Malai kofta/Paneer and vegetable balls in spicy curry

Veggie cheese balls in a creamy gravy !IMG_7541I am so very predictable when I go to an Indian restaurant. Before I place my order, the whole family knows what I would look for and they will tell me Malai kofta is on the menu. We rarely dine in these restaurants as we like to taste a variety of cuisines from all other countries too. Often I find restaurant gravies to be similar for different curries with the main vegetables or meat changed. In addition to that, most of the time the taste is compromised to suit their international clientele. Anyways, when I have an urge to enjoy Malai kofta none of these would stand between us.


I love these cheesy vegetable balls submerged in a mild gravy, like crazy! I could certainly trade my kitchen for a bowl of malai kofta! It is a rich and creamy curry fit for the royals. I guess, malai kofta evolved as a vegetarian version of meat kofta from Mughlai cuisine.

The complex cooking process makes it an attractive dish for special occasions and fine dining. I did not venture to make them for a long time fearing the intricate cooking procedures. Sometime back when I tried them, the balls crumbled while frying and made a total mess and this deterred me from preparing it again.

Recently, I saw thisΒ  video by vahchef and tried it his way and hurray, it was a lip-smacking victory! I have tweaked the recipe a bit, but the end result was a no compromise Malai kofta to celebrate my husband’s birthday!


For the cheese vegetable balls/koftas

  • 3 cups mixed vegetable (potato, carrot, peas, corn, cauliflower)
  • 2 cups grated cheese (paneer)
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • few coriander/cilantro leaves chopped
  • 1/2 cup corn flour or all purpose flour
  • salt
  • oil for frying
  1. Cook the vegetables and gather them after draining the water. (This water could be used in the gravy)
  2. Mash the vegetables and add grated paneer (cottage cheese).
  3. Add chopped green chillies, all the spice powders and chopped coriander leaves.
  4. Mix them and form small balls. If the balls (koftas) seem to be soft and out of shape, mix some bread crumbs to make it sturdy.
  5. Roll them in some flour and arrange them on a platter.
  6. Drop the koftas in medium hot oil and fry them gently in small batches.
  7. When they turn golden brown remove them from the oil and drain them on a kitchen towel.

These balls have to wait until the gravy is ready.

1 kofta

For the gravy

  • 2 medium white onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic and a piece of ginger
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 10 cashew nuts
  • few coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  1. Chop onions and crush them into a paste in a blender.
  2. Puree chopped tomatoes and crush ginger and garlic.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
  4. After they splutter, add the onion puree and chopped green chillies.
  5. When it is cooked add ginger, garlic and saute till the raw smell turns into an aroma.
  6. Add tomato puree and saute it till it thickens.
  7. Now add all the powders and stir well.
  8. Add enough water and boil.
  9. Powder cashew nuts and add to the gravy.
  10. Before serving add the cheese balls.
  11. Garnish with fresh cream, grated cheese and cilantro.

1 mk ingre



malai koftasThe best accompaniment for malai kofta is any flat breads like Roti, Chappati, Paratha or Naan. Dip a piece of the bread in this gravy and grab a chunk of the cheese ball to take a shot trip to paradise.


About coconutcraze

I'm obsessed with coconuts!
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14 Responses to Malai kofta/Paneer and vegetable balls in spicy curry

  1. Daily Chores says:

    Super tasty recipe and wonderful clicks


  2. Lovely recipe that brought back wonderful memories….

    When we were kids, eating out was a special treat. The only thing I used to order when we went out to “Mughlai” places to eat was Malai Kofta, Navratan Korma, or Methi Mutter Malai! πŸ˜€


  3. Balvinder says:

    I like them, too and make them exactly the way you made or sometimes I stuff paneer in the vegetable filling.But I never order in a restaurant because of gluten in commercial paneer.


    • coconutcraze says:

      I know that there are many fans for Malai Kofta but my husband doesn’t like it much. That is the reason I postponed making it at home. Then I realized that we should treat ourselves too. The timing I chose was wrong…it was his birthday. There were other dishes to compensate it though!
      I am sorry that you cannot have it at a restaurant. There are lots of gluten free food available now and soon there will be special restaurants catering to particular needs!


  4. Sophie33 says:

    Waw, beautiful appetizing dish with lovely balls too! πŸ™‚ MMMMMMMM!!


  5. Love this dish…so beautifully presented! And yes cheese is my weakness too πŸ™‚


  6. alfiya.akbar ali says:

    The recipe was so tasty I like it very much


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