The Sinful Malai Kofta, at last…

You know you have made some sort of a presence in the blogging world when you have your readers giving you a good earful for not posting regularly.

Now,it is one thing for my sister to bite my head off during one of our regular phone calls or send threatening emails for not posting the caramel pudding recipe yet. After all, peskiness and younger sisters tend to come as a package. Her, I just ignore out of sheer habit. I have been doing that to her all her life. No reason, you know, just because. It’s fun to see her get worked up (Plus, it is heart warming to keep hearing her say that she misses those cooking experiments we did together, but we are not going to tell her that).

However, it is quite something else when readers who know me only through my writings reprimand me for not posting enough. I mean, you actually go through the trouble of writing a comment just to nudge me to post. That is humbling and humble doesn’t come naturally to me. I am the kind of person who knows what works for me and what doesn’t and I don’t let modesty stop me from acknowledging it. So, chances are if you come to me and say, “You look nice today” or “you really worked hard on that project”, I would just say, “I know”. You can take it anyway to like. But, there is no “I know” regarding y’all missing my writings. I am all humbled and flustered and “Thank you” and all that. You know what I am saying. You Know.

One particular reader, though she doesn’t know it yet, managed to push all the right buttons to get me typing. She left a innocent comment chiding me for not posting, all in Konkani. Took me right back to my childhood. I could almost hear my Bapama (Paternal Grandmother)’s voice chiding me for whatever was my crime-of-the-moment. She always seemed to do that and it just might be my fault. πŸ˜€ We had been inured as kids to jump up to her bidding when she went into that mode. And we loved it when she went into that mode. When we moved to the US, I missed it so much that I would call her up and ask her to chide me just for the heck of it. Yeah, Crazy, I know. She is sorely missed.

From demanding readers to high-expectation level grandmas, temperamental seems to the word of the moment in the food world. First we had that British Chef from Hell’s Kitchen, spewing his anger at all and sundry in his restaurant. Then, Amitabh Bachchan in his chef-turn decided to go nuts about good ol’ Hyderabadi Zafarani Pulao. Now it is I-don’t-know-what-a-kitchen-is Catherine Zeta-Jones turn to go maniacal about some rare steak. Really. It used to be that chefs had this image of being these introverts who would stick themselves in the kitchen and create food magic. It used to be people would come to those restaurants, taste the food, close their eyes to savor it and smile and really that would be enough to get the message across. Now, we have chefs who have the “you better like what I put on the plate or else you have no taste” chip on their shoulder. I think all this came about when cooking became an “art” as opposed to a tasty way to shut up that growling stomach. It scares me because when a painter becomes an artist is when his paintings (oops sorry, art) stops making sense to me. I dread the day food stops making sense to me. Me, I cook because eating it is the only time my kids are quiet. πŸ™‚

And Pel, if you read this long enough, you will get eight and more random facts about me. Talk about doing it all in one post, the meme plus a recipe. You guys are just lucky, lucky people, you know that??


To the recipe at hand, I present the Malai Kofta. It became really popular in the late 80’s and early nineties on the restaurant menu. One would be hard pressed to walk into an Indian restaurant and not find it in the menu. I doubt there many, even now, that don’t feature it on the menu. When done right, it is an amazing journey into food texture and taste, what with a smooth gravy and koftas full of dry fruits and milk every which way, but the non-fat way. This is no every-day dish, of that you can be sure. You better have a very good reason to celebrate, when you are planning to make this dish.

Malai Kofta 2

Recipe :

To Make the kofta:

Mix together evenly

*1 Medium-sized Potato, boiled and mashed
*2 tbsp Paneer, mashed/grated
*2 tbsp Khoya, grated
2 tbsp Whole Milk Powder
2 tbsp Baked Ricotta Cheese
*1 tbsp Heavy Cream/ Malai
*8-10 Brown Raisins, chopped
*5-6 Cashewnuts, chopped
*2-3 Green Chillies, finely chopped
*1/8 tsp Garam Masala Powder
*Salt to taste

Shape into golf-size balls and deep-fry in hot

Peanut Oil

Add a tbsp or two of ghee to the oil used for deep frying. It adds a little something-something to the koftas. This is quick deep-frying in hot oil because there is nothing to cook here. All you are looking for is a crisp exterior. Alternatively, you can bake them in the oven or pan-fry them in oil. In my opinion, pan-frying often results in more oil-soaking than the actual deep-frying. I deep-fry them. This is the Sinful Malai Kofta, you know.

I have, on occasions, made the kofta upto a day in advance in without any issues. It’s always good when you are entertaining with this dish.

