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Malai Kofta

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Malai Kofta, Aloo Paneer Kofta

Malai kofta is a delicious and rich main dish. Paneer dumplings with rich cream gravy. One of the popular paneer dishes for any special occasion. Serve with naan, roti or over the plain rice.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

Kofta

  • 1 cup boiled mash potatoes
  • 1 cup mash paneer
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (hara dhania)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 chopped green chili

For Batter

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour (maida, plain flour)
  • 4 tbsp water, approx,

Also need oil to fry

Gravy

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 medium tomato
  • 1 tbsp shredded ginger
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder (dhania)
  • 1/2 tsp turmerick (haldi)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1 tsp all- purpose flour (maida, plain flour)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro (hara dhania)

Method

Making Kofta

  1. Mix all the ingredients together for kofta, With oiled hands, divide the mixture into 14 to 16 equal parts. Make them in round balls.

  2. Mix flour with about 4 tablespoons of water and mix well until batter is smooth.
  3. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. The frying pan should have at least 1  inch of oil. To check if the oil is ready, just put one small piece of mix in the oil, it should come up right away but not change color.

  4. Dip the paneer balls in the batter one at a time and slowly drop into the frying pan. Turn them occasionally. Fry koftas until golden-brown all around.

Gravy

  1. Blend the tomatoes, green chilies and ginger to make a puree. If you prefer mild take the seeds out of green chili before blending.

  2. Mix cream and flour and keep aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if it cracks right away oil is ready. Add the hing and cumin seeds.

  4. Add the tomato puree, coriander powder, turmeric, red chili powder and cook for about 4 minutes on medium heat. Tomato mixture will start leaving the oil and will reduce to about half in quantity.

  5. Add milk and flour mix, salt and one cup of water and let it cook covered for 7 to 8 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Add the garam masala, salt and cilantro. Let it cook for another minute.
  7. Add koftas as soon it comes to boil turn off the heat. Note: koftas will expand to about 11/2 times, if you like more gravy this is the time to add some more boiled water and adjust salt.

Recipe Notes

Koftas are very soft they should be added to the gravy when you are ready to serve, otherwise koftas will break.

Serve Kofta, over plain rice, with Naan, Roti 

 


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183 thoughts on “Malai Kofta

  1. Hi aunty,
    I jus had a question. For all gravies we would be adding onion but why in malai kofta for gravy u didn add onions to make puree.

  2. hai aunty,

    Your recipes are really great. I am a newly married & i didnt know how to cook all these recipes. We got o the restaurant to eat these. Thats when i found you as my inspiration & tried out your recipes one by one. Great I know how to make lots of delicious recipes now. Thanks a lot. I wanted to ask you one thing. I have read & heard maida is not good for health. What is a subtitute foe maida, which actually makes the gravy thicker & thats good for health. When you explain the recipes I feel as if my mom is teaching me. Thanks a lot. Lov you lots…aunty.

    With prayers & love always to you & your family…

  3. Hi manjula aunty,

    I tried quite a few of ur recipes some came out great sme nt so well. I dnt hv a gud blender so fr badam burfi I added dry milk tht made it realy creamy my own signature sweet dish….dokhla awful I hv tried dhokla maybe about 100 times n exactly step by steo bt agan nvr came out gud, naan perfect, kadhai paneer awsome,n today gonna try shahi paneer its different frm wat we cook…..as bcuz of ganesha festival ur recipes gave a real twist to our vegetarian menu….thnks again

  4. Hello aunty,
    Tried this for the first time and came out really well!! My 5 yr old son, husband and myself are fans of your recipes!! We watch them on youtube very often.

    Thank you for posting such delicious and easy to make recipes and videos. you rock!!

  5. Shikka,
    Also, if the koftas are sticking together when you are frying them, try frying not so many at a time. Fry just a few at a time.
    Thanks!

  6. Dear Manjula aunty,

    thanks for such a terrific recipe, but just that when i tried to fry the koftas , they fell apart and also stuck to each other, wehen i tried to spearate them they broke..please help, what could have gone wrong?

    regards

    Shikha

  7. hi manjula,

    i’ve got a question. i have tried this recipe 3 times. 1st time it went just great, 2nd time, koftas did fall apart in the oil, that was very sad. today, the 3rd time, koftas did come out nice from the oil, but after i placed them into gravy, they falled apart. i very sad, because i really don’t know what could possibly be wrong. another problem is, that koftas tend to stick to each other when frying. please, can you help me?

    thanks

  8. hello manjulaji, i am from mauritius. I really want to try this recipe but dont know what type of cream to use.. can u plz tell me? or is there a substitute for cream?

