Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta – Be it an occasion, celebration or simply treating yourself with some good food, Malai Kofta never disappoints you. Rich, decadent gravy with a combination of cream, cashew and butter ensures indulgence at its best!

Malai Kofta

Malai Kofta, the most popular North Indian Style Gravy Sabzi that is most ordered in a restaurant. My husband, a huge fan of this sabzi insists on cooking this for special occasions like his birthday or our anniversary.

Malai refers to cream in Hindi and Kofta are sort of dumplings that are traditionally fried and then added to the thick gravy. The gravy is a basic Indian Tomato Onion gravy that is thickened with cashew paste and fresh cream. The koftas are made with paneer or Indian Cottage Cheese and Potatoes.

This vegetable or gravy sabzi is quite rich and one serving ideally makes you full. Creamy and decadent, this is a non-spicy gravy recipe easily loved by kids too.

While traditionally the Koftas are fried, I have made them using an appe pan or paniyaram pan. These koftas can be Air Fried also.

Malai Kofta Recipe

As I mentioned earlier, it is my husband’s number one choice of gravy vegetable to be ordered at a restaurant and I remember clearly, this was also ordered on our first date back in 2010. The Malai Kofta gravy is slightly sweet because of the cashew and cream added which my husband adores.

Recipes of such kind are great for occasions or celebrations at home. Pair it with any Indian Flatbread like Roti, Plain Parathas or Naan etc and they would be polished within minutes.

Some of the other North Indian Sabzis both Dry and Gravy you can try –

If you are planning to throw a party or are celebrating an occasion with family, try any of the above sabzis, pair it with a dal or Kadhi Pakora and Jeera Rice to make it a complete meal.

Let us look at the step by step process of making the koftas and the gravy.

Step by Step Malai Kofta Recipe

Method to make the gravy –

Ginger Garlic paste

Method to cook the Kofta

Recipe Notes –

  • I have used white onions to make this dish, they are less overpowering than their red counterpart and perfect for such gravies where the onions should not over power the gravy taste. Also, the white onions lend a slightly sweet taste when caramalised which is perfect for this gravy.
  • You can, however use, any variety of onion as available and ensure they cook well on low heat. Any hint of raw taste of the onions or tomatoes spoils the entire taste of this gravy.
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli powder gives a good colour to the gravy. No added colour is used in the gravy or the koftas.
  • Before serving the malai koftas, drizzle a tbsp of cream and some crushed kasuri methi.
  • Kasuri Methi lends a lovely aroma to the dish both during garnish and cooking, don’t skip this.
  • I have used Amul Fresh Cream.
  • The cook time for this dish is atleast an hour considering the slow cooking of the koftas in the appe pan, in case you wish to deep fry, the time will drastically reduce and it will be over in say, 10 to 15 minutes.
Malai Kofta recipe

Some additional Notes about the recipe –

(1) Can the koftas be made ahead?

Yes, they can be prepped and frozen or refrigerated and fried in an appe pan the next day too.

(2) Can the gravy be made ahead and frozen?

The onion tomato gravy base can be made ahead and frozen for days together. Add cashew paste and cream once you plan to cook after thawing the frozen gravy.

(3) Adding the Koftas to the gravy

I normally add the koftas only before serving. As extra portions, if any, can be easily stored and reheated in the microwave the next day. Koftas, especially the ones that have no cornflour or bread crumbs and are not deep fried, tend to become soggy with the gravy.

(4) What if I want to deep fry the koftas?

Add some cornflour and bread crumbs for the crispy texture. I have avoided both the ingredients and just cooked the koftas in the paniyaram pan on low to medium heat for the crispy exterior.

(5) How to Make Malai Kofta in White Gravy?

Some restaurants do serve Malai Kofta in white gravy. Simple to replicate that at home by skipping the turmeric powder and the Kashmiri red chilli powder from the recipe. Also would suggest increasing the quantity of cashews by 10 nos for that added creaminess.

(6) Vegan Malai Kofta

For the vegan Version, skip the paneer for the koftas and use tofu. For the gravy, soak the cashews in warm water. You can either skip the cream and increase the quantity of cashews for the gravy or use any vegan cream variety. The butter in the recipe can be easily substituted with veg oil.

