The first time I ever decided to malai kofta curry was while flipping through pages from a vegetarian cookbook that my mother had. I was about twelve at that time. I do not remember the name of the book but a lot of my early childhood memories are around that book. That book taught me how to cook delicious Indian vegetarian food. It makes me think how long lasting and impactful childhood memories can be!
Fast forward years later, I have come up with my own version. I absolutely love this recipe and make it a lot! A lot of my hardcore non-vegetarian friends also love it!
The gravy of this malai kofta curry is a luxurious mix of cashew cream and curd, and the koftas are soft and melting in the mouth. Both of them combined along with some ghee laden rotis are a match made in heaven!
The curry is creamy, slightly sweet, luxurious and dreamy. It is thick as it is a smooth paste of a variety of elements.
Preparation time – 30 minutes
Cook time – 30 minutes
Serves – 2-3 people
For the koftas:
- 150 grams grated paneer
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
- Chopped coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp gram flour (Besan)
- 1 tsp red chili powder
- Water, as required
- Oil (for deep frying the koftas)
For the malai kofta curry:
- 2 onions, ground to a paste
- 2 medium tomatoes, roughly diced
- 1 green chili
- 10 g ginger
- 4 garlic cloves
- 100 g cashews, ground to a paste
- 1 tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp curd, beaten well
- 1 tsp black pepper powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tbsp desi ghee
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 200 ml warm water
- 1 tbsp Kasuri methi for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Thoroughly grate the paneer ensuring there are no large chunks. Add salt, garam masala, gram flour, chopped coriander leaves, red chili powder and water to form a thick batter.
- Make round koftas and freeze them for at least an hour.
- Deep fry these koftas in hot oil until they are crispy from all sides and cooked from within. Set aside.
- In a blender, make a fine paste of one green chili, tomatoes, ginger and garlic with a little water.
- Heat oil in a kadhai. Add the onion paste. Saute the onions till the raw aroma disappears, they turn brown and the oil starts to separate from it.
- Add some sugar into the onions. This will help to give it a beautiful brown color and also enable the onions to cook faster. It will also add some sweetness to your final recipe.
- Once the raw aroma of the onions disappears, add the blended tomato puree. Cook this till oil starts to separate from the onion and tomato paste.
- Once the tomato is cooked, season with salt, turmeric powder, cumin powder, black pepper powder, coriander powder, and Kashmiri red chili powder. If you do not want too much chili flavor, skip adding the green chilies in the beginning.
- Add beaten curd and cashew paste to the mixture and stir well.
- Add in some warm to avoid the paste from sticking to the pan.
- Once everything is cooked, add some more warm water depending on the consistency you want.
- Season with garam masala and Kasuri methi just before turning off the gas. Give it one last stir.
- Add the koftas to the gravy just before serving.
- Enjoy with hot rotis, naan or jeera rice.
I hope you try this really easy and delicious malai kofta curry for yourself and enjoy it as much as I do. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me with a comment or connect with me on Instagram or Facebook.