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Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a classic North Indian dish, originating from the Mughlai cuisine. Malai means cream and kofta refers to the deep fried paneer and potato balls. Malai kofta is one of the popular dish in many of the Indian restaurants. The mildly spiced and slightly sweet gravy is fragrant with fresh spices and rich with cream, milk and cashews, thus this Mughlai specialty is apt for special occasions and parties. The best accompaniment for malai kofta is naan and kulcha, but you can also serve with roti, jeera rice and pulao.

South Vs North Challenge, started by Divya of You Too Can Cook, is a great event to learn traditional regional cuisines. Nupur of UK Rasoi has challenged the Southern team with this malai kofta recipe for this month's SNC. To get the authentic taste I would highly recommend using cream in this recipe, after all we don't make malai kofta too often and little indulgence once in a while is okay! Serve with sliced onions, lemon wedges and any Indian flatbread of your choice.


{ Deep fried paneer and potato balls in a creamy cashew tomato gravy}
Serves 3-4


For the koftas:
100 gms grated paneer
2 medium sized potatoes
1 tbsp chopped cashew
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
¼ tsp red chilly powder
¼ tsp cumin / jeera powder
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp cornflour
1 tbsp milk powder
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry

For the gravy:
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon
1 black cardamom
2-3 green cardamom
A pinch of mace
2-3 cloves
2 medium sized onions, roughly chopped 
½ inch ginger, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 cup tomato puree / 5 medium sized tomatoes, pureed
12-15 cashews
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chili powder
¼ tsp garam masala
1 cup water
½ cup fresh cream
½ cup full cream milk
1 tsp kasuri methi /dry fenugreek leaves
½ tsp sugar
Salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For garnish:
1 tbsp grated paneer
1 tbsp cream
¼ cup chopped coriander leaves


To make kofta:

1. Boil the potatoes and peel. Mash and add to a mixing bowl.

2. Add paneer, cashew, coriander leaves, red chilly powder, jeera powder, garam masala, corn flour, milk powder and salt.

3. Mix everything well using hands to form a soft dough. Divide into 8-10 portions and make small lemon sized balls.

4. Heat oil and deep fry the kofta balls in medium flame until golden. Drain on a paper towel and set aside.

To make gravy:

1. Heat 1 tbsp oil and add bay leaf, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, mace and fry till aroma of spices is released.

2. Then add ginger, garlic, onions and fry till the onions start to turn brown. Remove from heat and let it cool. Blend into a smooth paste.

3. Heat 1 tbsp oil and add the ground onion mixture. Saute for 1-2 minutes and then add tomato puree. Cook for 4-5 minutes.

4. Then add turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala and mix well. Cook this mixture covered on medium flame for about 8-10 minutes.

5. Then cook uncovered for 3-4 minutes or until oil starts to leave the sides of the masala.

6. Grind the cashews with 2 tbsp milk to a smooth paste. Add the cashew paste and water to the masala and mix well.

7. Bring to boil and simmer for about 10-12 minutes on low flame or till the gravy begins to thicken.

8. Gradually add the cream and milk and keep stirring the gravy to avoid curdling of cream and milk. Simmer for 4-5 minutes or till the gravy becomes thick and saucy.

9. Lastly add kasuri methi, sugar, salt and mix well. Simmer for a minute and remove from heat.

To serve:

Add the kofta balls into the gravy and heat the gravy for 1-2 minutes. Garnish with grated paneer, cream and coriander leaves.

My Notes:

1. You can add cooked vegetables like carrot, beans, green peas to the kofta mixture.

2. Make sure cream and milk is at room temperature otherwise the gravy might curdle.

3. Add the kofta balls just before serving, otherwise they will turn very soggy.


  1. Delicious kofta ..very tempting dear :)

  2. kofta looks very yumm and very well presented.

  3. Looks very of my favorites

  4. Perfectly done koftas..gravy looks so nice and smooth..

  5. looks really delicious sona.....

  6. tempting kofta.. so tasty and creamy gravy

  7. Crunchy and tasty kofta........ Lovely clicks!

  8. its one of the tempting dish from our wonderful cuisine. looks very delicious.

  9. Looks really appetizing and delicious dear :)

  10. looks too good.. delicious gravy.. :)

  11. wow so so perfectly made mouthwatering malai koftas curry :) looks yumm , I wud love to finish them right away !!

  12. This looks superb....perfect curry to have with hot chapathi

  13. Wonderful curry,perfectly made

  14. Rich and delicious, superb with some naan..

  15. so rich, creamy and delicious looking kofta curry...inviting pictures!


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