So.. this one is officially my first post for this year. The last two I posted were the guest posts fellow bloggers very humbly did for me, you can visit them here. I am still not in sync with the usual Work-Home-Blog-Family routine, but I am trying to get back to it. Gradually… Ehh!
There are so many things I wanted to share with you guys… We’ll take it slow though since I don’t want to bombard and bore you guys with overflow of information. The trip to India was exhausting and refreshing at the same time. A tragic incident of my memory card going corrupt did happen which literally tore me in pieces, and I have learnt my lesson of copying all the pictures the same day to an external device. Few pictures I clicked at the ghat of Banaras, and then some of Agra are also gone. Ahh! What heartbreaking moment that was!
OK, more on this later.. coming back to the recipe of today, Malayi Kofta… A dish for special occasions, Malai Kofta is the vegetarian alternative to meatballs. It goes very well with Tandoori Naan bread or Jeera Rice. We had it with both, relishing and cherishing the exquisite taste
I have seen people preparing Lauki Kofta or cabbage kofta, then dipping them in gravy and calling this Malayi Kofta. Hello !? Its Malayi Kofta, only when it’s made of Paneer and potato. No other version of koftas qualifies for these Spicy dumpling of Indian Cottage cheese that are deep fried and served in delicious, creamy and spicy gravy of fresh cream and onion-tomato paste which is nothing short of sinful indulgence. Try cooking it once and see your taste buds falling head over heels in love with this tempting Malai Kofta.
Some also call it Nargisi Kofta, and I beg to differ there as well. In Nargisi Kofta version, we keep the basic recipe same but dry fuits ( nuts like cashews, pistachios, melon seeds ) are stuffed inside the koftas before frying. And I believe in Nargisi Koftas, the gravy contains a bit more of cashew paste, whereas the Malayi Kofta’s gravy is a made rich with cream.
Now when we are through the sheer understanding ( 😀 ) of what Malayi Koftas actually are, let’s move towards the recipe which I specially prepared for Divya to host SNC challenge of this month. I hope Southern team will like this challenge as much I enjoyed having it. This is a not so difficult curry, but is extremely rich and addictive. So let me warn you girls, keep your other meals of the day lighter to compensate for extra calories 😉
Course: Main course
Serves: 3-4 servings
Serve with :- Naan, Boiled rice
What to use?
For the koftas:
100 gms paneer/cottage cheese, grated
2 medium size potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated
¼ tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp cornflour
a pinch or ¼ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp milk powder
salt as required
oil for shallow or deep frying the koftas
For the gravy:
2 medium sized onions
½ inch ginger piece, grated, chopped
4-5 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2 cup tomato puree
¼ cup cashew paste
¾ tsp red chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp garam masala
2 cups water
¾ cup fresh cream ( or 1 cup full cream milk )
1 tsp kasuri methi/dry fenugreek leaves
salt as required
1 bay leaf
1 inch cinnamon
1 or 2 black cardamom
2-3 green cardamom
a pinch of mace
1 tbsp grated paneer
1 or 2 tbsp cream
1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
How to make?
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned under kofta list, in a wide mixing bowl. Use your hands gently to make 8-10 medium sized balls and keep them aside.
- Heat oil in a wok, enough to fry these koftas in 2-3 batches. Meanwhile, take 2 tbsp of corn flour on a plate, and roll these koftas on the flour.
- Deep fry the kofta balls in medium hot oil till golden. Drain on a kitchen towel and keep aside.
- Now, heat oil in a pan (or use the same wok you used for frying the koftas) add all the whole spices and fry till the oil becomes fragrant.
- Then add garlic and ginger pieces and fry them for half a minute. Add in chopped onion and fry till it gets light brown. Turn off the flame and let it cool
- Pour this mixture into a blender after 5-8 minutes, once it comes down to normal temperature. Pulse it for a course paste, and pour this back into the wok.
- Turn on the flame, add the tomato puree to onion paste and cook for 4-5 minutes. Throw in all remaining spices :- turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder and mix well.
- Cook this mixture covered for 7-10 minutes on medium flame, and then uncovered for 3-4 minutes more till the oil starts to leave the sides of the masala paste.
- Add cashew paste and water and bring it to boil, then simmer till the gravy begins to thicken, takes approx. 11-12 minutes on a low flame.
- Now, turn the flame to low and add cream gradually stirring the gravy. This step will ensure cream doesn’t curdle when added to the gravy. Follow the same procedure if suing milk instead of cream. Simmer for next 4-5 minutes
- Towards the end add crushed kasuri methi leaves and salt. You may also add sugar if you like mildly sweet taste in your curries. Mix and simmer for a minute more. Turn off the flame, gravy is ready.
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 leaves, grated paneer and some cream if you like. 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.
My notes and some tips:
- You can use melon seeds instead of cashew nuts. It gives a subtle nutty flavour to the dish.
- Milk/ cream should be at room temperature while adding otherwise the gravy might curdle.
- You may shallow fry the koftas instead of deep frying. I sometimes use my Appam pan for the same, or just roast on a griddle
- If you wish, you may use red food colour to get restaurant style gravy. I don’t prefer edible colours so haven’t used it, but if you are serving for any guests coming over it would look more presentable.
- You may totally skip adding cashew paste, I sometimes do
- For a vegan version, omit the cream/milk and increase the quantity of cashew paste to 1 cup, and add 1 cup of water extra.
Here is another Indian curry which is my favourite to have with rice aside