Malai Kofta

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Malai Kofta- always made me think dry- fruit stuffed oily fried fare. And sent up the red flag of ‘keep away’!
I often baked my koftas but missed the browning that frying gives them. Also, baking made them a tad dry. My constant friend the ‘paniyaram pan’ helped me get the kind of koftas I was dreaming of! These use very little oil and come out a nice pretty brown. And my Makhani gravy uses just about a tablespoon and a half of oil and butter put together. There’s malai of course, because what’s Malai Kofta if we skip the malai aka clotted cream!
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So here is my version of almost no-guilt, yet a winner on taste Malai Kofta. Best served with Naan or Tandoori roti.
This recipe serves 4

For the Paneer/Malai Koftas
250 gms Paneer
4-5 potatoes boiled and mashed
2 green chillies, chopped fine
½ tsp salt (adjust to taste)
½ tsp white pepper (use black if white not at hand)
1 Tbsp fresh coriander, chopped very fine
½ tsp lime juice

Mix all the ingredients and shape into round patties.

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Brush each cavity of the paniyaram pan with oil and drop a kofta/patty in each.

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Cook on medium heat, flipping the koftas till they are well browned all over.
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(Alternatively, you can fry the koftas. Add ¼ cup breadcrumbs to the kofta mixture if frying)

For Makhani Gravy

(Serves 4)
4 large tomatoes, chopped into quarters (go for red, well ripened tomatoes)
2 large onions, chopped into quarters
1 large green chilli, roughly chopped
6-7 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger, grated fine
8-10 cashews ( to get a rich gravy, if so desired. Else skip)
1 tsp Oil
1 Tbsp Butter (I used Amul)
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Kashmiri lal mirch powder
½ tsp coriander powder/dhaniya powder
A pinch of turmeric powder/haldi
½ tsp Garam Masala
1 Tsp Kasoori Methi, crushed between palms
½ tsp Sugar (May skip if slightly sweet Makhani gravy is not to your taste)
1 Tbsp Cream/Malai ( add to gravy for a creamy texture)
Some Cream/Malai to garnish
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai and add onions and garlic, stir for a couple of minutes and add the tomatoes, green chilli, ginger, cashews (if using). Cover and cook on medium heat till the tomatoes become pulpy.
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Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat butter slightly and add haldi powder, dhaniya powder and kashmiri lal mirch powder.

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As soon as it comes to bubble slightly, add the ground paste.
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Cover and let it come to a boil. Add salt, kasoori methi and sugar. Lower the heat, cover and let cook for another 10 minutes. Add half a cup of water if the gravy looks too thick. Add cream, mix well and remove from heat.
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To serve, arrange koftas on the serving dish, heat the gravy and pour over. Top with a tablespoon or two of beaten malai/cream.

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