  9. which cream we hv use can u explain. i m glad tht u r here 2 help us. i sw ur so many dishes n i made tht. n tht was awesome so thank you

  10. Hi

    I like your malai kofta recipe. I have tried many of your recipes and they have come out well.

    I have a question. Can i prepare the koftas and the gravy ahead of time say the previous day and store them in the fridge?

    Thanks

  11. Hello Manjula auntie,

    Thank you for your wonderful recipes. I tried malai kofta this evening. The oil was properly hot but surprisingly 4 kofta out of 16 turned out good and other 12 broke down. I do not know what happened. I did everything as per recipe directions.

    1. Hi,
      My kofta’s usually turn out and I’m new to indian cooking. I wonder if your potatoes were too watery. I read in another article not to cool your potatoes in cold water or they will be runny. I boiled mine in the skin and peeled the skin after they cooled.

  12. Hi Manjula,

    “1 cup mash paneer ”

    Does this need to be prepared (i.e. fried paneer) before using in this recipe ?

    How do you make the mash paneer ?

    The paneer I buy is in blocks, like normal cheese, so is quite tough, it may too touch when eating the mashed potato – no ?

    Thanks,
    Del

    1. You will get a much better result if you make the paneer yourself. About 4 cups of milk will give you one cup paneer. The store bought stuff is to hard and paneer needs to be soft for good koftas.

      To mash paneer, just crumble it between you fingers until it’s mostly very small pieces.

  13. Hi Kristin,
    I’ve run into the same problems you have before…. I live in Dallas and have “Indian” everything on every street corner.
    If you’d like, I have some hints and help for you if you’d like – my email address is lianalbert@extfservices.com My husband’s from India and I cook primarily Indian…
    Thanks,
    Liane

  14. Can you suggest a substitute for asafetida? I always just leave it out cos I can’t find it in Wisconsin….without a major multi-city search effort…
    I am so grateful for your videos. This one especially helped me thru the frying process : ) I used to live near Jackson Heights and could get Malai Kofta made for me day or night and now that I live in the middle of nowhere in the Midwest I have to make my own Indian food and you have helped me tremendously by actually showing it in your videos! Thank you, thank you, thank you Manjula!!!

    1. There is a good indian grocer in Appleton, WI, if you are ever near that area. That is where I found asafetida (and some dal I was looking for.) Sometimes you can find it in asian markets. Look for a metropolitan area (Madison, Milwaukee, Fox Valley, etc) nearest you and google Indian food. You can also probably order Indian spices online, though I have not tried this route. Asafetida is said to taste a bit like leeks once it is cooked, so that might be a substitute? I haven’t tried that. Asafetida packs huge flavor in a little pinch!

  15. hi,i really like the recipe of malai kofta.is it possible to make kofta with any other vegetable because i don’t like potato.please reply soon

  16. hi there from adelaide, australia! we would like to know if any parts of this recipe can be prepared ahead of time & put aside in the fridge over night to be reheated the next day? thanks, kate & ryan 🙂

    1. Kate, if they have been in the fridge overnight, put the koftas in the sauce and warm them on the stove over medium heat. Don’t try to heat it too quickly on high heat. if you do, then the sauce gets hot but the middle of the koftas are still cold. Also, slow heating allows the koftas to heat and soften.

  17. Hello,

    I love your recipe. For the Kofta, can I not use Paneer in the mixture? My husband doesnt like Paneer so wanted to know.

    Please advise

    Thank You

    1. Kanika, I think you can make them without paneer just as nicely. Add more potato and make the koftas as the recipe states. I have done it that way when I was just too lazy to make paneer. The mashed potato is soft enough that you should still get a nice kofta without the paneer.

  18. Pingback: Kathi Roll | Manjula's Kitchen | Indian Vegetarian Recipes
    1. Hello,
      I live in Cairo too, and have managed to substitute some ingredients. I found a recipe for homemade Paneer and all it needs is lemon juice and milk. It works out fine and I made Rasgullas and also Paneer Makhni. My family appreciated both dishes and it was not hard at all to make.
      All the best.

