Paneer Kofta or Malai Kofta is a delicious dish of fried balls of potato and paneer in a rich and creamy mild gravy made with sweet onions and tomatoes.
Crispy golden brown on the outside, with a scrumptious, melt-in-your-mouth inside, these dumplings are nothing short of a gift.
This paneer kofta curry is not the usual one but it is a stuffed paneer kofta recipe. Chopped cashews and almonds are used as stuffing. These flavorful, fried kofta balls are simmered into creamy, rich, delicious onion tomato gravy.
like any other traditional curry recipe, the paneer kofta curry recipe too has the same tomato and onion base with cashews and curd. however, these tender and soft deep-fried paneer kofta makes it a unique and irresistible curry recipe.
Crisp on the outside and heavenly smooth on the inside, these tasty fried dumplings are dunked in a smooth, mildly sweet, and lighted spiced curry. The combination of the kofta with the curry tastes awesome. You’ll just have to try it to find out!
Ingredients for Paneer kofta
- 200 gm Paneer (cottage cheese), grated
- 2 potatoes – boiled, peeled, and grated
- ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
- 6-8 Cashew nuts, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon Garam masala (optional)
- 2 tablespoons cornflour
- salt as required
- Oil for deep frying
- 3 tsp oil
- 2 tablespoons Cashew nuts, soaked in water for 20 minutes
- ½ cup onion paste or chopped
- 1 cup Tomato Puree or chopped
- 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric / Haldi
- ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- 1 teaspoon sugar or as required
- 2 cups water or add as required
- salt as required
- 1/2 teaspoon Kasuri Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
- 1 tej patta (Indian bay leaf)
- 1-inch cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- 2 pods cardamom / elachi
Instructions for Paneer kofta
- First, boil 2 medium to large potatoes (200 grams) in the pressure cooker until fork tender or knife tender.
- When the potatoes become warm or cool, peel them and grate them in a bowl.
- Now add grated paneer, red chili powder, Garam masala, and salt as required.
- Next, add 2 tablespoons of cornflour (cornstarch).
- Mix with your fingertips and knead into dough. You may or may not need water. If the mixture looks dry then add otherwise skip.
- finely chop cashews. This will be the sweet-tangy and crunchy stuffing for the kofta.
- If you are not a fan of cashews choose to skip the stuffing or use your favorite nuts.
- Grease your palms with oil and divide the mixture into 6-8 equal portions. Give each portion a shape of a ball.
- Take one kofta ball and flatten it with your palms. Place a teaspoon of chopped nuts in the center.
- Gather the edges, seal and smooth out the surface by rolling the ball between two palms.
- Stuff and shape all the kofta balls
- Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat for deep frying.
- When it is medium hot, slide in 3-4 stuffed balls and deep-fry over medium flame until golden brown and crisp.
- Make sure that the oil is hot enough otherwise it may break and split open in the oil.
- Drain them and transfer them to a plate. Deep fry remaining stuffed balls.
Kofta Gravy Elements
- For onion paste – Take onions and stuff them into the grinder jar, and add fresh 1-2 tablespoons of water. Grind and make a smooth paste out of it. Remove it to a bowl.
- For tomato puree – Chop 2 medium to large tomatoes. Add them to the same blender and blend to a fine puree. Remove it to a bowl.
- For cashew paste – take the soaked cashews. Drain the water, and add the soaked cashews in the same blender with 2 to 3 tablespoons of water and blend it into a medium-thick fine paste. Set aside. Remove it from the blender in a bowl and set aside.
Malai Kofta Gravy
- Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a thick-bottomed or heavy frying pan or in a wok (Kadai).
- Add tej patta, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves.
- Fry for 30-40 seconds, and you will have the nice aroma of whole spices.
- Add the prepared onion paste, and sprinkle a little salt.
- Stirring often sauté onion paste on low to medium-low heat, it will take approx. 2-3 minutes.
- When onion paste has become golden, add ginger garlic paste and sauté for 10-20 seconds or until the raw aroma of ginger, and garlic goes away.
- Add prepared tomato puree and Sauté until oil starts to separate 3-4 minutes.
- Now add the spices – turmeric powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, sugar, and salt.
- Mix well and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add prepared cashew nut paste. Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add 2 cups of water. Combine water thoroughly with the sautéed masala paste with a spoon or wired whisk.
- Cook the gravy for 4-5 minutes.
- Crush the dried fenugreek leaves in your palms and add. Simmer for 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Add prepared stuffed balls, mix well and turn off the flame.
- Transfer paneer kofta curry to a serving bowl and enjoy!!
It is an excellent standalone snack when served with tomato sauce or green chutney.
Malai kofta is best served with roti, paratha, naan, or roomali roti. I also love serving it with phulka.
Garnish malai kofta with coriander leaves or mint leaves and serve with roti, naan or jeera rice, saffron rice or paratha, or rumali roti for lunch or dinner.
Tips and Variations
- firstly, adding cashew pieces to kofta gives a crunchy bite to kofta.
- Deep-fry only 3 to 4 stuffed balls at a time otherwise they may break while frying.
- For best tasting, koftas use fresh homemade paneer.
- also add cream along with cashew paste to prepare a rich and creamy malai kofta recipe.
- Corn flour works as a binding agent in making kofta. So you must add it.
- You can alter the consistency of the gravy by adding more or less. Keep the gravy medium to a thick consistency.
- Take extra care while sliding stuffed balls in hot oil so that hot oil does not spill out and does not burn your skin accidentally.
- The recipe can be halved or doubled or tripled.
Also read: Fish fry recipe (step by step)
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