special restaurant-style Malai Kofta

by Asif Ali
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🧾Ingredient Notes

Kofta ingredients in individual bowls and spoons.

– Paneer: It is available in the frozen section in Indian grocery stores. I prefer nanak, gopi brand. I have tried Occasionally I make homemade paneer, but for convenience, I mostly use store-bought.

– Potato: Here I have boiled potatoes in the instant pot. Let it cool down to touch, then remove the skin and discard. Then it is mashed with a potato masher or fork. Alternately, you can grate the boiled potato using a grater. 

– Corn flour (Cornstarch): It is used as a binding agent so we can roll into smooth balls (kofta).

– Nuts & raisins: I have just used cashew nuts. Personally, we do not like raisins at home so I have skipped it.

And here is the pic of the malai kofta curry ingredients. All of them are easily available in any Indian grocery store. 

Malai kofta gravy ingredients in individual bowls and spoons.

– Oil and Butter: I have used a combination of both. Butter adds a nice rich flavor. Instead, you can use ghee (clarified butter) or simply use all oil.

– Cashew nuts: helps to make thick, nutty, rich gravy

– Whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, green cardamoms, bay leaf): These are added into the butter as a tempering. They add a nice aromatic flavor to the gravy.

– Red onions: Please use red onions (Yellow or white won’t add that nice flavor).

– Tomatoes: Always use ripe tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes make the gravy sour.  

Step By Step Photo Instructions 

Make Kofta:

1) Take grated paneer, boiled, mashed potatoes, cornflour, garam masala, cashews, and salt in a bowl.

2) Mix well-using hands, it should come together like a dough.

3) Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and make smooth, round balls.

Collage of 3 steps showing making kofta mixture and shaped kofta balls.

– Oil and Butter: I have used a combination of both. Butter adds a nice rich flavor. Instead, you can use ghee (clarified butter) or simply use all oil.

– Cashew nuts: helps to make thick, nutty, rich gravy

– Whole spices (cloves, cinnamon, green cardamoms, bay leaf): These are added into the butter as a tempering. They add a nice aromatic flavor to the gravy.

– Red onions: Please use red onions (Yellow or white won’t add that nice flavor).

– Tomatoes: Always use ripe tomatoes. Unripe tomatoes make the gravy sour.  

No-Fry Method:

4) Heat appe (paniyaram) pan on medium heat. Add around 1 teaspoon of oil to each section. Once hot place kofta.

5) Once they get golden brown from the bottom side then flip them and cook another side. If needed you can add few more drops of oil.

6) Similarly, fry the sides as well to get even browning from all the sides.

7) Once they get golden brown from all the sides then remove it on a plate and keep it aside.

Collage of 4 steps showing cooking kofta in appe pan until golden brown from all sides.
Collage of 2 steps showing kofta into hot oil and ready fried kofta in slotted spoon.

Making Gravy:

1) Take onion, tomato, ginger, garlic, cashew nuts, and water in a pan, turn the heat on medium.

2) Let it simmer for 15 minutes or until onion tomatoes get soft. Let it cool down a bit.

3) Then take this mixture into the blender jar.

Collage of 4 steps showing boiling onion tomato and grinding into the blender to make malai kofta curry.

5) Heat oil and butter in a pan on medium heat. Let the butter melt.

6) add whole spices (cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, bay leaf) and saute for 1 minute or until you get a nice aroma of the spices.

) Add red chili powder and coriander powder.

10) Mix well and cook for a minute.

11) Add water and salt. Mix well and let the gravy simmer for 5 minutes.

12) add garam masala and kasoori methi (crush between palms before adding). Mix well.

13) add heavy cream and mix.

14) Add koftas into the gravy, turn off the stove and serve malai kofta immediately. If serving later then do not add kofta right now otherwise they get soft and may fall apart. So only add them at the time of serving.

Collage of 6 steps showing adding spices, cream and kofta into the gravy.

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