    2. It’s easy to make your own paneer at home. Check the recipes on this site and you will find it. The store bought paneer is too firm to use for kofta anyhow.

    1. Prianka, the gulab jamun mix is sweet and usually has soda bicarb or similar ingredient to make it puff when frying. I doubt it will work for a kofta, but you can always try just for curiosity.

  19. Hi,
    I am trying this recipe now, but as soon as i am putting balls for frying they start breaking. Please let me know the reason & what can i do now.
    Please reply soon as i am going to have guests tomorrow.

    thnx

  20. Hi manjulaji,

    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.
    is it possible to make the koftas ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for two days then fry them and put them in the gravy.

  21. Hi Manjulaji
    Thanks for your reply.I tried in American grocery.When i asked for cream, they showed me half& half.Is half&half and your cream same?Please let me know

    thanks
    neeharika

  22. Hi Manjulaji
    My name is Neeharika.One of my friend told about your blog.I tried 3- 4 recipes from your blog.They turned out very tasty.I am a south indian.My husband likes north indian recipes.So i regularly visit your site for recipes.
    I want to try Malai kofta.I have one doubt regarding ingredients.What is cream?Where can i get cream, indian or american grocery?

        1. I think she means heavy cream or whipping cream that come in small cartons in dairy section. Have used that for Indian curry type recipes that have a cream base. Never tried whipped cream though, which I think is in the frozen section.

  23. Dear All
    I was reading the comments for substitution of cream….how bout using a paste of skimmed milk powder mixed with water ???
    Anuradha

  24. Manjulaji

    Your recipes are awesome….

    Regarding Malai kofta gravy can I use 2% milk instead of cream??? Also Is the gravy same for Vegetable Kofta too?

    1. Hi Bharathi,
      I have done recipes making the gravies little different, wanted to show that you can play around with ingredients as per your taste. Just experiment and make the changes.

  25. Dear Aunty,

    How are you?

    I tried your malai Kofta came very well. But i used sweetned condensed milk.

    Please tell me what is cream? (evaporated milk? or condensed milk? or whiped cream? ) please calrify my doubt as soon as possibe aunty.

    Is possible to make cream at home?

    1. Cream is basically milk with more fat. You should find it in the same section of the store that has milk. It will be labeled “light cream” or “heavy cream”. Use either. The only difference is heavy cream has more fat in it.

      The other items you listed will are not cream.

  26. Hello Manjula,

    I can not wait to try your Malai Kofta recipe, your video made it look quite easy.

    Thank you,

    Lisa

  27. hello Manjula Aunty,
    I’ve tried many of ur recipes specially snacks n sweets and they always comes out very well.
    The quantity u give is so much perfect for a small family.Today i tried malai kofta……but koftas
    started to break when i turned them while frying.Can u pls tell me what could be the reason?
    Anyways thanks a lot aunty for proving so many recipes.

  28. Hi Manjulaji,
    I like the way u show how to cook which seem so differnt from reading and know how much to add to the recipe. Your recipes r very easy and come out the exact way they should be. Can u pls show how to make plain eggless cake.
    Thank you

  29. Hi Aunty,
    i love your recipes b’coz, u do not add onions and garlic as my husband don’t not eat onion and garlic as he is in the art of living. I used to search for the recipes that do not have onion and garlic.thanks for ur recipes.

  30. Hi! aunty i m frm india i watch this video but there was no malai in ur recepie.
    so how could u call it malai kofta.

    1. you can replace cream with milk. add a small piece of paneer with milk , blend to a smooth paste and add to your gravy….turns out v. rich.

  31. i have a question where do i find cream(malai) in USA …all i find is heavy whipping cream or sour cream but not malai . and what to use if i dont find malai . i am in south carolina area have have access to variety of indian stores but they dont seem to carry malai. where will i find cream? is cream is very important for this reciepe. please reply for me.

    1. cream can also be found at walmart or any other american store known as table cream, popularly is of nestle brand. I use it a lot for the creamy gravies or best use a meduim piece of paneer while blending tomato puree…it tastes awesome and thickens the gravy fast, you dont even need to add cornstarch.

    1. Cream is milk fat. Depending on how much fat there is the cream it is sold at light cream, heavy cream, etc… It’s not practical to make it at home for most people. Cream and yogurt are NOT the same thing. Yogurt is milk that has been cultured.

