Indian Veggie Balls (Malai Kofta)

Indian Veggie Balls (Malai Kofta)

The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2063 Calories
206g Fat
50g Carbs
16g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 2063
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 206g 264%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Cholesterol 29mg 10%
Sodium 927mg 40%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 9g 32%
Total Sugars 17g
Protein 16g
Vitamin C 48mg 241%
Calcium 337mg 26%
Iron 5mg 26%
Potassium 1375mg 29%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Malai kofta is a hugely popular dish on Indian restaurant menus all over the world. It is a special occasion food probably because making it is a labor of love and takes time and effort.

Malai (meaning creamy in Hindi) kofta is the perfect vegetarian alternative to meatballs. It goes very well with naan (tandoor-baked flatbread) or Jeera rice.

Ingredients

For the Koftas

  • 2 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

  • 1 cup cooked mixed vegetables

  • 1 cup diced paneer

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder

  • Salt, to taste

  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and cashews

  • 1/4 cup raisins, finely chopped

  • 3 cups vegetable oil

For the Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 large onions, quartered

  • 2 medium tomatoes, quartered

  • 2 tablespoons garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon toasted poppy seeds, ground

  • 3 tablespoons nuts, such as cashews and almonds, ground into a paste

  • 1 cup warm water

  • Salt, to taste

  • 2 teaspoons garam masala

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this kofta dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and baking.

Make the Kofta

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for kofta

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Wash, peel, and dice the potatoes.

    Wash and peel potatoes

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. Boil them in a pot of water until fork tender.

    Boil potatoes

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Drain and set aside.

    drain the potatoes

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Next, boil the veggies until crisp-tender.

    boil vegetables in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Drain and set aside.

    drained boiled vegetables

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. In a large bowl, mash the boiled potatoes, mixed vegetables, paneer, and cream together.

    vegetables mashed together

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Add the kofta spices - cumin, coriander, and red chili powder - to this mash and mix well. The resulting dough should be firm. If not add some more boiled potato. Season with salt.

    spiced vegetable mixture

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. In a small bowl, combine the chopped nuts and raisins.

    nuts and raisins in a bowl

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Make this dough into balls and put a 1/2 teaspoon of the nut and raisin mix in the center of each ball.

    vegetable mixture wrapped around the nut mixture

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Roll into perfect rounds.

    kofta balls

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  12. In a large pot, heat the oil kept aside to fry the koftas, on a medium flame.

    oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  13. Deep fry these rounds till pale golden in color.

    kofta frying in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  14. Drain on paper towels and keep aside.

    Indian Veggie Balls (Malai Kofta)

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for sauce

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  2. Heat the 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan and fry the onions till light brown.

    onions cooking in a pan

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  3. In a small food processor, place the fried onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder, and grind into a paste.

    place the fried onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, and red chili powder in a food processor

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  4. Put this paste back into the pan and fry till the oil begins to separate from the masala.

    spice paste cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  5. Add the poppy seeds powder and nut paste and fry for another 2 to 3 minutes.

    sauce cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  6. Add 1 cup of warm water (the sauce for this dish is meant to be thick so do not add too much water) to this masala to form a gravy. Mix well. Season with salt.

    add water to the sauce in the pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  7. Bring the gravy to a boil and then reduce the fire to a simmer.

    gravy cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  8. Gently add the koftas to this gravy and cook uncovered for 2 to 3 minutes.

    kofta cooking in the sauce

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  9. Turn off the fire and sprinkle the garam masala all over the top of the dish.

    kofta cooking in the sauce

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  10. Cover immediately and allow to sit for 5 minutes.

    kofta and sauce cooking in a covered pot

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

  11. Serve with hot naans (tandoor-baked leavened Indian flatbread) or jeera rice.

    Indian Veggie Balls (Malai Kofta)

    The Spruce / Abbey Littlejohn

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