Malai Kofta

(Deep fried spiced Indian Cottage Cheese dumplings in creamy Onion & Tomato gravy)

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Prep Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 45-60 mins
Serves: 6-8

For Kofta:
1½ cups Grated Paneer
2 large Potatoes, cooked, peeled and well mashed
1 medium Onion, very finely chopped
2 tbsp Coriander Leaves, very finely chopped
2-3 Green Chillies, very finely chopped (Optional, adjust acc to taste)
1½-2 tbsp Gulab Jamun Mix/Milk Powder (Optional but recommend)
¼ cup Bread Crumbs
2-3 tbsp Corn Flour (Acts as a binding agent while deep frying)
1 tsp Garam Masala
½ tsp Amchur/Dry Mango Powder (Optional, for little tangy flavour)
6-8 Cashew Nuts, cut into small pieces (Optional but recommend)
1-2 tbsp Raisins (Optional but recommend)
Salt to taste
Oil for Deep Frying

For Gravy:
For Onion Paste:
2 large Onions, peeled and quartered
1 inch Ginger, peeled
3-4 cloves Garlic
1 inch Cinnamon Stick
3 cloves
3 Green Cardamoms

Other Ingredients for Gravy:
4-5 large Tomatoes, pureed
1 tbsp Cashew/Almond Paste
¼-1/2 cup Fresh Cream (I used low fat single cream)
1-2 tsp Garam Masala (Adjust acc to taste)
1 tsp Kitchen King Masala (Optional)
½ tsp Turmeric
½-1 tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder (Optional)
1 tbsp Kasuri Methi/Sun dried Fenugreek Leaves
½ tbsp Sugar
1 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
A pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
Salt to taste
For Gravy:
Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds and hing. Add onion paste that you had prepared just when cumin starts to sizzle and turn golden red. Stir it continuously for 5-7 minutes till the paste turn golden brown and the raw smell of onion disappears. This is the very important step as you don’t want to rush and end up having bitter tasting gravy. So be patient!
Once the onion paste is cooked thoroughly add kasuri methi and sugar. Saute for a minute or two. Next add tomato puree and stir well. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes.
Next add garam masala, kitchen king masala, turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder and salt to taste and mix well. Bring this whole gravy to gentle boil, about 5 minutes.
Mix in cashew/almond paste, fresh cream and ½-1 cup of water (depending how thick you prefer the gravy) and cook for another 5-7 minutes on low flame.
Adjust the seasoning and add little more water if the gravy is too thick and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame and mix in finely chopped coriander leaves.

For Koftas:
First, mix paneer with mashed potatoes, onions, coriander leaves and chillies. Make sure that the paneer and potatoes as lump free as possible. Then add gulab jamun mix/milk powder, salt to taste, garam masala, amchur powder, broken cashews, raisins, bread crumbs and corn flour to the vegetable-paneer mix and mix them well. Use hands when mixing all these ingredients and make sure that all the ingredients are mixed properly. The consistency whole mixture should be as that of chapatti dough and you should be able to make lemon sized balls without breaking them.
Next heat oil for deep frying and reduce the heat to medium to low flame. Make small lemon/golf sized balls and deep fry them in batches of 3-4 balls at time. If the koftas start to break, add 1-2 tbsp of corn flour to the mixture, mix them well and make small lemon sized balls. Fry them till they turn golden brown and crisp and place them in a bowl lined with kitchen towel to absorb excess oil.
Alternatively you can bake them in an oven at 175 deg centigrade for about 20-30 minutes or fry them in Appam Pan with little oil till they turn golden brown.

To Assemble and Serve:
Heat the gravy for few minutes and then transfer it to serving dish. Arrange the koftas in gravy and top it with finely chopped coriander levaes. Malai Kofta tastes best when served with any Indian flat bread (I prefer Naan) or flavoured rice like Saffron rice or Jeera Rice with slices of Onion and lemon wedges.
When you deep fry the koftas, first make sure that the oil is hot enough before you place them for deep frying.
Place one kofta at a time in a pan when deep frying. If the Kofta starts to break or crumble add about 1-2 tbsp of corn flour and mix well. Corn flour acts as the binding agent and will prevent the koftas from breaking when deep frying.
Always fry the koftas in low-medium flame so that they are cooked well and get lovely golden brown colour.

Labels: Cashew Nuts, Currys, Fresh Cream, Kofta, Onions, Paneer, Raisin, Tomato