Malai kofta is a luxurious dish that comes from the parts of northern India. It is a savoury dish consisting of vegetarian kofta made of paneer and dry fruits in rich, creamy and sweet-savoury gravy.
This dish is as old as the 16th century originating in the kitchens of the Mughal empire. Using paneer (cottage cheese) as an alternative to meat was very popular due to different reasons apart from religious observations.
Paneer is rich in proteins and its high calcium content makes it more nutritional than consuming just vegetables. Moreover, paneer, when used in a dish makes up a hearty, filling meal.
Health benefits of paneer
Although paneer makes up most of the Indian desserts, it is preferred to consume paneer in small quantities every day. Some of the amazing benefits are:
#1. Rich in calcium
Consuming a good quantity of 100gm of paneer everyday can fulfil your daily requirements of calcium keeping your bones and teeth healthy and strong.
#2. Boosts weight loss
Did you know that the daily intake of paneer can help you reach your fitness goal? Paneer contains a good amount of protein and keeps you full for a long time. Paneer also consists of a fatty acid that makes the fat burning process easier.
#3. Good for people with diabetes
Paneer has a decent quantity of magnesium in it which helps to maintain the sugar levels in the blood hence, preventing fluctuations. Paneer keeps the heart healthy and strengthens the immune system.
#4. Plays a vital role in pregnancy
Due to paneer’s rich source of folate, it becomes a great food ingredient for mothers-to-be. It helps with the symptoms of pregnancy like morning sickness, alleviates common joint and muscle pains and provides the right intake of calcium to the body.
Malai kofta is not a dish that you can eat every weekend. Moreover, it is a dish prepared on special occasions. It may look rich, luxurious and difficult to make but don’t worry! We have got that simplified for you.
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We will start by making the gravy first.
2- 3 finely chopped onions
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
2-3 green cardamom pods
1 tsp ginger- garlic paste
½ cup cashew
3 cup full- fat milk
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp butter
1 tsp green cardamom powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (Kashmiri laal mirch)
1 tsp garam masala
Salt to taste
1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi)
4 tsp heavy cream (malai)
Chopped dry fruits for garnish
Peel and dice 2-3 onions in a pan and boil them for a few minutes until soft. Allow it to cool and finally grind them into a paste.
Soak ½ cup cashews in warm water for some time and grind them into a thick, lump-free paste.
In a pan, take 2 tsp oil and add bay leaf, ginger- garlic paste,cardamom pods and the onion paste to it. Sautee for 4-5 minutes till the onion begins to release oil. If the mixture becomes too dry, you may add little water to it.
At this point, add the cashew paste, kashmiri laal mirch, kasoori methi, cardamom powder, salt and garam masala and mix until it is completely thick. Now add 3 cups of milk and 1 tsp sugar. Stir continuously for 4-5 minutes. You can use a whip for this to avoid any lumps.
Add heavy cream and stir for 2-3 minutes more until it gives out a good smell. Keep it aside.
2 cups shredded paneer
3 tsp cornflour
½ cup warm milk
1 tsp green cardamom powder
Finely chopped raisins and cashews
In a bowl, take the shredded paneer, add cornflour, cardamom powder, salt and using warm milk, make a dough.
Make lemon sized balls out of it and stuff it with chopped dry fruits. Put it up for frying.
Deep fry the balls until they are crispy but make sure it does not turn completely brown.
Finally, in a bowl, put the balls and on top of that add the gravy. In this way, the koftas will remain crispy.
Garnish it with chopped dry fruits and coriander.
Best served with naan, rumali roti or steamed rice! This dish gives a unique taste in your mouth with crunchy koftas on the outside and soft paneer on the inside. Dry fruits make it even more nutritious and rich.
Anushka Bhargava (Gravatar ID: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Anushka is a passionate writer and a poet pursuing a degree in media and communications. She regularly contributes to F and B Recipes on Intuitive Energy Healing.