Malai Kofta Recipe

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Hi foodies! Today I am going to share one of the most popular Punjabi dishes. It’s the Malai Kofta Recipe with step by step pictures. Usually, rich dishes like this are thought to be very time consuming. But this recipe gets ready in comparatively less time. For those who aren’t familiar with Indian cuisine, Malai Kofta is a dish that consists of potato and cottage cheese dumplings served in milk cream based gravy.

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The two components of the Malai Kofta are the gravy and the koftas or the dumplings. If you prepare a bit ahead of time, making koftas becomes fairly simple. I prepared the koftas a day ahead and stores them raw in the fridge and fried them the next day. Keeping the koftas in the fridge also reduces the risk of them getting broken while frying.

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Making the gravy is a child’s play. The spices I have used are the very basic ones. It’s the proportion that matters. Since the koftas are creamy and soft, the mest in the mouth and leave a sweetish aftertaste. Therefore, I made the gravy a little bit spicy to balance the tastes. So as assumed by most people, the gravy of Malai Kofta is not necessarily sweet, but a melange of sweet and spicy.


In restaurants when you order Malai Kofta, you are often presented with two huge balls of potato and paneer with the gravy. The inside of those huge koftas is usually pasty and raw. That’s why I made smaller koftas, just the size of a golf ball if you will, not too big, not too small. I have used Amul’s whipping cream, which has a fat content of 30%. You can also go for the Amul Fresh cream that has 25% fat content. I like the whipping cream more because it has a richer taste and texture, obviously from its high fat content.

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This recipe is perfect for dinner parties and you will certainly make your guests happy by presenting this culinary delight to them. So let’s start with the recipe of Malai Kofta now. For the purpose of measurement, 1 cup = 250 ml. This recipe yields 3-4 servings.


For the Koftas (Makes 17-19 koftas depending on the size)

  • Potato – 3 large, boiled and grated
  • Homemade crumbled paneer – 3/4 cup, freshly made (Recipe here)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Garam masala – 3/4 tsp (I used Everest)
  • Coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Raisins – 40 grains, each chopped into two
  • Corn flour – 1 tbsp or as needed for binding
  • Cashews – 10, chopped
  • Oil – for deep frying

For the Gravy

  • Onion – 3 medium, halved
  • Tomatoes – 4 medium, halved
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece, chopped
  • Garlic – 13 to 15 cloves
  • Kashimiri red chili powder – 1 and 1/4 tsp or to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam masala – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cashews – 20, boiled for 10 minutes in enough water and ground to a smooth paste
  • Cream – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
  • Kasoori methi – 1 and 1/2 tsp, roasted on tawa and crushed between your palms
  • Oil – 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp
  • Green chilies – 3, split lengthwise
  • Water – 3 cups or as needed

Whole Spices

  • Black cardamom – 2
  • Green cardamom – 2
  • Bay leaf – 2, small
  • Mace – 1
  • Cinnamon – 1-inch stick
  • Jeera / Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

How to Make Malai Kofta

Making the Koftas/Dumplings

  • Take the potatoes, paneer, garam masala, salt, coriander leaves, raisins, cashews and cornflour. Mix well to make a dough.

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  • I forgot to add the cashews earlier. The dough should be able to bind easily and not be very sticky. You can adjust the quantity of cornflour for this purpose.

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  • Make medium size koftas out of the dough. I got about 19 koftas. I added 11 to the gravy. Rest were had as a snack. Cover the koftas with a cling wrap and keep them in the fridge for about 20 minutes before frying. In the meanwhile, prepare the gravy.

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  • When the koftas are chilled, heat the oil. The oil should be very hot, otherwise the koftas will absorb a lot of oil. Turn the heat between medium and low. Carefully drop 4-5 koftas in hot oil and fry them till they turn golden brown.

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  • It takes 2-3 minutes for the koftas to get ready. Remove the fried koftas onto a kitchen towel to get rid of any excess oil.

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  • Let’s see how to make the gravy now.

Making the Gravy for Malai Kofta

  • Take a deep pan. Add in the onion, tomato, garlic and ginger.

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  • Add in sufficient water and allow the veggies to boil for about 20 minutes till they soften up. Cover the pan with a lid for fastening the cooking process.

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  • Drain the veggies and allow them to cool. Transfer them into the grinder. Reserve the stock.

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  • Make a smooth paste out of the boiled veggies.

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  • Heat 3 tbsp oil in a pan or kadhai/skillet. Add in the whole spices and saute them till they become aromatic.

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  • Add in the green chilies and saute for a few seconds.

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  • Now carefully add the ground paste and cook the paste for about 15-20 minutes till the raw smell of onion and garlic goes away. This step is a bit time consuming but it ensures you get a gravy that smells great.

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  • When the paste is done and no raw smell is left, make a well in the center of the pan. Pour in the 1 tbsp of oil and add in the Kashmiri red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and garam masala. Saute the dry spices in the oil of a few seconds then mix them with the gravy.

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  • Cook the gravy for another 10 minutes, stirring constantly. If it gets too dry, sprinkle some stock and continue to cook.

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  • Now add in the cashew paste and cook the gravy for another 5 minutes. It will start smelling sweet from the cashews when the paste gets roasted.

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  • Add in some water to adjust the consistency and bring it to a boil.

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  • When the gravy looks thick enough, add in the cream. Mix well.

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  • Add in the sugar and lemon juice.

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  • Add the coriander leaves and kasoori methi. Mix well. Let the gravy bubble away for another 2 minutes.

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  • Add in the koftas and mix gently. Garnish with some more cream. Malai kofta is ready! Serve hot and enjoy with phulkas or naan.

paneer and aloo kofta