A traditional curry hailing from the north of India; malai koftas are vegetarian koftas or croquettes made with spiced potato and (Indian cottage cheese) steeped in a tomato curry.
For the koftas; (Makes 14-15)
300gms potatoes boiled
200gms paneer finely grated
1 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp ground cardamom powder
1” piece of ginger finely grated
1 birds eye green chilli finely chopped
Pinch of salt
2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped
3 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp raisins
Oil for deep frying
For the gravy;
6 cloves of garlic roughly chopped
1” ginger roughly chopped
1 birds eye green chilli
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1” cinnamon stick halved
1 green chilli slit lengthwise
120gms white onion roughly chopped
200gms tomatoes roughly chopped
2 tbsp tomato puree
½ tsp chilli powder (mild or Kashmiri chilli powder)
80gms cashew nuts
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp garam masala powder
2 tsp mango powder (amchoor)
Salt to taste
Coriander for garnish
- Add the cashew nuts to a bowl with 50mls warm water and soften for 30 minutes. Blend the garlic, ginger and chilli with a splash of water to a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Add the onion to a blender and blend to a smooth fine paste with 50mls of water. Set aside. In the same blender add the tomatoes, blend to a fine puree and set aside
- Now separately blend the soaked cashew nuts with some of the soaking liquid until it is smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- For the kofta; Coarsely grate the potatoes and mash well to a smooth mix. To this add all the kofta ingredients except the oil in a large bowl. Knead lightly to a dough like consistency. Cover and cling film until ready to fry.
- To cook the gravy heat the oil in a heavy bottom saucepan. Add the cloves and cinnamon stick and fry for a few seconds. Add the slit green chilli followed by the onion paste and fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir well making sure it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan as the moisture begins to evaporate.
- Add the ginger garlic and chilli paste and fry for 2 minutes. Stir and add blended tomatoes along with the tomato puree. Mix and cook for 6-7 minutes. The sauce will begin to reduce and go a deeper red colour
- At this stage add the chilli powder and the cashew nut paste. Stir well and cook for a further 2 minutes, lower the heat and add water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the sugar, garam masala and mango powder. Season to taste and garnish with coriander. Turn the off and keep warm.
- To fry the koftas – Divide the kofta mix into equal portions. Take a portion in the palm of your hand and roll into cylindrical shape. Make sure they are shaped well or else they will fall apart while frying.
- Fry them in batches no more than two or three at a time for 3-4 minutes or until they go crispy golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper. Add the warm gravy to a serving dish and steep the koftas just before serving. Accompanied rice, salad and raita.