Malai kofta is easily the most sought after vegetarian dish in the Indian restaurants.
This dish consists of deep-fried dumplings made of mashed potatoes and grated cottage cheese (koftas),served with a rich, creamy tomato gravy. Melt-in-the mouth koftas, served with chapattis and dunked in sweet,mildly spiced gravy makes for a delicious evening meal in itself.There is absolutely no need of any sort of accompaniment with Malai kofta.
There are many different ways of making this dish. Many people use cashew paste to make the gravy creamier and rich. Most people however, including me, use cream for the same purpose. In fact, the term ‘malai’ literally means ‘cream’ in Hindi. Be it any variation, Malai kofta is a rich dish and heavy in calories. Thus, it is one of those rare indulgences I allow myself and hubby once or twice in a month but once I do, I don’t pull back on the quantity of cream.
Malai Kofta is best served with naans or chapattis but it also goes very well with jeera rice or plain rice. For all you butter-chicken fans out there, this gravy is very similar to your butter chicken gravy. Do give this recipe a go and enjoy!
*For the Koftas-
1 cup boiled potatoes
1 cup grated paneer
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp chilly powder
1 tbsp breadcrumbs. You can also substitute this with 1-1.5 teaspoon of cornflour.
Oil to deep-fry
*For the gravy-
3-4 tbsn oil for cooking
1 tbsn- Ginger garlic paste
2 cups- Grinded onions
1 -slit green chilly
2- Blended fresh tomatoes
2 tbsn- Tomato puree
1 tsp- red chilly powder
2-3 tbsn- Fresh cream or whipped cream
1/2 cinnamon stick
Salt to taste
A pinch of garam masala
1tsp- Kasoori methi/ dried fenugreek leaves
-Mix all the ingredients for the koftas, make medium sized balls and deep fry them. Keep aside.
-For the gravy, take the oil in the pan. You can also add a little butter to it for flavor. Remember, the oil quantity has to be a tad bit more than your regular gravies in these type of rich curries. It contributes to the overall flavor!
-Once hot, add cardamoms, cinnamon stick and bayleaf and also immediately add the grinded onions so that the condiments do not burn. Cook on medium-low heat till the onions turn light brown and you see the oil leaving the edges. Make sure that onions do not remain raw as it will give a raw onion taste to the gravy.
-Add g.g. paste and green chillies and fry well till the raw aroma of the paste goes away.
-Add the fresh tomato paste and fry till you see the oil leaving the edges of the mixture. Add salt but keep the quantity less. You can adjust it at the end!
-Add the puree according to your taste but be careful and do not add too much as it can make your gravy sour. Once again cook till you see oil leaving the edges.
-Add the red chilly powder, crushed kasoori methi and garam masala. Fry well.
-Next, add your cream. Simmer for 5 minutes on low flame.
-Lastly, add a little honey or sugar as this gravy always tastes amazing when it is a little sweet.
-At the time of serving, place two koftas in a bowl and pour over the gravy generously onto them. Do not add kofta earlier as they will crumble and break. Serve immediately.
-Enjoy hot with chappati or rice!