An absolutely divine malai kofta

I’ve made malai kofta (aka home made cheese balls in a creamy gravy) many times in my life. But I never ever tried my mom’s recipe. Well, it isn’t mom’s original recipe, but one that she learned by saving some hard to come by money to attend cooking classes in Mumbai when I was a kid. Not only did mom expand her knowledge of cooking, but my brother and I were the fortunate recipients of her wonderful creations. Given the current “stay home” situation, I’ve been browsing through many of her recipes and decided to finally make her version of Malai Kofta. Not only did the dish turn out absolutely divine (my mom said so herself!), but I was doubly grateful that my mom took the time to make these exotic creations with some frequency when we were kids. It is a dish that requires quite a few ingredients and takes some time, but I promise you that you will have no leftovers on your plate or in your fridge.

Ingredients for the koftas:

  • 350 gms paneer, finely grated
  • 3 tbsps whole wheat flour or one slice of bread (I used low carb 647 bread) (for binding)
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 4 chopped green chilis
  • 1 tsp finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp of garam masala
  • Oil to shallow or deep fry the koftas

    Ingredients for the spice paste

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh or dry grated coconut
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 6 small green chilis
  • 2 tsps chili powder
  • 2 large bunches of coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 2 tsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp white poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • 1 inch piece ginger

    Ingredients for the gravy
  • 4 tbsps ghee or vegetable oil
  • 4 tomatoes crushed and set aside with the liquid
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste

    Ingredients for garnishing

  • 1 tsp coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely sliced almonds

How to:

1. Knead the paneer well, mix the flour or the slice of bread softened with a tad bit of water, and all the ingredients for the koftas except for the oil and shape into round balls. Deep or shallow fry the balls in oil and set aside on a paper towel to drain.

2. Put all the ingredients for the spice paste into a blender and grind into a fine paste with just enough water so the paste is a gravy consistency.

3.Heat the ghee or oil for the gravy in a pan and fry the spice paste well for about five minutes.

4. Add the tomatoes, cream, and salt and cook the gravy for 10 -15 minutes. Turn off the stove.

5. Just before serving, transfer the gravy to a serving dish, add the kofta balls, and if you want, decorate with some finely sliced almonds and cilantro.

6. Serve hot with rotis, pita, naan, or rice.

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