(7) Can Home made Malai be used for this recipe?

By all means yes, collect around 100 ml of malai from the boiled and cooled milk (over a period of time). Whisk it well and add to the gravy instead of store bought cream.

(8) What variety of store bought cream to be used?

I have used Amul Cream (blue packet) that is commonly sold in Indian Supermarkets. If you are living abroad, you can use heavy cream instead. No whipping cream to be used for this recipe.

Malai Kofta Recipe

Malai Kofta

Vidya Narayan
Malai Kofta is a popular North Indian Style Gravy Sabzi. Paneer and Potato balls are simmered in a cashew cream rich gravy. The koftas are traditionally deep fried but I have cooked them in an appe or paniyaram pan in less oil. This decadent gravy tastes best with roti, plain parathas or naan.
0 from 0 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian, north indian
Servings 3 people

Equipment

  • paniyaram or appe pan

Ingredients
  

  • INGREDIENTS FOR GRAVY
  • 5 nos. White Onions (Medium Size)
  • 4 nos Tomatoes (Ripe and Medium size)
  • 20 nos. Cashews
  • 1/4 cup Milk (For soaking the cashews)
  • 100 ml Cream Read notes
  • 1 tsp Kasuri Methi or Dry Methi
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds or Jeera
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 tbsp Oil Added to avoid the butter from burning
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1 cup Water (To adjust thickness of gravy, grinding etc)
  • Salt to taste
  • INGREDIENTS FOR KOFTA
  • 150 gms Paneer or Cottage Cheese
  • 2 nos. Potatoes (big size or 4 nos. Medium size)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli powder
  • Finely chopped Coriander leaves as required
  • Oil as required to cook the koftas in appe pan
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Method to make the gravy
  • Roughly chop the onions and grind them in a mixer grinder to form a smooth paste and keep aside.
  • Roughly chop the tomatoes and make a puree in the mixer grinder, keep aside.
  • Soak the cashews in warm milk for atleast 30 mins and grind to a smooth paste.
  • Heat a kadhai, add the butter followed by Jeera or cumin seeds, saute until roasted.
  • Add the minced garlic ginger paste and saute well until the raw smell disappears.
  • Add the onion paste and cook well for atleast 15 to 20 mins on low heat to ensure there is no raw smell and taste.
  • Add the tomato puree, mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  • Now add the turmeric powder, red chilli powder and some salt. Mix well and let the mixture cook well for another 10 minutes until a good gravy consistency is formed.
  • Add the cashew paste, stir well and check the salt. Now add the sugar followed by cream.
  • Mix well and check for the salt again. Adjust if not up to taste.
  • Also, If the mixture is too thick, add some water and adjust the consistency.
  • By now the mixture will thicken and turn into a smooth silky gravy.
  • Add the kasuri methi and the garam masala powder and mix it well until one boil and then switch off the flame.
  • Method to cook the Koftas
  • In a big bowl, crumble the paneer or cottage cheese and add the boiled mashed potatoes
  • Add salt as per taste along with red chilli powder and the garam masala powder along with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Mix it well and shape them into balls and rest them in a refrigerator for atleast 30 minutes before cooking them in an appe pan or paniyaram pan.
  • Heat a non-stick appe pan, pour few drops of oil and slowly place these balls in the appe moulds and allow them to cook on low flame before turning them over and cooking on the other side.
  • Once they develop a crunchy texture on the outside, remove and keep aside.
  • Just before serving, add the koftas to the gravy else it makes the dish very soggy.

Notes

  • I have used white onions to make this dish, they are less overpowering than their red counterpart and perfect for such gravies where the onions should not over power the gravy taste. Also, the white onions lend a slightly sweet taste when caramalised which is perfect for this gravy.
  • You can, however use, any variety of onion as available and ensure they cook well on low heat. Any hint of raw taste of the onions or tomatoes spoils the entire taste of this gravy.
  • Kashmiri Red Chilli powder gives a good colour to the gravy. No added colour is used in the gravy or the koftas.
  • Before serving the malai koftas, drizzle a tbsp of cream and some crushed kasuri methi.
  • Kasuri Methi lends a lovely aroma to the dish both during garnish and cooking, don’t skip this.
  • I have used Amul Fresh Cream.
  • The cook time for this dish is atleast an hour considering the slow cooking of the koftas in the appe pan, in case you wish to deep fry, the time will drastically reduce and it will be over in say, 10 to 15 minutes.
Keyword kofta in appe pan, malai kofta recipe, North Indian Sabzi recipe, punjabi recipes
Tried this recipe?Share your feedback @masalachilli_vidyanarayan or tag #masalachilli_vidyanarayan

I had posted this recipe in the year 2018 on the occasion of our 7th Wedding Anniversary. The post has now been updated with added information and recipe card.

