Malai Kofta Curry

Easy Malai Kofta Curry Recipe

Who doesn’t love a good malai kofta? Deep fried paneer balls that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside in a rich and creamy tomato gravy. I cannot think of anything more comforting than that. It may look fancy and complicated, but it is in fact one of the easiest dishes to make.

Both the koftas and the curry are really simple to make but I sometimes like to mix the kofta dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge. This way, when I do make the curry, it comes together in less than 30 minutes.

Malai Kofta Curry

For the koftas, you just have to mix all the ingredients together and form them into 2 inch balls. One thing to note when you’re making the kofta dough is to make sure that it is not too wet and not too dry. The consistency is key here. Koftas made with wet dough will crumble when fried. To prevent this, make sure you don’t overcook the potatoes. If you find that the mixture is too wet to be formed into balls, add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of all purpose flour, but don’t add too much or it will taste doughy. I like to fry the koftas at the very end, so that they retain their crispness.

The gravy is so, so easy to make. First you need to create the gravy base by sauteing everything but the spices and seasonings in oil and grinding them into a smooth puree. Then you fry the spices until aromatic, throw in the puree, add seasonings and cream, and that is basically it.

Malai Kofta Curry

I like to pour the curry over the koftas just before serving so that they remain crispy. But if you like softer, melt-in-your-mouth koftas, you can simmer the koftas in the curry for a few minutes. This malai kofta curry tastes amazing with pretty much any flat bread like roti, paratha, naan etc. Here I’ve served it with my flat bread of choice – chapathi.

Easy Malai Kofta Curry Recipe

Recipe by NaziaCourse: Main CourseDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



Melt-in-your-mouth balls of fried paneer in a rich, creamy and flavourful tomato gravy – this malai kofta curry is the ultimate comfort food!


  • Koftas:
  • 125g grated paneer (roughly 1 cup)

  • 2 medium potatoes, boiled and mashed

  • 1 medium green chilli, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp cashews, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp almonds, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 tsp chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

  • 1/4 tsp garam masala

  • 2 to 3 tbsp all purpose flour

  • salt, as required

  • oil for frying

  • Curry:
  • 2 dried Kashmiri chillies

  • 1 tbsp cashews, finely chopped

  • 1 tbsp almonds, finely chopped

  • 1 small cinnamon stick (1 inch piece)

  • 3 small pods of cardamom, smashed

  • 2 cloves

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped

  • 1.5 tsp ginger garlic paste

  • 2 small green chillies, chopped

  • 1.5 tsp chilli powder

  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder

  • 1/4 tsp garam masala

  • 1 tsp kasuri methi

  • 1/4 C fresh cream

  • 1/2 tsp sugar

  • 2 tbsp oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1/4 C warm water

  • salt, as required

  • 2 tbsp cream, for garnishing

  • a few sprigs of mint, for garnishing


  • Mix all ingredients for the koftas together until fully combined. If mixture is too crumbly to form into balls, add water 1 tsp at a time until you’re able to form the dough into balls. If the dough is too wet, add all purpose flour 1 tbsp at a time until you’re able to handle the dough without it sticking to your hands too much. Be careful while adding the water or all purpose flour. Adding too much of the former will make the koftas oily, while adding too much of the latter will make the koftas taste dry and doughy.
  • Form the dough into 2 inch koftas with oiled hands (I was able to form 12 koftas). Cover and refrigerate the koftas.
  • Soak the cashews, almonds and dried Kashmiri chillies in warm water for about 15 minutes.
  • In a kadai, heat oil until hot. Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and chopped green chillies and saute until fragrant, and the onions are soft.
  • Add chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook for 5 to 8 minutes until tomatoes are mushy. Turn off the heat and let cool.
  • Blend the onion-tomato mixture, cashews, almonds and red chillies (without the water) into a fine puree. You can add a few teaspoons of water to help blend it.
  • (optional) Pass the puree through a sieve. If you are not particular about having a smooth curry, you can skip this step, but I recommend sieving the mixture.
  • In the same kadai used for sauteing the onions and tomatoes, heat butter and oil. Add cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds and cloves. Fry on medium low heat until aromatic.
  • Add the puree and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Add chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, salt and sugar. Mix well and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  • Add cream, garam masala and kasuri methi. Simmer for a few minutes before turning off the heat.
  • Heat a few inches of oil in a large kadai on medium. Fry the prepared koftas until they are a dark golden brown.
  • Arrange the koftas in a serving bowl and pour the curry over it.
  • Garnish with more cream and mint leaves, and serve immediately.

Looking for other creamy and yummy curry recipes? Check out this super delicious Thai Green Curry!

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