Malai Kofta is one of the popular Indian side dishes that is rich and creamy and absolutely delicious. Paneer and potato mashed together make the base for the kofta which are then immersed in rich tomato creamy cashew sauce. Should i even say how rich and flavorful it is.
There are different variations in making malai kofta, as with any popular dish. Here is my version of malai kofta that would definitely hit your taste buds with aromatic spices and melt in mouth koftas.
The sauce is made with tomato, cashew and cream base. The amount of tomato used is more than the onion, and that gives the nice colour and tanginess to the gravy. The cashew paste takes care of the richness and leaves a sweet taste to the gravy. The koftas from paneer and potato with raisins or nuts added makes the kofta more delectable.
The gravy made with tomato, onions and cashew is first sauted in oil and then ground to a smooth paste. But then it doesn't stop there. To get a velvety smooth silk gravy just like how you get in restaurants it is important to strain the ground mixture and then cook again, which results in a most luscious malai kofta gravy you will ever have.
For the kofta
Paneer 200 gm (grated)
Potato 2 medium size
Cashew 10 chopped fine
Raisins chopped fine
Coriander 1 teaspoon chopped fine
Corn flour 1.5 tablespoon
Salt as needed
Oil for deep frying
For the gravy
Tomato 5 medium size chopped
Onion 2 medium size chopped
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic 6 cloves
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Bay leaves 1
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri red chilli powder 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder 1 teaspoon
Fresh cream 3 tablespoon
Garam masala 1/4 teaspoon
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Kasuri Methi 1 teaspoon
Salt as needed
Oil 1 tablepoon
Butter 2 teaspoons
How to Start?
To make the gravy, Heat a pan with one tablespoon oil, add cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, bay leaves. Fry for a minute. Now add onions, ginger and garlic. Fry for 3 minutes until the onion turns translucent. Add tomatoes and salt. Mix well and cover it with a lid for 5 minutes. Cook until the tomatoes get mushy. Now add cashew and fry for 3 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it cool down.
Once the mixture gets cooled down, Blend it into a smooth paste. Now use a strainer and strain the puree into another bowl and set aside. This ensures the gravy turns out ultra smooth and silky.
Now heat the same pan, add 2 teaspoons butter. Add the strained puree and one cup of water to it. Let the gravy cook for 2 mins. Add coriander powder, kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder and cook for a minute. Check for salt, add if needed. Once the gravy thickens a bit, add fresh cream, sugar, crushed kasuri methi and garam masala. Cook on medium flame for a minute and switch off the flame. The gravy for the kofta is ready. Set aside.
How to make Koftas
Pressure cook the potatoes for 5 to whistles. Once they are cooled down, peel the potatoes and mash them. In a large bowl, add all ingredients for kofta mentioned above except oil.
Mix everything together with your hands to form a smooth dough. Start making koftas from the dough. Shape them into small balls.
You can also make a small dent while shaping the koftas, and stuff it with raisins or nuts and seal them again into a nice round shaped balls.
Heat enough oil to fry in a kadai on medium-high heat. If the oil is not hot enough the koftas might disintegrate in the oil or will get stuck at the bottom.
Drop koftas in hot oil and fry until golden brown from both sides. Remove the fried koftas on a paper towel.
Now to serve the malai kofta, Fill a plate or bowl with gravy and place the koftas on top. Garnish with cream and cilantro. You can also simmer the koftas for a minute in the gravy before serving.
Do not add more corn flour as that will result in dense hard koftas.
Maintain the flame medium high when you fry the koftas. Do not flip the koftas immediately after dropping in the oil. Splash some oil on top of the koftas while frying. That would ensure even coloring and cooking of the koftas.