These are super yum paneer malai koftas in a sweet and spicy masala curry. The vegetarian kofta is deliciously soft from inside and crispy on the outside, made with paneer (Indian cottage cheese), potatoes, and a mix of spices. The onion-tomato masala curry is both sweet and spicy. There is the sweetness of onions and the tanginess of tomatoes.
totally mmmmmmmmm. 😋
Malai kofta is a popular Indian restaurant dish and this paneer malai kofta curry is my star recipe when I am out to impress. The recipe doesn’t take a lot of effort and it looks and tastes so classy! I recently made a big batch for a gathering of 10 and it got all scooped up. I was sure I will have leftovers for lunch next day but even the last of the gravy was cleaned out from the pot :-). I love it when that happens. That’s like the best compliment a recipe can get! What do you say?
Did you know: What is the difference between Paneer and Cottage cheese?
Paneer is always called cottage cheese in English. The two are similar but not the same. Paneer is made by curdling milk with lemon juice, vinegar, yogurt or other food acids. The curdled milk is then drained and pressed to make paneer.
Cottage cheese, on the other hand, is drained but not pressed. So some whey remains in the cheese and it is not hard set like paneer.
The term cottage cheese comes from the simple fact that these cheeses were made in cottages with any leftover milk. Well, that is equally true for paneer as well! Making paneer at home is very easy. I use full-fat cow’s milk to make paneer but low-fat milk can also be used.
The soft, creamy paneer koftas are a great snack on their own too. I ate a few right while frying them. The conversation in my mind went something like:
- I have to taste one to check if it’s all okay…
mmm… just one more…
oops, there goes one more…
this one broke while frying…
Okay, stop! or you are going to fall short in quantity! :-p
So make sure you plan for a big batch of these. If by any chance, you have extra koftas, you can freeze them for later. Add them to curry, to salads, pasta (as the perfect no-meat meatballs!), or serve them with green chutney as a starter.
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Paneer Malai Kofta Curry | Paneer Recipe
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
for the paneer malai kofta
- 1 cup paneer
- 1 cup potatoes , boiled
- ¼ cup fresh coriander , stems and leaves
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp paprika
- 1 tsp dry mango powder (amchoor)
- Salt to taste
- Oil for deep frying
for the masala kofta curry
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 pinch asafoetida
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chili , deseeded and chopped
- 2 cloves garlic , smashed and peeled
- ½ inch ginger , peeled and chopped
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2 tomatoes , puréed
- 2 tsp coriander power
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 pinch sugar
- Salt to taste
How to make the paneer malai kofta
- Grate the paneer, boiled potatoes and ginger in a mixing bowl. Add in chopped fresh coriander and all the spices for making the kofta.
- Heat oil for deep frying in a wok on medium heat.
- Mix well and shape into small balls, approx. 1-1.5” in diameter.
- Once the oil is hot, fry the malai koftas, about 5-6 at a time. Turn them around to ensure even cooking.
- Remove on an absorbent kitchen towel and keep aside.
How to make masala kofta curry
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan.
- Once the oil is hot, add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
- When the seeds start to crackle, add green chili, garlic, ginger, and onion. Sauté for 5 minutes till the onions start to turn soft.
- Add the tomato puree and all the spices. Mix well, cook covered for 10 with occasional stirring.
- Remove from heat and blend to smooth using a hand blender.
- I prefer grating boiled potatoes for the kofta mix as it makes sure there are no big pieces. You can also mash them with a fork or simply with your hands.
- Add the kofta to the curry right before serving else they will become very soggy and break easily.
- You can freeze the paneer koftas for later. Defrost and heat in the oven.
Paneer or cottage cheese is a vegetarian’s delight. In Indian cuisine, it is a versatile ingredient and 9 out of 10 times an Indian party dinner menu will feature a paneer recipe. For a vegan preparation, tofu can be used in place for paneer in most recipes.
Check out more paneer recipes here:
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