Recipe: Malai Kofta


One of the most famous dishes which you find in almost all Indian restaurants, Malai Kofta is a scrumptious dish, albeit one that takes a bit of time to make. This is a dish you should make when you want to impress someone or when you have a dinner party at home. These creamed dumplings are made of the mashed potatoes and paneer (fresh cottage cheese) and served in a rich tomato based gravy which is enhanced with the addition of fresh cream and cashew nuts.


Malai Kofta


For the kofta:

  • 1 cup frozen paneer/cottage cheese, refreshed in hot water for 30 minutes and then mashed well with a masher or your fingers
  • 4 medium size potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped green chillies
  • 2 tbsps cornflour or plain flour (maida)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves
  • Sunflower or Vegetable oil to deep fry the koftas

For the gravy:

  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 3-4 medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 7-8 pieces of cashew nuts
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tsps red chili powder
  • 1 tsp coriander seed powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seed powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • Water as required
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsps oil
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 green cardamoms
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup fresh cooking cream
  • Chopped coriander leaves to garnish


For the Koftas

  • In a large pan, mix the mashed potatoes and paneer and add some chopped coriander and salt to taste.
  • Add the required amount of cornflour or plain flour to make it into a smooth dough.
  • Make medium-sized balls with the dough and keep aside.
  • Heat the sunflower or vegetable oil in a pan and fry the koftas till they turn golden brown and keep aside.

For the Gravy

  • In a pan, heat 1 tsp of oil and add the roughly chopped onions and fry for a few minutes till it becomes translucent. At this point, add the ginger and garlic and fry each for a fee seconds before adding the next ingredient.
  • When the ginger and garlic is fully fried, add the cashew nuts and let it fry for a while. Next add the chopped tomatoes and a pinch of salt and stir well till oil is released from the gravy. At this point, switch off the flame and let it cool.
  • When completely cool, blend this mixture till completely smooth. Use some milk to add moisture if you need.
  • In another pan, heat 2 tbsps of oil and add the dry spices – cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, one by one, and stir well. Next, add the blended gravy and let it boil.
  • Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala and cumin powder and salt to taste.
  • When the oil starts to leave the sides, add the cream, reduce the flame and let it come to a nice rolling boil. Check for seasoning (and add if needed) and then add the kasuri methi (after crushing it a bit with your palms).
  • Add water if the gravy is too thick.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and switch off the flame.

To serve

  • Add the koftas just before you are ready to serve the dish. If you add the koftas too early, it will break when it gets saturated with the gravy and it also soaks up the gravy.


  • You can also serve the koftas as a tea-time snack.
  • You can also serve the koftas as a tea-time snack.
  • To make the dish richer, you can add a tsp of chopped nuts (cashew nuts, almonds, raisins etc) into the middle of each koftas as a stuffing before frying it.



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