Malai kofta curry is essentially deep fried paneer dumplings with a creamy smooth tomato based gravy. It’s a loved vegetarian main course recipe in India. Tastes great with Pulao, Naan, Roti or kulcha! There are different variations to this recipe but the below recipe lends a perfect rich taste! Try it for yourself and do share your valuable comments!
Preparation Time : 40 minutes
Serves : 4-6 persons
Paneer / Cottage cheese : 200 grams
Tomatoes / Tamatar / Bilahi : 3 medium
Cashewnuts / Kaju : 10-12
Almonds / Badam : 6-7 (optional)
Melon seeds / Magaz : 2 tablespoons
Poppy seeds / Khuskhus / Posto / Aphu Guti : 1 tablespoon
Ginger : 1 inch piece, chopped
Onion / Piyaaz : 2 medium, roughly chopped
Garlic cloves / Lasun / Nohoru : 10-12 (optional)
Green cardamoms / Elaichi : 2-4
Red chilli powder / Lal mirch powder : 1 teaspoon
Salt as per taste
Refined / Olive oil : 1/2 cup (approx)
Green cardamom powder / Elaichi powder : 1/4 teaspoon
Refined flour / maida / cornflour : 2 teaspoons
Fresh cream : 2 tablespoons (I have used Amul Cream)
Garam masala Powder : 1/4 teaspoon for kofta and 1/2 teaspoon for gravy
Raisins/ Kismis and Kaju / Cashewnuts : 4 tablespoons, chopped for kofta stuffing
For the basic gravy, heat 3 cups water in a kadhai or pan. Add roughly chopped onions, deseeded tomatoes, almonds, cashewnuts, melon seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, green cardamoms and bring to a boil. Turn of the heat, strain and keep both the boiled nuts and tomato mixture and the stock in two different bowls.
For the koftas, grate or mash paneer into a bowl. Add in the mashed potatoes and Garam Masala powder, elaichi powder, salt, cornflour mix well. Take small portions, make a flat shape, stuff with 1/4 teaspoon of chopped raisins and cashews and shape into round balls or koftas. You can give it your favourite shape but commonly its given a round ball shape. Heat sufficient oil in a pan. Deep-fry or shallow fry these koftas till golden. Drain and place on a paper napkin so that the excess oil is completely soaked. Keep aside.
Once the tomato mixture is cooled, blend the mixture with a hand blender or alternatively with a mixer grinder by adding a little stock. Strain the mixture using a stainless steel strainer and pour into another non-stick pan or kadhai and heat. Add a little cream and garam masala powder and mix well. Remove from heat once the mixture is warm enough but not boiling.
Add the koftas to the gravy. However I suggest, just before serving, warm the gravy, add koftas. This will ensure that the koftas don’t soak too much of the gravy and break.
Garnish with fresh cream and chopped fresh coriander. You can also add a garnish of fried cashews, cherries or Kasuri Methi as per your choice. Serve warm with rotis, naan, pulao or steamed rice.