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Malai Kofta (Fried cottage cheese balls in a cream based gravy)

The word 'Kofta' is derived from the persian word 'Kuftan', which means to beat or to grind (Courtesy: Wikipedia). Kofta is popular in the Middle East as well as in South Asia. There are lots of variations of kofta, from meat based to pure vegetarian versions.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 4 servings


For the Koftas

  • 2 potatoes medium
  • 200 gms Paneer Cottage cheese
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger-garlic paste
  • to taste Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • 2 tablespoons Flour or more

For the Gravy

  • 3/4 cup Ghee/ Oil
  • 5 Green cardamom
  • 1 Black Cardamom
  • 5 Cloves
  • 1 Bayleaf
  • a pinch Mace
  • 1 cup Boiled Onion paste (instructions below)
  • 5 teaspoons Ginger paste
  • 5 teaspoons Garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon Chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • to taste Salt
  • 1 cup Curd whisked
  • 3 tablespoons Fried Onion paste (instructions below)
  • 5 teaspoons Cashew paste
  • 7 tablespoons Cream
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Mace powder


For the Boiled Onion Paste

  • Take 1 cup sliced onion.
  • Take a pan with a little water, a bay leaf and a black cardamom and add the sliced onions.
  • Let it cook till the onion turns transparent and the water evaporates.
  • Discard the cardamom and bay leaf. Cool and grind to a paste.

Fried Onion Paste

  • Slice an onion and fry in hot oil till golden brown.
  • Drain and cool.
  • Grind the onions with a spoonful of curd. You may add the cashew nuts while grinding.

For the Kofta

  • Cook the potatoes.
  • Mash the cooked potatoes along with the cottage cheese finely.
  • In a pan heat a teaspoon of oil and saute the chopped onions till golden brown.
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, garam masala powder and fry for a minute.
  • Switch off the heat.
  • Mix into the mashed potato mixture.
  • Add salt and flour. Mix well and knead into a dough.
  • Roll into balls and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown.
  • Drain and keep on an absorbent paper. These can be eaten as a snack as well.. :-).

For the Gravy

  • Heat ghee/oil in a pan.
  • Add the whole spices and saute over medium heat till it crackles.
  • Add the boiled onion paste and saute for 2 minutes.
  • Add the ginger and garlic pastes and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the chilli, coriander, turmeric powder and salt and stir well.
  • Add curd away from the heat and then return to the heat.
  • Add 3/4 cup water, bring to a boil and simmer until fat comes to the surface.
  • Add fried onion paste, cashew paste and cream and bring to a boil.
  • Add garam masala powder, cardamom powder and mace powder and stir well.
  • Add the fried koftas and boil for a minute.
  • Switch off the heat.
  • Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish.