• Preeti Vaswani


This ultimate indulgence , Malai Kofta has it all, a silky and smooth golden sauce, protein packed dumplings, richest nutty flavor to make it worthy of a feast.

It beautifully pairs up with tandoori roti, butter naan or steamed long-grained basmati rice. A pure bliss for vegetarians to be served on special occasions or get-togethers.

As the festival of Holi is at a short distance , you can plan it to have on your lunch or dinner menu and it is sure to mesmerize all by its aromatic subtle flavors.

What is Malai Kofta ?

Malai Kofta is one of the most popular Indian vegetarian dish to please vegetarians who are looking for a hearty meal. This exotic dish tops the menu of almost all Indian restaurants.

It literally translates as Malai = creamy , Kofta = deep-fried veg dumplings(here made with potato and paneer).

How to make Malai Kofta ?

Some recipes are meant for special occasions or when you want to have something special. This is one such recipe. I won't say that it is easy and simple to make. The process is lengthy and time consuming but it is all worth it.

You have to work on two parts ; Kofta and Gravy/Curry , then assemble them in a dish when you serve.

Kofta - is made with potato and fresh homemade paneer, stuffed with khoya ,cashew, raisins , green chili and my secret ingredient saffron. Adding saffron to the stuffing makes the kofta more exotic.

For binding cornflour is added to the potato and paneer mixture that makes the outer layer of the kofta.

The stuffing is made with fresh khoya/mava, cashew, raisins, green chili, saffron and spices. If khoya/mava is not available you can add fresh malai or thick cream to the stuffing.

The stuffed kofta is then deep fried to a golden color on medium flame. Make sure you do not overcrowd the pan while frying the kofta otherwise the kofta will disintegrate and you have to begin it all again.

Also, add the kofta in the pan for frying once the oil is hot otherwise the kofta will stick to the bottom of the pan.

Always use fresh homemade paneer for melt-in-mouth koftas. It gives a way better result than store-bought fresh paneer or frozen paneer.

Gravy /Curry - These koftas are served on the bed of velvety, rich gravy made with onion, tomato, ginger-garlic, cashews and spices.

The gravy is smooth and slightly sweetened. I use a combination of sugar and honey for the perfect mild sweet flavor.

Another combination that works wonders in the gravy is oil and butter. Add oil and butter in the ratio of 1:1 for smoothness and glaze.

Just a pinch of saffron in the gravy infuses beautiful color and flavor. I strongly recommend using saffron in gravy as well as in the stuffing for the koftas.

Another intense spice used in the gravy to impart sweet and warm flavor is cardamom. I add cardamom while sauteing onion and tomatoes. The wonderful complex flavor of cardamon adds exotic depth to the dish.

Serving suggestions

This mildly sweet Malai Kofta goes well with any Indian flatbread like butter naan, tandoori roti, laccha paratha or even plain phulka.

It pairs well with steamed long-grain basmati rice , jeera rice as well.

Drizzle some cream and garnish with saffron threads soaked in water , coriander leaves when serving the Malai Kofta.

Tips for creamy restaurant-style Malai Kofta

If you want to enjoy the restaurant-style Malai Kofta in the comfort of your home then I have got some tips and tricks listed below for you.

Fresh, soft and moist homemade paneer - The koftas are not only come out soft but also taste delicious with homemade paneer.

Secret ingredient Saffron - Add saffron threads in the stuffing of the kofta and gravy as well for exotic , rich flavor.

Sugar and Honey for delectable sweetness - A combination of sugar and honey for the mildly sweet flavor , this is what I think works well in Malai Kofta rather than adding only one at a time.

Strain the tomato-onion- cashew puree for velvety smooth gravy - Once the puree is cooked pass it through a strainer for restaurant-style smooth gravy/curry. However smooth you grind the puree straining it gives a very smooth texture to the gravy/curry.

Cuisine : Indian

Course : Main Course, Curry

Prep time : 40 minutes

Cooking time : 30 minutes

Servings : 3-4


For kofta outer cover

  • 1 Cup fresh homemade mashed paneer

  • 1 Cup boiled and grated potato

  • 2 Tsp chopped coriander leaves

  • 1 Tsp salt

  • 1/2 Tsp pepper powder

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornflour

For stuffing in kofta

  • 1/4 Cup khoya/mava

  • 1/4 Tsp sugar

  • 1 Tsp chopped green chili

  • 1 Tsp chopped cashews

  • 12-15 raisins

  • Few saffron threads

  • Veg oil for frying

For curry/gravy

  • 2 Tbsp oil