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Vidya Narayan

Views: 4527

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 43 Comments

  1. Aanchal Kapoor

    Belated Wedding Anniversary Vidya, wishing you many more delicious years together!!!

  2. Megala

    Great idea to cook kofta in appe pan ! Love both the curry & kofta !!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I am a big fan of appe pan and try to cook everything possible in that as it consumes less oil. Until I purchase an air fryer, this is going to be my saviour. Thanks dear.

  3. The Karavali Wok

    The Malai Kofta looks absolutely divine. Enjoyed reading your write-up. Happy Anniversary Vidya !!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks dear Smitha for the wishes and also enjoying the write up. It was more of a hurried one but nevertheless, glad you liked it.

  4. Madhu's Everyday Indian

    Looks incredible Vidya!

  5. Jyoti Rao :)

    I am already a fan of your cooking <3 This looks delicious. 🙂 Thanks for sharing the recipe with pictures. <3

  6. Dice n Cook

    such a beautiful sight of kofta…happy anniversary too..

      1. Sangeeta Sethi

        Lovely write up .fabulous description of the recipe

      2. Vidya Narayan

        Thank you so much

  7. Rita

    Belated Anniversary wishes,Vidya?

  8. debanitaghosh

    Malai kofta is one of my favourites! Your recipe looks delicious and yum!

  9. Belated wishes for your wedding anniversary! 🙂
    Gorgeous pics! The malai kofta looks so delicious! As much as I love malai kofta, I have never tried making it at home myself. Your recipe tempts me to do so immediately. 🙂

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you so much for the wishes and glad you liked it. My version makes it slightly less guilty as the koftas are not deep fried so you can very well give it a try! Do let me know how it turned out, whenever you try it out.

  10. Beautiful write up, very true we wife’s expected on our anniversary no lunch or dinner at home? but that’s not possible na..one meal at home & one is outside.Malai kofta looks really really amazing and you have done full justice with it, I Love this sweet-spicy version of gravy, beautiful color..so much want to write ? Fantastic share, Bookmarked will try soon and share my feedback with you ??

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I am so glad my dearest that you took the time to write so much about this and it makes me truly happy to read your positive feedback. I am certainly waiting for the feedback on the taste when you try it sometime at home. I hope your family enjoys it. Hugs my dear.

  11. F for Flavour

    Malai kofta looks delicious. I have to say all your pics are so appealing.
    Do checkout my blog http://fforflavour.com

    1. Vidya Narayan

      That is so good to hear and thank you so much for going through the blog. Shall check out your space for sure as well. Cheers and Best Wishes!

  12. InspiresN

    The malai kofta looks simply awesome, this is a favorite at my home as well. Combination with lacha paratha is an excellent choice. Belated wishes for a very happy wedding anniversary!

    1. Vidya Narayan

      thank you dear for your kind wishes and liking the malai kofta. Cheers!

  13. jagruti

    If there is party or get together in Indian homes, malai kofta would be a first choice. One of my favourite dish too, just need hot kulcha to wipe doen the plate. Glad you made kofte in appe pan.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      I agree with you and thank you for liking the idea of the non-fried koftas.

  14. Flavours Treat

    Malai Kofta looks so delicious and inviting. It is a perfect treat for kids and adults. Making kofte in appe pan is a great idea to turn it into a healthy dish. Your clicks and step by step pictorial description are just enough to make me to try this dish.

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thanks so much Geetha and it is nice to see you on my space.

  15. Dhanya Seshan

    Belated anniversary wishes Vidya! The dish looks divine – will definitely try this method. I love your posts ?

    1. Vidya Narayan

      Thank you Dhanya for the wishes. Do try and let me know. Keep the encouragement coming!

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