To make the gravy:

Blend to a paste

*2 medium onions,chopped
*3 garlic pods
*1″ ginger
*2 tsp powdered poppy seeds, dry-roasted

Fry this paste, on high flame, constantly stirring in

*3 tbsp of Peanut oil


*1 dry bay leaf

till the oil separates. The poppy seeds may result in some sticking at the bottom of the pan and hence constant stirring and attention is needed for this part. Once the oil separates, add

*3 large tomatoes,pureed
6 tbsp of Tomato Puree + 6 tbsp Water

Stir and add,

*1 tsp red-chilli powder
*1/2 tsp garam masala powder
*1/2 tsp dhania(corainder) powder
*1/2 tsp cumin powder

Cook for 5 mins on a medium low flame till the tomatoes and the spices are cooked through. Meanwhile, ground into a fine paste

*1/2 tsp sugar
*1 1/2 tbsp Heavy Cream
*3-4 Cashewnuts, soaked in water for about 10 mins

To the cooking gravy, add the Cream-Cashewnut paste. Bring to a boil and remove from flame. When ready to serve, warm up the gravy,add the koftas, top with cilantro/dhaniya and serve immediately. Never heat the gravy with the koftas in it. This will cause the koftas to disintegrate. Serve with rice cooked with whole spices and Naan. Do not make any after-meals plans unless they are to have a nice siesta.


21 thoughts on “The Sinful Malai Kofta, at last…

  1. wow!! the Malai kofta sure looks sinful Vee!! I think I can go with the milk powder to make the koftas. I had Malai kofta at my friends place and since then waiting to try it out.

    The Milk powder works great in lieu of khoya, it also makes it a little more lighter than khoya would.

  2. Bade dinon ke baad, bahar aayi πŸ˜€

    Love the post and the tempting kofta (that plate is for me, right?)

    and talking about Chefs…..the other day i switched on the TV and Top Chef was playing. The contestants were asked to identify ingredients by looking at/tasting them. It was so surprising that many of them were quite challeneged when it came to identifying vegetables like green eggplant. taro, yucca/cassava and such!! It would be really heartening to see a day when Gourmet Chefs on such shows can begin experimenting with vegetables with equal ease as they do with meat, sea-food etc. (end rant!)

    Oh yes, I caught that episode, too. I can forgive the Taro and the yucca, but the green eggplant was really the downer. Come on, people! If it looks like an eggplant and smells like an eggplant, chances are it is an eggplant…
    You can have that plate , M. Not one of my favorites, but whats on that palte we finished off a long time ago. Sorry…

  3. Vee, i am making this recipe this weekend… It looks so yumm… and i have never made malai kofta at home:)

    You are definitely not going to be disappointed with the home-made version, I can tell you for sure. πŸ™‚

  4. Wha! Terribly rich and decadent… must be Moghlai, eh? Definitely not for everyday, but certainly a must for a special occasion! There would be no way for me to ignore this recipe after seeing that photo…

    I have a kofta recipe of a different nature that I just might have to post sometime; and hey. Thanks for the link. πŸ™‚

  5. Hey, thanks for the recipe, will definitely try this one soon.

    How about the recipe for the Caramel Pudding? I used to make one with Bread, milk and eggs but lost the recipe a long time ago… if anybody has something similar in their recipe books, please let me know…

    Great pictures Vee… keep up the good work.

    No bread in this recipe, though I make a bread pudding which is great on its own. Soon.

  6. Hi!!! the pic looks delicious!! i am actually making this for a dinner party tomorrow. Have a question. If I make the koftas today, whats a good way to warm them up tomorrow before adding them to the hot gravy (without making them soggy)?? Thanks a bunch!!!!

    Get them out of the fridge a couple hours early so that they come to room temperature on their own. Alternative, in a warm oven till they warm through 5-8 mins , I would think. If you go with the oven version, layer them on a cookie sheet and separate them. Hope that helps.

  7. Vee, thank you, thank you, thank you!
    I love it!
    I’m glad that you’re “back in the saddle again.” You were missed, for certain—and I’m not saying that only because of the kofta.
    Caramel pudding? You keep it up, Bee isn’t the only person who will be feeling like a pregnant camel!

  8. I tried. However, I could not deep-fry them properly – were disintegrating. I had to put them in a convection. Next time, I am planning to use a white bread (soaked in water and then pressed to remove extra water) in the kofta. I often use this in tikkis extra, acts as a great binding agent.

  9. Hi Vee

    Do you absolutely need to the frying in peanut oil or any other oil will do. I normally use soy oil.


    Hi Swati,

    Soy Oil would be fine. I normally use Peanut oil for all my daily cooking and that’s why the recipe mentions peanut oil, but any mild oil would work just as well.

  10. My mouth is literally watering…lol…you’re recipes are amazing and i have full intentions of using them. Also the pictures are truly appealing and wonderfully shot….makes one crave for wonderful food and also makes me want to cook, wich is a good thing.
    Thanks for the share!

  11. Hey the recipe is really amazing. I also had the same problem while frying the kofta. It kept breaking. to hold that I used some maida(white flour). I made a little light mixture of some maida with water. After binding the kofta’s, roll them in the mixture and then roll them in dry maida. It gives a fine coat to the kofta and also helps to bind them. This certainly tastes better than white bread in the mixture.

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