Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta is a popular and delicious North Indian curry dish. The dish's name translates to malai, which means creamy or buttery and koftas - spiced balls. Koftas - deep fried balls made with a mashed potatoes, carrots, beans, sweet corn and paneer are dunked in a creamy tomato and cashew nuts based sauce. They are tasty, vegetarian alternative to meatballs. Malai kofta goes well with rice or naan.

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Serves 4

Kofta Balls

  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed
  • 1 cup grated paneer
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chiles chopped
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp white pepper powder
  • vegetable oil for frying

The Sauce

  • ¼ cup cashew nuts, soaked and then grinded to a paste
  • 2 tbsp garlic-ginger paste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream or half and half
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • cilantro, chopped to garish
  • Preparation time: 20 min
  • Cooking time: 45 min

How to make Malai Kofta:


  1. Add to a large mixing bowl: mashed potatoes, grated paneer, finely chopped green chilies, garlic, ginger and cilanto. Add salt, white pepper powder.
  2. Mix ingredients together with your hands to form a dough. Then make small round balls - koftas.
  3. Heat oil in frying pan on medium-high heat. Before you drop koftas into a hot oil, make sure the oil is hot, otherwise koftas will stick to the pan. Fry until koftas are golden brown on both sides. After remove koftas from the frying pan let them rest on a paper towel to absorb the access of oil.

Curry sauce:

  1. Heat oil in a pan.
  2. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, green cardamoms, cloves. Let the spices sizzle and pop for few seconds and then add the chopped garlic, ginger, green chili and onion. Saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes, cashewsnuts paste and 2 cups of water. Stir until combined. Cover the pot with a lid and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, until tomatoes have softened.
  4. Remove from heat and let it cool down down. Discard the bay leaf and cinnamon stick and transfer mixture to a blender. Blitz to a smooth paste.
  5. Heat the pot again and add 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon oil. Let the butter melt. Add the pureed gravy and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Add the garam masala, coriander powder, red chili powder, salt, sugar and cream. Let the curry cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Finally add vegetable kofta and cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.

Serve with rice, drizzled with cream and garnished with chopped cilantro.

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