Malai Kofta – A Popular Indian Side Dish

Malai KoftaMalai Kofta is one of the dishes that we order almost every time we are at the Indian restaurants. It is my family’s favorite because of it rich and creamy texture and flavorful koftas. I have a kofta recipe already in the blog, but this recipe was something that was suggested to us by Nupur of UK Rasoi as a part of the South North challenge for the month of February. I somehow could not make the recipe then, but had it bookmarked since it was very interesting. So now for this week BM, I chose the gourmet gravy theme and this is the recipe that I chose first to make.

My kids loved the Malai Kofta and it disappeared as soon as it was served. This recipe more or less uses the same ingredients as my other recipe, but the procedure is slightly different. I served the Malai Kofta with some plain rice and parathas.

Preparation time – 15 minutes
Cooking time – 45 minutes
Difficulty level – easy

Ingredients – Serves 4

For the koftas –
  • Paneer/Indian cottage cheese – 100 gms (grated)
  • Potatoes – 2 (boiled, peeled and mashed)
  • Chili powder – ½ tsp
  • Corn flour – 1 tbsp plus 2 tbsp for dusting the koftas
  • Garam masala – ¼ tsp (optional)
  • Milk powder – 1 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil –for deep frying
For the gravy –
  • Onion – 2 (chopped)
  • Ginger – ½ inch piece (chopped)
  • Garlic – ¾ cloves
  • Tomato puree – 2 cups
  • Cashew paste – ¼ cup
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Garam masala – ½ tsp
  • Fresh cream – ½ cup (or 1 cup of full fat milk)
  • Kasuri methi / dry fenugreek leaves – 1 tsp
  • Bay leaf – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Nutmeg powder – a pinch
  • Cloves – 3
  • Oil/butter – 2 tbsp plus 1 tbsp
For garnish –
  • Cilantro – few chopped
  • Grated paneer – 2 tbsp

Procedure –

 

To make the Koftas –
  • Combine the grated paneer, mashed potatoes and 1 tbsp corn flour along with all the other ingredients (except the oil) to form soft dough.
  • Make about 12 equal size balls from them and keep them aside.
  • In a wide plate, add the 2 tbsp of corn flour and keep it ready. Roll the formed kofta balls in the corn flour and then keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in kadai/pan to deep fry the koftas. Fry the koftas to golden brown color and drain them on a paper towel lined bowl. Keep it warm until ready to serve.
To make the gravy –
  • Soak about 1/3 cup of cashews in warm water for about 15 minutes and then grind it into a paste and keep it aside. This will be the cashew paste for the gravy.
  • Blanch about 4 tomatoes and peel the skin. Puree the tomatoes and this will be puree to be used in the recipe.
  • In a wide pan, heat 1 tbsp of oil or butter and add the whole spices (Bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and nutmeg powder).  Fry for a minute until they are aromatic.
  • Now add the chopped onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions turn golden brown.  Let this mixture cool and then grind it in a blender to make a paste.
  • In the same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil/butter and then add the ground paste. Fry the paste for couple of minutes and then add the tomato puree. Cook the mixture for about 5 minutes and then add the turmeric powder, red chili powder and the garam masala and mix well.
  • Cover the pan and cook it for about 8-10 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook further for 5 minutes, until the oil starts to ooze out from the gravy.
  • Now add the cashew paste and about a cup of water and bring it to boil. Let this simmer for 10 minutes until the gravy thickens to the required consistency.
  • Add the fresh cream or milk and cook in low flame for about 5 minutes to prevent the cream/milk from curdling.
  • Add the kasure methi and mix well.
  • Just before serving, heat the gravy gently. Place the koftas on the serving dish and then add the gravy over it. Garnish with grated paneer and cilantro. Serve immediately.
  • It will be a good idea to add just enough koftas to the gravy that you are serving right away. Do not add more than needed as they will become soft and mushy.

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