This Restaurant Style Malai Kofta is a rich and creamy curry that is easy to make at home. It is luscious, rich, and creamy, just perfect for those authentic Indian food cravings. Here is how to make it.
About This Recipe
Luscious and Creamy, Malai Kofta is a North Indian gravy dish that is simply irresistible. This Mughlai version with white gravy has an onion based smooth puree with heavy cream, khoya, and cashew nuts.
In the end, crispy from outside and soft from inside Potato and Paneer Koftas are dunked in this delectable gravy. Dry fruits are also added in the kofta, which adds a fantastic taste to this crispy yet soft koftas.
This gravy gets its texture from Cashew Nuts and Khoya. Both these ingredients always give a royal taste and texture to the gravy which makes it more appropriate for festive meals.
If you don’t want to add cashew paste, you can even add the Almond paste to make this gravy.
This gravy needs its time and effort to get ready, therefore make sure you have enough time on your hands to make this curry. Don’t forget to add Kasuri Methi in the end, it adds a fantastic aroma and flavor to it.
For the Koftas – Crispy Koftas are made and dunked into a creamy gravy. To make these Koftas, you will need cashew nuts, raisins, dry coconut, paneer, potato, poha, green chilli, ginger, coriander, garam masala powder, cornflour, and oil.
To make a vegan version of the same, you can use Tofu instead of Paneer. I have added Poha, because it helps to make the Koftas crispy and gives it a nice texture, but it is completely optional.
You can also add raw banana or sweet potatoes instead of potatoes in this Kofta. Dry fruits are added in the Kofta to make it rich and it even adds a bite in the soft Koftas.
For the Gravy – For the white creamy and rich gravy of Malai Kofta, you will need Butter, Oil, Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Cloves, Cinnamon, Green Cardamom, Cashew Nuts, Ginger Garlic Paste, Bay Leaf, Khoya, Green Chillies, Salt, Sugar, Yogurt, White Pepper Powder, Fresh Cream and Kasuri Methi.
As we are not using any spice powders, the whole spices add a fantastic flavor to the curry, whereas green chillies and white pepper powder are added to give some heat to the gravy.
Step by Step Recipe
Mix cashew nuts, grated coconut, and raisins in a bowl. Keep aside.
Mix all the remaining ingredients in another bowl.
Take a small amount of the paneer mixture and make a little space in the center.
Fill some coconut mixture in the center and bring back the ends together and make a round or pear-shaped kofta.
Make all the kofta in the same manner.
Roll the kofta in corn flour. Heat oil in a nonstick pan and fry the koftas on medium heat till golden brown.
Remove the koftas on a tissue lined plate. Keep aside.
Heat 3 cups of water in a pan. Add onion, cashew nuts, ginger, and garlic in boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes.
Drain the water and add the cooked onion and cashews in a blender.
Add some cold water and grind to make a smooth paste.
Heat oil and butter in a pan.
Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, and bay leaf and let them crackle for a few seconds.
Add the onion and cashew paste and cook for 4-5 minutes. Cover the pan if the masala is spluttering too much.
Now add khoya and green chillies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
Add salt, sugar, yogurt whisked with flour and white pepper powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add kasuri methi and 1 cup water and bring the curry to a boil. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Finally, add fresh cream and mix well.
Add the kofta just before serving and serve hot.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make vegan Malai Kofta, you can substitute Paneer with Tofu to make the koftas.
As tofu is bland you can add a little lemon juice in the mixture.
The base of the gravy is made from Onion, Garlic, Ginger, and Cashews.
To add that creaminess, you can add coconut milk instead of cream and yogurt.
The one with the Tomato Gravy is a Punjabi version of Malai Kofta. Here is how you can make it:
2 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Oil
3 – 4 Cloves
4 – 5 Black peppercorns
2 Black cardamom
1 inch Cinnamon
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
4 tbsp Tomato puree
1/2 tsp Chili powder
2 tbsp Cashew nut paste soak a few cashew nuts in water for 15 minutes and grind in a blender to make a paste
1 cup Milk
3 tbsp Fresh cream
1 tbsp Honey
Salt to taste
2 tsp Lemon juice
2 tsp Kasuri methi
Heat butter and oil in a pan.