      Buy cream from the dairy section of your grocery store.

  32. Hi Manjula Aunty,

    I really like your recipes. I want to try this Malai kofta but would like to know what cream is that you use. Is it the malai that comes out of milk after you have boiled? Or ? please reply soon.

    Thanks,
    Krishna

  33. thank you manjula for this great recepies, i love them so much, that i’m all way’s cooking indian, every day.

  34. Dear Manjula Aunty,
    Your website is a delight! I’ve tried a lot of your recipes, and they turned out great the first time around! But I DO have this question: HOWCOME YOU DONT USE ONIONS IN ANY OF YOUR RECIPES (even in Kadi Pakoras which is usually made with onions). Is there something we should know about onions, health-wise?
    Thanks,
    Siya

    1. There is nothing wrong with onions. Some people in India choose to not eat onions and garlic for various reasons.

      You, however, can add onions per your preference to these recipes. That’s what I do.

  35. dear manjula anty
    Just one quick question my son has dairy allergy what can i used insted of panner and cream if there is any other substance that i can use that would be great so please tell me thanks

  36. Hello Aunty
    Iam an Indian and just came to SA, California a month ago…I started watching ur videos which has greatly enhanced my cooking..thank u…could u please tell me which brand paneer should i use and where can i get it in San Diego?….i would be very grateful…thanx again

  37. hello Manjula Aunty,
    I was just wondering if you could tell me a substitute for cream, or either if the cream is available in local grocery stores in USA – wht is the name on the box and the brand that I could use?

    Thanks
    Poonam

    1. The BRAND of the cream will vary depending on where you live in the US. Many dairy farms are regional and do not ship their products to the whole country.

      Ask the grocery clerk to help you find it.

  38. hi majula ji,

    i was planning to try your malai kofta recipe but was wondering if i can roll the kofta in corn flour insted of maida.As I live in sydney, at time it is difficult to find all purpose flour.Using corn flour will make any difference?

  39. I always wanted to have a special recipe notebook, now with your website, I CAN!!!
    I have tried most of the recipes from your website and all turned out to be really good. Ingredients and the quantity are absolutely perfect. Please suggest an alternative for heavy cream(which is low fat/carbs). I am just waiting to see more fusion recipes from you. Thank you so much for showing the easy way of cooking.

  40. MANJULAJI, Kind Regards.
    Taste of veg dishes was not so tasty as of now. After finding your website we have come discovered the real taste of all kind of dishes whether spicy or sweet. A lot of thanks from bottom of my heart for making my belly so satisfied.
    ARUN KUMAR JAIN

  41. thanks for the lovely recipe….my hubby loved it…pls share some other recipes to your site…all the best…u r simply great …

  42. Namaste Manjula Aunty,

    Your website and videos on youtube are very very helpful for people like us who stay away from India (especially who are “vegeterian”).

    I tried Malai Kofta from your website and its really very delicious.

    Thanks again and keep posting for “Vegans”

    Avinash

  43. Hello Manjula Aunty,

    I was just searching receipes on google and I found your website. I am very happy that you are doing very nice job. We are not eatting onion & garlic and as you know here in foreign country it is almost impossible to get food without onion & garlic. So we make every possible things at home. My husband is very found of new items. I have seen number of receipes on net. I would like to catch your all receips. Last but not least, I am learning those things which I had never thought in past. I will try it. Thank you very much with love.

  44. Hello Sweety,
    Few reasons dumplings can break, oil was not hot enough, potato and paneer mixture was too soft or before frying you forgot to dip the dumplings in flour batter.
    Manjula

  45. Hello Manjulaji ,
    I absolutely adore your recipes ..n keep waiting for u to post new ones ..I tried this recipe of yours with variation of adding cashew nut paste made in milk instead of yoghurt n my husband really liked it too …
    Thnks for all your recipes 🙂
    Sampada

  46. One question; how can yogurt be used instead of the other two when it has a sour taste while cream and milk are a little sweet. Won’t the taste of the dish change ?

  47. Thank You aunty for this recipe. I tried it from some other site, on my sons B’day a month back ( I really wanted the recipe at that time), but believe me yours is much simpler and good. We want more good stuff from u.

