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!
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.
For Makhani Gravy
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.
Cool and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat butter slightly and add haldi powder, dhaniya powder and kashmiri lal mirch powder.
As soon as it comes to bubble slightly, add the ground paste.
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.
To serve, arrange koftas on the serving dish, heat the gravy and pour over. Top with a tablespoon or two of beaten malai/cream.