Add cloves, black peppercorns, black cardamom, and cinnamon and fry for 20 seconds.
Add ginger-garlic paste and fry for a minute.
Now add tomato puree and fry for another minute.
Add cashew nut paste, chilli powder, and milk and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Lastly, add fresh cream, honey, salt to taste, lemon juice, and Kasuri methi and cook for a minute.
Adjust the consistency of the gravy by adding little water and cook till the mixture comes to a boil.
Add the koftas in the gravy and give it a boil.
Garnish with fresh coriander.
Serve hot with Naan or Laccha paratha.
To make Hariyali Malai Kofta, use 100 gms of Spinach leaves in the tomato-based gravy as suggested above. Just blanch, puree these leaves and add along with the tomato puree and you would have a wonderful green variation for you to serve.
If you are making Malai Kofta for a big occasion such as Diwali Party and has less time on your hand because of the festival, you can pre-make the Koftas, so that you can save up time and make only the gravy on that day.
If you are using the Koftas in next 1 or 2 days, then you can store them in an airtight container in the fridge itself, but if you still have a week for the festive meal, then you can shape the kofta and freeze them in a covered tray.
The day you want to make the Malai Kofta, take them out of the freezer, bring them to room temperature and deep fry them in oil.
Malai Kofta goes well along with all the Indian Bread and Rice preparations, but just make sure that the bread or rice is simple and not too flavourful, as Malai Kofta itself has a rich and creamy gravy.
This makes for a great festive meal and you can add this meal with a traditional Indian Mithai.
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Malai Kofta Recipe
- 1 tbsp Cashewnuts (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Grated dry coconut
- 1 tbsp Raisins (chopped)
- 300 gms Paneer
- 1/2 cup Potato (boiled, cooled and grated)
- 2 tbsp Poha (soaked in 2 tbsp water)
- 1/2 tsp Ginger (grated)
- 1 tsp Green chilli (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp Coriander (finely chopped)
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
- 2 tbsp Cornflour
- Oil (for frying)
- 1 cup Onion (Chopped)
- 1/2 cup Cashew Nuts
- 1 tsp Garlic (Chopped)
- 1 tsp Ginger (Chopped)
- 2 tbsp Butter
- 2 tbsp Oil
- 3 – 4 Cloves
- 1 inch Cinnamon
- 2 Green cardamom
- 2 tsp Ginger garlic paste
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1/4 cup Khoya (Crumbled)
- 2-3 Green Chillies (Slit into half)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tsp Sugar
- 1/4 cup Yogurt (whisked with 1 tsp all purpose flour)
- 1/2 tsp White Pepper Powder
- 1 tsp Kasuri methi
- 1/4 cup Fresh cream
- Mix cashew nuts, grated coconut and raisins in a bowl.
- Keep aside.
- Mix all the remaining ingredients in another bowl.
- Take small amount of the paneer mixture and make a little space in the center.
- Fill some coconut mixture in the center and bring back the ends together and make a round kofta.
- Make all the koftas in the same manner.
- Heat oil in a non stick pan and fry the koftas on medium heat till golden brown.
- Remove the koftas on a tissue lined plate.
- Keep aside.
- Heat 3 cups of water in a pan.
- Add onion, cashew nuts, ginger and garlic in boiling water and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Drain the water and add the cooked onion and cashews in a blender.
- Add some cold water and grind to make a smooth paste.
- Heat oil and butter in a pan.
- Add cloves, cinnamon, cardamon and bay leaf and let them crackle for a few seconds.
- Add the onion and cashew paste and cook for 4-5 minutes.
- Cover the pan if the masala is spluttering too much.
- Add khoya and green chillies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Add salt, sugar, yogurt whisked with flour and white pepper powder and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add kasuri methi and 1 cup water and bring the curry to a boil.
- Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add fresh cream and mix well.
- Add the kofta just before serving and serve hot.