about 10 minutes
Once the tomatoes are cooked, remove the bay leaf and allow it to cool a little. Place in a blender and blend until the sauce is smooth. Strain the sauce, through a sieve, if it’s not totally smooth
Heat the butter ghee in a pan and add the sauce back to the pan. Add the spices, chilli powder, coriander, cumin, soomph and garam masala. Rub the dried methi leaves with your fingers and add it to the sauce. Season with salt and add the sugar. Cook for 2 minutes and add the cream
- I served this dish with something else on the side but if you’re serving it on it’s own I suggest you double the recipe
- You can make the sauce ahead of time and fry the koftas when serving
- Although I added less paneer it was still delicious, you can reduce the amount of potatoes and add more paneer if you wish
- You can also add some cheese to the koftas, tastes yummy
- Although I found shallow fried koftas worked for me you can deep fry them if you prefer
- If you don’t like too much heat leave out the chilli