Malai Kofta
North Indian Paneer

Malai Kofta

5/5 - (5 votes)

Malai Kofta is a dish made with fried dumpling balls of paneer, and potatoes, and a thick, rich, creamy gravy to accompany it. It is very fulfilling, delicious, and royal looking because of all the exotic spices that are used. The gravy is essentially made out of a paste of onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, cashew, and cooked with aromatic spices until it becomes fragrant and delightfully rich. Fresh cream is added to the gravy before dunking in dry-fruit stuffed paneer koftas. The result is a dish that is rich, comforting and so delicious you will be licking your spoon clean.

After eating Malai Kofta, my husband said I will never gonna order this at the restaurant again. The flavors from this recipe are incredible, it’s a sweet lightly sweetened and spiced mainly with whole spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc. Eating those soft stuffed koftas are such a delight.

And today, I am sharing my version of Malai Kofta with you guys and it will taste not less than any restaurant style Malai Kofta. To make it velvety smooth I strain the puree using a strainer so that the gravy is silky smooth. I recommend it so that you will get that super-smooth texture.

A popular restaurant style curry made easy! Definitely try out this recipe. This pairs beautifully with Naan, Roti, Kulcha, or even simple Pulav.

This is an ideal recipe for parties, so don’t miss preparing this restaurant style Malai Kofta at home.

Do try other similar recipes :

Preparation Time: 25mins  ∏  Cooking Time: 40mins  ∏  Servings: 3-4 person

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

For Koftas

For Onion Tomato Puree

For Gravy

How to make Malai Kofta:

Make the kofta

Step1: In a large bowl, add grated paneer, boiled and grated (or mashed) potato, cornstarch, grated ginger, chopped chilly, garam masala, Kashmiri red chilly powder, coriander powder, fresh coriander, salt as per taste.

Step2: Mix everything well so that all the spices are mixed with potato and paneer.

Step3: Mix everything together with your hands to form a dough. Start making koftas from the dough. Take some part of the dough and roll between your palms to make it round. Slightly flatten them and place a couple of raisins and cashew in the center.

Step4: Apply some dry all-purpose flour on your palm and reroll the balls until the edges are sealed and smooth. Coat it with dry refined flour and dust off excess flour.

Step5: Similarly makes all the koftas. Keep the balls in the refrigerator for at least 20 mins.

Step6: Set a pan or kadhai filled with oil on medium-high heat. Fry the koftas until they are golden brown all over, 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure oil is hot, else koftas can stick to the pan and also disintegrate in the oil.

Step7: Remove the koftas with a slotted spoon and let them drain on an absorbent paper and keep aside for later use.

Make the Onion Tomato Puree

Step8: Heat a pan on low-medium flame, add oil (or ghee). Add the cloves, cinnamon, green cardamom pods, black peppercorn, bay leaf, and sahi jeera and cook until the spices are fragrant about 20 seconds.

Step9: Add sliced onion, garlic cloves, ginger and green chilies, and sauté for a minute. Do not brown the onion.

Step10: Add tomatoes, cashew nuts, sprinkle some salt and cook for 3-4 minutes.

Step11: Once the tomatoes soften, switch off the flame and cool down to room temperature. (Be careful not to blend it when it’s still hot otherwise it might blow off from the blender).

Step12: Discard the bay leaf and transfer mixture to a grinding jar and grind until completely smooth paste forms, then set it aside. (If required you may add 1-2 tablespoon water while grinding)

Make the Gravy

Step13: Heat a pan on low-medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil and butter. Let the butter melt. Then add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder. Saute the spices for 20 seconds. I will suggest turning off the flame at this point to avoid the burning of spices.

Step14: While the flame is still off. Use a strainer and strain the pureed gravy into spices. This makes sure the gravy is really smooth as all the big particles are removed.

Step15: Turn on the flame. Cook the masala paste for 3-4 mins on medium flame until the oil starts to separate from sides.

Step16: Add 1/2 cup of water and let the curry simmer for 5 minutes.

Step17: Add fresh cream, saffron, Kasuri methi, and whisk to combine them and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Step18: Add slit green chilly, sprinkle garam masala, cook for an additional 2 minutes on medium-low heat. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. The gravy is now done. Switch the heat off and transfer a portion of the gravy into a serving bowl.

Serve the malai kofta

Step19: To serve place koftas on a plate and pour the hot gravy on top of it. Garnish with fresh cream, cilantro and cashew. Or you can also place the gravy first on the serving plate, drizzle with cream and place koftas on top.

Your Malai Kofta is ready to be served, serve hot with laccha paratha or any Indian roti of your choice.

Malai Kofta


  • Do not add too much cornstarch while binding the kofta.
  • Do refrigerate kofta balls for at least 15-20 minutes, so that the kofta do not lose their shape while frying.
  • Consistency of the curry is a matter of preference. Some like it thinner. I prefer mine to be slightly on the thicker side. Adjust the amount of water as per requirement.
  • Use completely boiled potato (aloo) and grate them so that there are no lumps in the kofta mixture.
  • Fry kofta in medium-high heat and carefully fry them from all sides.
  • Before serving you may also add the kofta to the gravy and let it simmer for 2 minutes. Do not overcook them otherwise the kofta will break.
  • You may also drizzle some honey into the gravy to get the sweet taste.


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