  48. Hello Sarika, Jaya explaines it well,
    Just use regular dairy cream sold in the milk section of the grocery store. It’s your choice if you want to use “heavy cream” or “light cream”. I use light cream because it is somewhat lower in calories and fat content, but does not diminish the quality of the dish

  49. Hello manjulaji,
    which cream should i use..sour cream or light cream sweet.I am in doubt because i think light cream is sweet in taste

  50. It’s easy to re-heat extra koftas. Put the koftas in the sauce and as the sauce re-heats, the koftas will re-heat too. Simmer the sauce and koftas on medium heat until the koftas are warmed through.

    You can use the microwave to reheat too, just place a cover loosely over the dish so the sauce doesn’t splatter and make a mess in the microwave. Microwave for about 45 to 60 seconds, stir, and then mircowave again till it’s the temperature you want.

    How long you re-heat on the stove or microwave depends if the sauce was at room temp or cold from being in the fridge. 🙂

  51. Hi Tiya,
    Just use regular dairy cream sold in the milk section of the grocery store. It’s your choice if you want to use “heavy cream” or “light cream”. I use light cream because it is somewhat lower in calories and fat content, but does not diminish the quality of the dish.

  52. Hello manjulaji.can i use anything else except corn starch.or where can i get this corn starch at indian store like subji mandi or any american store.

  53. Dear Auntie,
    As you mentioned in your recipe that the koftas should be added just before serving,otherwise they will break.What if there are any left overs,how am I supposed to heat them again?
    Thanks a million.

  54. Hello Aunty,
    Namaste. .
    Just watched ur video…Loved it…Aunty we dont eat potatoes…Can I substitue them with raw banana dumplings…
    Wat can i substitue for creamitu?Can i substitute with whole milk or what?

  55. Hi Sonia,
    In the U.S. “plain flour” and “all purpose flour” are the same thing. Plain flour is the white flour most commonly used in cooking and baking. (don’t substitute with other flours called “cake flour” etc.)
    Jaya

  56. Thankyou Aunti for the recepie love it, i wonder if you can use reqular plain flour instead all purpose flour. if not how come??
    Thanks in advance
    Sonia

  57. Hello Kati,
    You are not using chili very little garam masala and you still find food is spicy dont add the ginger. If Indian food is new to the kids, try vegetable rice, zucchini rice, aloo paratha and let them devlop slowley the taste of indian food.

  58. Hi Katie,
    If there are no chilies and almost no garam masala, the “spicy” they are referring to may just be the flavorfulness and not hotness. Also, what are their ages? If they are young it just may be something they will adjust to as they get older and their tastebuds mature.

    Another solution if the dish seems too “spicy” to the kids, is stir in a spoon or two of plain yogurt to calm the flavor down for them.

    Hope this helps. 🙂

  59. I am trying to find kid friendly recipes that my kids can enjoy as much as I do. The problem that I keep running into is that many recipes are too spicy for them. I never use chilies, and try to add just a little bit of graham masala. Yet many of my foods still comes out very spicy. Do you have any suggestions of what i can do to make it more desirable to kids used to eating lots of meat?

    thank you

  60. Hi Alpa, Wal-mart has milk, but I don’t think they carry cream.

    Purchase cream in the milk section of any regular grocery store.

    There is “heavy” cream and “light” cream. Heavy cream is richer (as the name implies), but you can use either. Light cream has somewhat fewer calories and fat if that is a concern.

  61. Namaste aunty,maine apaki sari recipes dekhi aur bahotasi try bhi ki.
    sari bahotahi achchi bani aur enako pasand bhi ayi.
    kya aap soya chunk ki koyi subzi bata sakengi?
    Thank u!!

  62. Hi Shehla, after you make the fresh paneer, drain out the water. Put the paneer into a strainer and press out more of the liquid by pressing the paneer with the back of a large spoon. Once there is very little water left, it is ready to use for making the koftas.

  63. Hi Manju,
    It is called “malai kofta” as in malai for the cream in the sauce and kofta for the vegetable balls or dumplings.

  64. Hi Aunty,

    What can substitute for cream. Can i use milk. Btw i have tried your rasmalai recipe for the third time and its always mouth melting and delicious.

  65. manju, malai refers to cream (“clotted cream” to be more specific) and kofta means dumpling or meat/veggie balls. Hence we have malai kofta which are veggies balls in a rich creamy sauce.

  66. Dear Auntyji,
    Thank you for posting Malai Kofta. I will make it this Saturday for Raksha Bandhan.
    Happy Rakhi to everyone. 🙂

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